Byrd Stadium 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 hosted 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.
Byrd Stadium - it's the first-class home of the Maryland Terrapins. 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.
Since opening on Sept. 30, 1950, when Maryland defeated Navy 35-21 in the dedication game before a school-record crowd of 43,386 fans, Byrd has undergone a number of major facelifts, three of which occurred in the 1990s and have resulted in its present form. The first came shortly after the 1990 home season, when the Tyser Tower press box - a fantastic five-tier, 90-foot high, 160-foot long structure - was built on the stadium's south rim. Tyser Tower accommodates 300 exterior luxury seats, a hospitality suite with theater-style seating, a spacious working press area, television and radio booths, and a photo deck.
Construction has been 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 and meeting areas, academic computer lab, locker rooms, weight 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 its current level of 48,055 when a massive upper deck was added on the stadium's north side. The cost for the latest renovation exceeded $45 million.
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, Tyser Tower, concession stands, rest rooms and stadium portals, designed by H.O.K. Architects of Kansas City, are enclosed in sand-molded brick that matches the Williamsburg-style 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.
Top Byrd Stadium Crowds
1985 The Terps, ranked No. 1 in the preseason by Sport magazine, set the all-time school home attendance record, averaging 49,385 for five home games.