UND’s Memorial Stadium to be demolished
The Board of Higher Ed will allow the University of North Dakota to demolish the old football stadium, and repurpose the land.
The 10,000-seat Memorial Stadium was built 1927, and was home to UND football until 2001. But by the end of this year, the stadium that hosted decades of sports history will be razed for new developments.
Longtime UND football fans remember Memorial Stadium as a venue built on tradition.
“It was an old facility. It had a lot of character though. It really gave you the feel of old-time football when you walked into it with that brick wall and the big horseshoe around the stadium. They listed the capacity at 10,000, but they had to have jammed in way more people than that,” said Pat Sweeney, former UND Play-By-Play Announcer.
And while some of the program’s greatest moments took place in this humble arena, it just became time to move on.
“Toward the end of its run, it got to be a case of the weather determining the attendance. It was a nice day, people would come out to the home games. If it was not a nice day, people would not come out, because they’d often be freezing in late-season games,” Sweeney said.
Then the team moved to the indoor Alerus Center. And since then, the stadium hasn’t had a permanent tenant. However, the football team would use the facility for practices. As UND continues their long term campus remodeling plan, Memorial Stadium will be demolished. However, the university hopes to not only reuse the land, but also the famous architecture of the stone walls.
“What we would do is use a lot of the architectural salvage from that building. In the lobby, in some instances, to highlight the history of the stadium and the history of UND athletics,” said Mike Pieper, UND Associate Vice President for Facilities.
The university is fielding offers from developers, and will have the developer pay to raze and build, then pay rent to use the property. But as the sun sets on Memorial Stadium, its legacy and memories will live on in the walls of whatever takes its place. Proposals to develop the site were due the same day as the final vote. The University will consider their options over the next few weeks, and hope to have new construction by next spring.
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