Spartan Stadium (East Lansing, Michigan)
Spartan Stadium (formerly College Field, Macklin Field and Macklin Stadium) opened in 1923 in East Lansing, Michigan, United States. It is primarily used for football, and is the home field of the Michigan State University Spartans. After the addition of luxury boxes and club seating in 2004–2005, the capacity of the stadium grew from 72,027 to 75,005—though it has held more than 80,000 fans—making it the Big Ten’s sixth largest stadium.
In the early 1920s, school officials decided to construct a new stadium to replace Old College Field. The resulting stadium—the lower half of the current stadium—was ready in the fall of 1923 with a capacity of 14,000. Over the years, the stadium grew. In 1935, the seating capacity increased to 26,000 and the facility was dedicated as Macklin Field. John Macklin, football coach from 1911 to 1915, put Michigan State football on the map with a 29–5 record over five seasons with victories over big name programs such as Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin. After admittance into the Big Ten in 1948, Michigan State increased stadium capacity to 51,000 and the field was renamed Macklin Stadium. With Spartan football attracting national attention under Clarence “Biggie” Munn and Hugh “Duffy” Daugherty, 9,000 seats were added in 1956. The following season upper decks were added to the east and west sides boosting the capacity to 76,000. That same season Michigan State dropped the name Macklin Stadium in favor of Spartan Stadium. The school plans to install permanent lights in 2017.
In 1969, TartanTurf replaced the natural grass field and a modern scoreboard was added in 1973. Later in the 1970s, AstroTurf replaced the TartanTurf. A new modern video scoreboard was added before the 1991 season. Renovations improving sight lines, field security, handicap access, and club seats in 1994 reduced Spartan Stadium’s capacity to 72,027. New turf was also installed in the summer of 1994. In 1998, Spartan Stadium’s sound system was upgraded, adding a 21′ x 27′ Mitsubishi Diamond Vision video board to the south end and a message board to the north end. Home to one of the top turfgrass research programs in the nation, Michigan State installed a natural grass field in 2002. The most recent expansion was completed in August 2005. A new press box, 24 luxury suites, and 862 club seats were constructed on the west side of Spartan Stadium. This addition made Spartan Stadium the tallest building in East Lansing.
Through the 2012 season until their game against Notre Dame, the Spartans had won 15 straight games in Spartan Stadium—the program’s longest home streak since winning 19 straight from 1950-53. Michigan State went undefeated at home in back-to-back seasons (2010 and 2011) including marquee wins over Wisconsin, Michigan, and Notre Dame, marking the first consecutive perfect home seasons since 1955-56.