Celebrating 40 Years of Martin Stadium
July 21, 2012
The 2012 Cougars football season marks the 40-year anniversary of Martin Stadium.
In April 1970, a fire destroyed the south stands and press box of then-Rogers Field. For the next two seasons, the WSU football team played its home games at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane.
In the interim, a one-million dollar fund drive began after the decision was made to rebuild the stands rather than relocate or build an entirely new stadium. WSU launched a two-phase renovation plan that created a two-tiered structure that held 17,500, replacing the old seating capacity of 10,000 and increasing the total seating capacity to 30,000. Dan Martin, a Los Angeles businessman, gave $250,000 to the project with the stipulation the stadium be renamed after his father, Clarence D. Martin, governor of Washington state from 1933-40.
Although the look and amenities have changed, Martin Stadium has been the home of the Washington State Cougars since 1972:
► 1972 (summer) - first artificial turf (Astroturf) was installed.
► 1972 (Sept. 30) - WSU met Utah in the first game played in refurbished Martin Stadium.
► 1975 - New north (student) stands were built.
► 1978 (fall) - Work began on the academic portion of the complex on the south side with the computer center relocating to the complex upon completion of the project in 1979.
► 1979 (January) - Another renovation of the stadium began to increase the seating capacity from 27,600 to 40,000. The floor of the stadium was excavated 16 feet to add 12,400 seats, the track was removed from the stadium and relocated to the Bailey Baseball Stadium area directly north of the football complex, while a new baseball stadium was then built just south and east of Friel Court, home of Cougar basketball. The entire project, like the one in 1970, was funded through contributions; gift-in-kind and the purchase of "stadium builder" seat options. It marked the first time a collegiate football stadium had been enlarged by digging down rather than building up. The project was also funded in part by the Martin family, with Charlotte Martin, widow of Dan Martin, giving $250,000 to the project. A SuperTurf artificial surface was also installed.
► 1979 (October 13) - WSU celebrated Homecoming by defeating UCLA 17-13 before a record crowd of 32,651 in the first game played in the enlarged Martin Stadium.
► 1990 (summer) - Installed the sand-filled Omni-Turf playing surface.
► 2000 (summer) - Installed FieldTurf in Martin Stadium and on Rogers Field.
► 2006 - Current stadium renovation began.
► 2006 (summer) - Replaced FieldTurf in Martin Stadium.
► 2008 - Phase I and II completed.
► 2012 (summer) - The $80 million Cougar Football Project, which began in Nov., 2011, replaces the old press box on the south stands with a new structure that includes a new press box, club seats, loge boxes, luxury suites and a club room.
Official Website of Washington State University Athletics | Bohler Athletic Complex | PO Box 641602 Pullman, WA 99164-1602 | 1.800.GO.COUGS