Home to Lions Football and Track and Field
Memorial Stadium began as a project of the Ex-Students Association in the fall of 1945. The ESA and friends of the University raised a portion of the funds before East Texas State Teachers College received a state appropriation for the rest of the $300,000 to build the facility.
Construction on the facility was started in the fall of 1949 and work continued fast and furious to have the stadium ready for the start of the 1950 season.
The stadium was opened and dedicated on Sept. 23, 1950. The dedication ceremony featured U.S. Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn and former lieutenant governor Walter Woodul. General Douglas MacArthur, while not in attendance, wrote then University President James Gee that "I am delighted and honored," to have his quotation affixed to the plaque honoring the Lions fallen comrades. That quote, also chisled on the stadium at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, is a famous one:
"Upon the fields of friendly strife,
Are sown the seeds that,
Upon other fields, on other days,
Will bear the fruits of victory."
The Lions met North Texas before 12,000 fans that night, but the Eagles came out on top 42-20. It's one of the few losses in the stadium for the Blue-and-Gold. A&M-Commerce has posted a 189-98-8 all-time record, winning 67.4% of the time.
The Lions have put together winning streaks of 14 and 12 straight games at Memorial Stadium. Some of the greatest highlights in Lions history have come on the field.
The Lions won a share of the 1969 Lone Star Conference Champonship with a miraculous closing seconds pass from James Dietz to George Daskalakes for a touchdown and again for a two-poiint conversion to beat Stephen F. Austin, 36-35. The Lionscelebrated the 1972 NAIA National Championship in front of the home folks, with the fog rolling in on a chilly December afternoon. Texas A&M-Kingsville's 46-game unbeaten streak crashed in 1977 when Tom Hay split the uprights with an extra-point win 7-6. Pittsburg State came here in 1991 with 56 conescutive regular season victories. However, the Lions sent the team that would go on to the NCAA Division II championship home with a 20-13 defeat.
The seating has been altered only
slightly over the last five decades. In 1973, alumninum seating,
the President's Box under the Press Box and the T-Lounge at the
south end of the stadium were added. A rubberized all-weather track
replaced the cinders in 1980. In 1987, a ticket booth was
constructed in the main entry and new light fixtures were installed
A monument to the fighting spirit of the Lions and the 78 former students who died in World War II, Memorial Satdium celebrated its 50th anniversary when the Lions downed Midwestern State in 2000.
Prior to the 2006 season, the stadium went through its most extensive renovations since being built in 1949. A new scoreboard and playing surface, as well as a new track was installed at the conclusion of the football season.
In 2009, a new building housing a football locker room and training room was constructed at the north end of the stadium to replace the T-Lounge.