Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, nestled in the corner of the University of Maryland's campus, has been home to national championship football and men's and women's lacrosse teams, and to more than 50 ACC track and field champions. It served as the host to the Queen of England at a football game, and was the stage where the greatest high hurdler in history, Renaldo Nehemiah, performed his amazing feats. It also has been a regular site for the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Final Four, where several attendance records have been shattered.
Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium - it's the first-class home to the Maryland Terrapins and has recently gone through a major upgrade which makes it one of the top collegiate facilities in the country.
Since opening on Sept. 30, 1950, when Maryland defeated Navy 35-21 in the dedication game before a then school-record crowd of 43,386 fans, Byrd has undergone a number of major facelifts, three of which occurred in the 1990s. The first came shortly after the 1990 home season, when the Tyser Tower press box - a five-tier, 90-foot high, 160-foot long structure - was built on the stadium's south rim.
In 1991, construction was completed on a beautiful new football complex - since named the Gossett Football Team House - just beyond the east end zone. This $7 million building houses football coaching offices, meeting areas, academic computer lab, locker rooms, weight room facility and a medical support area.
A bronze Terrapin sits in front of the team house, its installation coming in 1992 as part of the celebration of the 100th year of football at the university. Following the 1994 campaign, Byrd's seating capacity increased by more than 12,000 to 48,055 when a massive upper deck was added on the stadium's north side. The cost for the renovation exceeded $45 million. With the addition of temporary seating - which took place in 2001 and 2002 - the stadium's capacity expanded to house more than 51,500 fans. The refurbishing of Byrd included new restrooms, bleachers and the stadium's first formal entranceway off of Field House Drive.
The Gossett Football Team House, concession stands, restrooms and stadium portals, designed by H.O.K. Architects of Kansas City, are enclosed in sand-molded brick that matches the Williamsburgstyle brick used on most of Maryland's 335 buildings. The brick gives the contemporary architecture a timeless veneer and unity with the university's traditional Georgian look.
Prior to the 2006 season, Maryland Athletics entered into a partnership with Chevy Chase Bank for naming rights for the field. Just prior to the 2009 season, the name of the facility was changed to Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
The recently completed $50.8 million upgrade to Byrd began in November 2007 and included the expansion of Tyser Tower along the South concourse, allowing for the addition of 64 suites. Additionally, new mezzanine seating for 440 patrons was added, as well as a University suite for 200 guests. There are new work areas for the television, radio and print media, coaches and game-day staff, as well as improved seating for disabled customers.
H.C. "Curly" Byrd
Situated at the foot of the campus' North Hill, the stadium is named for Dr. H.C. Byrd, a multi-sport athlete as an undergraduate who later became head football coach and eventually served as university president. His vision gave University of Maryland preeminence among Eastern campus sports facilities for decades and the impetus for the Terrapins to win more ACC championships than any league school.
Harry Clifton "Curley" Byrd (1889-1970) was president of the University from 1935 to 1954.
A 1908 graduate of the Maryland Agricultural College with a B.S. in engineering, Byrd began his 43-year career at the University of Maryland with a temporary two-week stint coaching football in 1911. He taught English and history, was athletic director, and served as an assistant to Raymond Pearson before becoming president.
Under his tenure as president, the University of Maryland became one of the largest universities in the country as a result of New Deal construction projects, war-time training programs, and the post-war enrollment boom. Byrd's major accomplishments included the development of an educational extension program that became University College and included a full academic program, partially funded by the Army and Air Force, for overseas military personnel. Byrd also took a personal interest in developing an American Studies program.
In 1935, Maryland became the first southern state university in the twentieth century to accept African-Americans and, in 1951, the first to accept African-American undergraduates.
Byrd was very interested in constructing new buildings. According to the Washingtonian, "his office was always filled with blueprints, and students frequently saw him in the middle of the night poking around construction sites" wearing a hard hat.
"Just as important, the often-autocratic Byrd was deft at working both the recalcitrant state legislature and the federal government for funds. For several years, Maryland trailed only Massachusetts in total federal funding for higher education."
An accomplished athlete and former Terrapin football star player, Byrd never lost interest in the game of football. As president, he found the football team's success an effective means of lobbying for dollars from state legislators. The athletic program thus grew significantly under Byrd's guidance. Byrd used university funds to build a new football stadium, which opened in 1950 with a win over Navy. Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium now stands as a reminder of his impact on athletics and the university.
Byrd retired to run, unsuccessfully, for governor. He was honored posthumously as an inductee to the prestigious In 1954, Byrd retired to run, unsuccessfully, for governor against Theodore McKeldin. He was honored posthumously as an inductee to the Alumni Hall of Fame.
1950 - Byrd Stadium is constructed at a cost of $1 million. The original capacity was 34,680, but could be boosted to more than 50,000 with temporary bleachers around the rim of the stadium.
1953 - Byrd is home to the national champion Terrapin football team.
1955 - In a game billed as the "Best of the East" vs. the "Best of the West," Maryland defeated No. 1-ranked UCLA 7-0. Historians called that game one of the greatest of the decade.
1957 - Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip visited while former Terp head coach Jim Tatum returned to the scene of his greatest coaching triumphs. The Terps went on to upset North Carolina in what then-head coach Tommy Mont later called his finest moment as coach.
1974 - The legendary Bear Bryant returned to College Park with his third-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Sept. 14. Temporary bleachers were installed for only the second time in stadium history to accommodate 54,412 fans, then the largest crowd ever at Byrd. Later in the season, on Oct. 11, the then-second-largest crowd (49,647) in Byrd history watched the 15th-ranked Terps defeat 17th-ranked NC State 20-10.
1975 - The Byrd Stadium attendance record of 58,973 was set when 14th-ranked Maryland played host to ninth-ranked Penn State.
1983 - Byrd Stadium played host to what was then its second-largest crowd, 54,715, as the 17th-ranked Terps met No. 20 West Virginia.
1985 - The Terps, ranked No. 1 in the preseason by Sport magazine, set the then all-time school home attendance record, averaging 49,385 for five games.
1994 - Following the end of the football season, renovations continued with the addition of an upper deck.
1995 - Seating capacity is 48,055 - an increase of 12,000 - following the completion of the upper deck on the stadium's north side.
2000 - Byrd celebrates its 50th anniversary.
2001 - The eventual ACC Champion Terps posted a 7-0 record at Byrd Stadium, besting the 6-0 home mark most-recently accomplished by the 1976 team.
2003 - Maryland went 6-0 at home while averaging a school-record 51,236 fans for the six dates at Byrd.
2004 - Remodeling on the Gossett Football Team House, which included meeting rooms, a dining facility and an auditorium, was completed during the summer.
2006 - Maryland enters a partnership for naming rights for the field. The Terps begin play on Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium.
2007 - In the spring, Maryland Athletics announced the $50.8 million stadium expansion project which includes 64 luxury suites, 440 new mezzanine-level seats, a presidential suite for 200 guests, new work areas for television, radio and print media, a new team shop and a state-of-the-art scoreboard. Construction began at the conclusion of the regular season.
2008 - A $1.2 million state-of-the-art scoreboard is installed prior to the regular season.
2009 - The completion of the $50.8 million expansion project. The name of the facility is changed to Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
2012 - FieldTurf Revolution surface is installed prior to 2012 season. The project is the first of its kind in the United States and features exclusive new heat-reducing technology - CoolPlay - which, coupled with the patented silica sand and cryogenic rubber infill, provides the facility with the "coolest" infill technology.
Top Crowds At Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium
|1. Penn State (11-1-75)||58,973|
|2. Virginia Tech (10-20-05)||54,838|
|3. West Virginia (9-17-83)||54,715|
|4. Alabama (9-14-74)||54,412|
|5. West Virginia (9-13-07)||53,107|
|6. NC State (11-9-02)||52,915|
|7. Boston College (11-10-07)||52,827|
|8. Virginia (10-20-07)||52,782|
|9. Georgia Tech (10-9-04)||52,733|
|10. Virginia (10-1-05)||52,656|
|11. Clemson (10-10-01)||52,462|
|12. West Virginia (9-17-05)||52,413|
|13. Penn State (10-6-79)||52,348|
|14. Florida State (10-30-04)||52,203|
|15. NC State (10-16-04)||52,179|
|16. West Virginia (9-20-03)||51,973|
|17. Northern Illinois (9-4-04)||51,830|
|18. Florida State (9-14-02)||51,758|
|19. Clemson (9-13-82)||51,750|
|20. Florida State (11-22-08)||51,620|
|21. The Citadel (9-13-03)||51,594|
|22. Boston College (11-19-05)||51,585|
|23. Clemson (10-4-03)||51,545|
|24. Virginia Tech (11-14-09)||51,514|
|25. Wake Forest (11-25-06)||51,500|
|26. Clemson (11-18-78)||51,376|
|27. Temple (9-11-04)||51,292|
|28. North Carolina (10-29-83)||51,200|
|29. North Carolina (11-1-03)||51,195|
Directions to Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium
From Baltimore (and north):
I-95 south to exit 25B, College Park/U.S. Route 1 South. After approximately one mile, take a right-hand exit off of U.S. 1 and onto Route 193 West. Go two traffic lights to Stadium Drive. Make a left onto Stadium Drive. Byrd Stadium is directly in front of you.
From Baltimore/Washington International Airport:
I-195 West to I-95 South. Travel to exit 25B and follow the above directions to Byrd Stadium.
From Reagan National Airport:
I-395 North until it terminates at New York Ave. Make a right onto New York Ave., and exit at Maryland Route 295 North (Baltimore/ Washington Parkway). Exit at Maryland Route 193 West (Greenbelt Road) and follow straight for three miles to Stadium Drive. Make a left onto Stadium Drive.
From Washington/Richmond (and south):
I-95 North to exit 23 from the Beltway (MD 201-Kenilworth Ave.) south to either MD 193 or Paint Branch Rd. and turn right (westbound). Cross U.S. 1 and follow the signs to the events.
From Dulles International Airport (and west):
Dulles Toll Road to I-495 West. Take 495 West (Washington Beltway) for approximately 25 minutes to exit 25B. Take the above directions (Baltimore and points north listing) to Byrd Stadium.
Alternate route from Montgomery County, Northern Virginia and points west:
Take exit 28 from the Beltway (MD 650-New Hampshire Ave.) south to Adelphi Rd. Make a left on Adelphi and follow to MD 193. Make a left on MD 193 and follow the signs to the events.
Home of Maryland Men's Lacrosse
Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium is also home to the Maryland men's lacrosse program, one of the oldest and most prominent lacrosse programs in the nation.
Maryland hosted the NCAA Championship 10 times at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium (1972, 1979, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000), more than any other school.
Prior to the 2003 NCAA Championships at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland's Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium held every lacrosse attendance record, drawing a then-record crowd of 30,580 to a 1997 semifinal game. The stadium also drew a then-record 26,229 to a title game in 1995.
Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium also has the second-highest championship weekend attendance of 72,389 also set in 1995.