Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium, which celebrated its 50th birthday during
the 2000 season, 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.
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.
In 1991, construction was 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 48,055 when a
massive upper deck was added on the stadium's north side. The cost for the latest
renovation exceeded $45 million. With the addition of temporary seating-which took
place in 2001 and 2002-the stadium's capacity expanded to house more than 51,500
The refurbishing of Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium 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,
restrooms 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.
Timeline of Major Events
1950 Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium is constructed
at a cost of $1 million. The original capacity was 34,680, but
could be boosted to more than 50,000 with temporary
bleachers around the rim of the stadium.
1953 Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium is home to the
national champion Terrapin football team.
1955 In a game billed as the "Best of the East" vs. the""Best of
the West," Maryland defeated No. 1-ranked UCLA 7-0.
Historians called that game one of the greatest of the decade.
1957 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip visited while former
Terp head coach Jim Tatum returned to the scene of his
greatest coaching triumphs. The Terps went on to upset North
Carolina in what then- head coach Tommy Mont later called
his finest moment as coach.
1974 The legendary Bear Bryant returned to College Park with
his third-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Sept. 14.
Temporary bleachers were installed for only the second time
in stadium history to accommodate 54,412 fans, then the
largest crowd ever at Byrd. Later in the season, on Oct. 11, the
then-second-largest crowd (49,647) in Byrd history watched
the 15th-ranked Terps defeat 17th-ranked NC State 20-10.
1975 The Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium
attendance record of 58,973 was set when 14th-ranked
Maryland hosted ninth-ranked Penn State.
1983 Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium played host to
its second-largest crowd, 54,715, as the 17th-ranked Terps
met No. 20 West Virginia.
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.
1990 Construction began following the last home football
game of the season on what was the first major athletic
construction on campus in 35 years. The Chevy Chase Bank
Field at Byrd Stadium refurbishment was the first of its kind to
be done without the supervision of Curley Byrd.
1994 Following the end of the football season, renovations
continued with the addition of an upper deck.
1995 Seating capacity is 48,055 - an increase of 12,000 -
following the completion of the upper deck on the stadium's
north side. As needed, bleachers can increase the seating
capacity to 51,500.
2001 The eventual ACC Champion Terps posted a 7-0 record
at Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium, besting the 6-0
home mark most-recently accomplished by the 1976 team.