Washington Grizzly Stadium

Washington-Grizzly Stadium is a 25,217-seat football stadium on the campus of the University of Montana in Missoula. The stadium opened on October 18, 1986 and is home to the University of Montana Grizzlies, a dominant program in Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision.

Washington Grizzly Stadium – December 9, 2011 – Griz vs Northern Iowa. Photo by Todd Goodrich

The stadium is named after construction magnate Dennis Washington, a Montanan who donated $1 million to finance the stadium’s construction in 1985. The stadium opened on October 18, 1986.

The current seating capacity is 25,217 and the stadium has been expanded three times, most recently in 2008 with an upper deck expansion of 2,000 seats on the east side.

The original capacity in 1986 was 12,500 permanent seats on the sidelines with open grass seating behind the end zones, an approximate capacity of 15,000, weather-permitting. Permanent seating for the end zones was installed in 1995, which brought the seating to 18,845. Corner seating in the north end zone opened in 2003 and the most recent expansion in 2008 to the east grandstand brought the capacity to 25,217.

A new attendance record was set on August 25th, 2015 when ESPN and 4-Time defending National Champion North Dakota State opened the 2015 FCS season drawing 26,472 people, breaking the old record of 26,352 set in 2014 against Montana State.

Infilled SprinTurf was installed in 2001, and replaced in 2008. For its first fifteen seasons, the playing surface was natural grass. With the addition of the artificial turf in 2001, the playing surface was renamed “John Hoyt Field.” After 15 seasons of “SprinTurf”, The playing surface in WGS was replaced with multi-color “FieldTurf” in the summer of 2016.

Attendance Records:

RANK ATTENDANCE RESULT DATE
1 26,472 Montana 38, North Dakota State 35 Aug. 29, 2015
2 26,352 Montana 34, Montana State 7 Nov. 22, 2014
3 26,303 Montana 28, South Dakota 20 Sept. 13, 2014
4 26,293 Montana 30, Appalachian State 6 Aug. 31, 2013
5 26,136 Montana 23, Northern Arizona 14 Sept. 26, 2015
6 26,082 Montana 37, Eastern Washington 42 Oct. 26, 2013
7 26,066 Montana 17, Eastern Washington 14 Sept. 17, 2011
8 26,065 Montana 19, Cal Poly 20 Sept. 5, 2015
9 26,019 Montana 16, Montana State 21 Nov. 20, 2010
10 25,965 Montana 28, Sacramento State 25 Sept. 25, 2010

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