The Home of the Grizzlies
The 2013 season marks the 28th year that Grizzly football team has called Washington-Grizzly Stadium/at John Hoyt field "home."
Montana led the Football Championship Subdivision in attendance in 2009. It is the third time in the last six seasons the Grizzlies have led the division in average attendance.
The Grizzlies averaged 24,417 in nine home games last season. Appalachian State was second in the FCS (24,004 in seven home games), followed by Yale (21,245, five home games), and Delaware (20,750 in six home contests).
In 2009, the Grizzlies broke their attendance record in five of their six regular-season games. Those record-setting games were against Cal Poly (25,694); Western State (25,698); Portland State (25,726); Eastern Washington (25,751); and the all-time mark, 25,811 at the Weber State game. UM's other regular-season game last year was against Northern Colorado, and the attendance of 25,231 is the ninth highest ever in the stadium.
Since playing their first game in the stadium in 1986, the Grizzlies have an overall record of 158-20 for a winning percentage of 88.8%. The Griz had just three home games in 1986, and that first game was played on October 18, 1986, a 38- 31 come-from-behind win over Idaho State.
Montana has gone 9-0 at home the last couple of seasons and is 33-2 (.945) over the past four years.
In 2008, Montana set Big Sky Conference regular-season home attendance records, drawing 174,236 fans in seven games, averaging 24,891 per contest.
Montana has now led the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in average attendance in 2005, 2006, and 2009, and was ranked second in 2007 and 2008.
The Grizzlies broke the Washington-Grizzly Stadium attendance mark five times during the 2008 season in its expanded facility. The attendance at all seven regular-season home games that year was ranked in the top 20 of all-time marks of games played there since 1986.
UM set a conference record with 27 consecutive regular-season wins from 2006-08, that skein ended with a 45-28 setback on Oct. 4 at Weber State in 2008.
Over the past four seasons the Grizzlies are 26-0 at home in regular-season games.
No Place Like Home
Not only has Montana won 158 games in its 24 seasons in Washington-Grizzly Stadium, but beginning in 1994, the Griz reeled off 30 straight home victories. The win streak began with a 41-7 win over Sonoma State on Sept. 3 and ended with a 40-35 loss to Eastern Washington on Oct. 18 of 1997.
Stadium History & Namesake
The plans for an on-campus football facility at Montana came to fruition in August of 1985 when Missoula businessman Dennis R. Washington and the employees of Washington Corporations provided a gift of $1 million, hence the name of Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The cost of the stadium was around $3.2 million.
There are 49 private boxes located on the east and west sides of the stadium, and they are individually decorated and furnished.
Washington-Grizzly Stadium underwent its third expansion, at a cost of approximately $6.5 million, prior to the 2008 football season. The eastside expansion now houses a 500-seat "Stadium Club" with two membership levels: the "Canyon Room" has 125 seats inside and 125 seats outside, and the "Hellgate Terrace," which has 250 seats.
The recent expansion provided 375 Grizzly Scholarship Association priority seats, which are located between the 25-and-40-yard lines and on both sides of the 50-yard line, as well as 1,150 non-priority seats located on the 10-to-25-yard lines. This expansion increased the current seating capacity of Washington- Grizzly Stadium to 25,217.
The second expansion occurred in the spring and summer of 2003, and approximately 4,000 seats were added to the north end zone section, increasing the stadium capacity to 23,183, with a cost around $3.5 million.
In the spring of 1995 the stadium underwent its first expansion in the north and south end zones. At that time there were 12,500 permanent seats, and seating was available, weather-permitting, in the grass end zones, which made the capacity around 15,000. The cost of that expansion was about $2.5 million.
GrizVision, a state-of-the-art video and message center, was added in 2002. GrizVision displays game statistics, player profiles, digital replays, and shots of the crowd. The screen is one of the largest in the FCS, measuring 26 feet by 36 feet, and it came from New York City and Times Square.
A natural-grass stadium gave way to Sprinturf prior to the 2001 season at a cost of about $1 million, which was paid for by an anonymous donor. The field was named "John Hoyt Field" in 2001 at the request of the anonymous donor, in honor of Hoyt, a long-time Grizzly booster, who passed away in March of that year. A new Sprinturf playing surface was installed prior to the 2008 season.
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