McAndrew Stadium

    McAndrew Stadium Photo
    McAndrew Stadium Photo

    Updated July 1, 2005

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    Originally built by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression of the mid-1930s, McAndrew Stadium is still in service to Saluki Football 67 years after it opened in 1938.

    At a cost of $150,000, the then 5,000-seat structure was hailed as "one of the most attractive yet to be erected in the Middle West."

    The first game at the stadium took place on Oct. 1, 1938, a 27-0 loss to Southeast Missouri State. Two weeks later, Southern Illinois University Normal defeated Arkansas State, 6-0, for its first home win in its new stadium.

    When William McAndrew, the school's first head coach, died in 1943, the University named the stadium McAndrew Stadium in his honor.

    The most comprehensive renovation to the stadium took place after the 1973 season, when additional seating was erected on both sides.

    Southern Illinois has played 328 games at the stadium since it first opened and has a record of 168-154-6.

    Among the more memorable games include a 16-13 win over nationally ranked Tulsa on Oct. 28, 1967. In 1983, SIU beat Nevada-Reno, 23-7, to advance to the Division I-AA National Championship game.

    One of the more dramatic finishes came on Sept. 10, 1983. Terry Taylor blocked a short field goal attempt with seconds remaining to preserve a 17-14 win over Eastern Illinois.

    In 2004, the Salukis ended the regular season with a 59-10 drubbing of Indiana State, stretching their home winning streak to a school-record 12 games.

    The 2003 campaign saw SIU post a perfect 6-0 home record and record the highest average attendance (9,748) since the 1991 season drew 12,225.

    After a 29-year absence, night football returned to McAndrew Stadium in 2002. The Salukis opened the season with a 78-0 win over Kentucky Wesleyan on August 29, followed by a fireworks show.

    Local electrical union IBEW 702 installed the lights at no charge, saving the athletic department $100,000 on infrastructure improvements originally expected to cost $250,000.

    Prior to 2002, the last night game at McAndrew was Oct. 20, 1973, when the Salukis hosted Tampa. The lighting system became inoperable the following year.

    In 2003, the University's Board of Trustees approved a land use plan that will create a new "gateway" to SIU that includes a new football stadium. A feasibility study has been completed and progress toward the new stadium continues each day.

    McAndrew Stadium will continue to receive care and upgrade until the new stadium is opened.

    In 2001, a new AstroPlay turf was installed at a cost of $550,000. With its taller surface, the turf resembles natural grass. It also has a soft, rubber base to provide added cushioning. The same artificial turf will be used at the new stadium.

    In addition to the turf project, several other improvements have been made at McAndrew in the past two years.

    Improvements include new stadium signage, a painted scoreboard and press box, and the installation of signs with the new athletics logo along the east-side stands.

    And, of course, lights were installed at the stadium in the summer of 2002. The Salukis will play two night games this year.

    McAndrew Milestones
    Oct. 1, 1938: SINU loses to SEMO, 27-0, in first game at stadium.

    Oct. 15, 1938: SINU beats Arkansas State, 6-0, for first win at stadium.

    1943: Stadium is named McAndrew Stadium after school's first coach, William McAndrew.

    Nov. 10, 1950: First night game, a 44-13 win over Eastern Michigan.

    Oct. 20, 1973: Last night game is a 25-23 loss to Tampa.

    Sept. 13, 1980: The biggest crowd in stadium history (17,150) watches SIU beat Eastern Illinois, 37-35. More than $30,000 raised for former Saluki Mark Hemphill, who was paralyzed the previous year vs. Illinois State.

    2001: New AstroPlay turf installed.

    2002: Night football returns as Salukis trounce Kentucky Wesleyan, 78-0, on Aug. 29.

    2004: Salukis beat Indiana State on Nov. 13, to set school record with 12th-straight home victory.