Roy Stewart Stadium
Roy Stewart Stadium
Roy Stewart Stadium is a 16,800-seat multi-purpose stadium in Murray, Kentucky. It opened in 1973 and is home to the Murray State University Racers football, rifle and women's track and field teams. The stadium has the second largest seating capacity of any on-campus stadium in the Ohio Valley Conference.
The seven-floor structure is named after Roy Stewart, a longtime Murray State football coach and athletics director. It features a FieldTurf surface surrounded by a nine-lane track. Inside the stadium are athletic offices, locker rooms and meeting rooms for football and track and field, as well as a training room and weight room. The Pat Spurgin Rifle Range, site of seven NCAA championships, is located at the northern end of the second floor.
The Racers' first mascot, a racehorse named Violet Cactus, is buried at the stadium near the area where the current mascot, Racer 1, begins its trek around the football field before the beginning of each football game, and after each Racer touchdown.
From 1934 until 1972, Racer football played at Cutchin Football Stadium, which was at the location of the current soccer field. Cutchin Stadium was demolished in 1972 when construction began on a new football stadium to be located on the North end of campus, along US Highway 641. The Racers played their first football game in Roy Stewart Stadium in 1973, and earned a win over Western Carolina University by a score of 27-25. The stadium was official dedicated on September 9, 1974.
On April 9, 2007, a turf replacement project began to remove the existing turf and install a FieldTurf playing surface at the stadium. The new FieldTurf also allowed for the existing three percent grade on the field to be reduced to 0.5 percent. The rise in the middle of the field was lowered from 18 inches to three inches. The FieldTurf installation was completed in time for the Racers' 2007 home opener on September 15 against Lambuth University. The improvement project also brought about new play clocks, new goal posts, and a new surface on the track.