From free throws to field goals: Your guide to MU stadiums
MU's sports facilities are fan-friendly and full of history.
Aug. 17, 2011
So, there’s a big game this weekend. The game has been the hot topic on campus all week. Your professor came to class with black and gold face paint on. Everybody, their roommate and their roommate’s mother are going to the game. And the last thing you want to do is be the only one on campus to miss out.
Only one problem: you don’t know which stadium is which.
Fear not, young Tiger. With the amount of venues on campus, it’s easy to get them mixed up from time to time. So, we’ve gone ahead and created this handy guide to all the various fields and stadiums at Missouri, so you won’t be left watching the game from your dorm room.
Impossible to miss as you travel along Stadium Boulevard, Faurot Field has been the home of Missouri Tigers football for more than 80 years. The 71,004-seat stadium is the fourth largest in the Big 12 Conference and has seen its fair share of memorable moments in Tigers history.
The stadium is the typical horseshoe shape, completed by a grass hill in the curved north end. On that hill lies the most recognizable feature of Faurot, the giant rock “M” underneath the large high-definition video board. Ever since its creation in 1927, tradition holds that the freshman class helps rearrange and whitewash the “M” before each season. The bowl shape of the stadium makes the echoing chants of “M-I-Z” and replies of “Z-O-U” even more powerful.
The grassy lawn is also a good place to watch the games from, but be ready for the loud cannon shot whenever Missouri scores.
Just a short walk up Memorial Drive from Faurot Field is the raucous Mizzou Arena. The basketball arena has held sold-out crowds of more than 15,000 for the last seven years, and has been named as one of the nation's loudest and most energetic college basketball environments.
A large bleacher section for student groups like the Zou Crew and the Antlers stands on the west end of the court, where much of the in-game fan rowdiness originates. The bowels of Mizzou Arena hold administration offices, training facilities and a practice gym.
The location of Mizzou Arena makes for long, cold treks during the winter to attend games, but the sheer adrenaline rush each game brings is well worth the hike.
The Hearnes Center is easily the most versatile sports venue at MU. Once the home of Missouri basketball, four different sports now take up residence at Hearnes.
Ever since the Missouri volleyball team made a name for itself against Nebraska in 2005 in a battle of undefeated teams, volleyball matches have seen high attendance at Hearnes. Missouri has been among the national leaders in attendance over the last half-decade, and the following has spawned student groups such as Volley Zou and the Kreklow Krazies.
Located on the fourth floor of Hearnes, the Missouri wrestling facility is one of the largest in the nation. Hearnes is also big enough to have housed the Big 12 Gymnastics Championship last year in what was a rousing showcase of the conference fan bases.
The $2.1 million baseball stadium is one of the newer facilities on campus, but certainly fits right at home in the Mizzou Sports Park. The park sits right behind the Daniel J. Devine Pavilion practice facility, just a right turn off of Providence Rd.
A couple of renovations to the park over the years have made the ballpark experience even more fan-friendly. Seats now give fans a better view of the ballpark while cutting down exposure to wind. That last part is pretty important, since the winds during the winter and early spring months can be fairly biting.
As for the team itself, the Tigers are coming off of a surprising run to the Big 12 Championship Game. Missouri became the first No. 8 seed to reach the title game after taking down No. 1 Texas twice in the first three rounds. Though the Tigers fell short against Texas A&M in the championship, expect the excitement around Taylor Stadium to be at an all-time high next season.
Nestled between Taylor Stadium and University Field, the Audrey J. Walton Stadium is another multi-purpose venue for Missouri athletics. Most notably, it’s the home turf of the women’s soccer team for most of the fall.
Walton is another field that can be a bit of a long walk for those students without transportation, which ultimately is the drawback of many of the Sports Park venues. That doesn’t seem to stop the crowds, though. Walton’s stands are usually filled to the brim with over 2,000 fans, providing an energetic atmosphere throughout the season. The annual border rivalry game with Kansas is one of the most heated events annually at Missouri.
The track and field team also takes up residence at Walton, though much of the team’s activities actually take place on the large throws field north of the stadium. The expansive green and resurfaced track is great facilities for both practice and meets.
The final piece of the unique setup at the Sports Park, University Field is the softball field for the national contending Missouri Tigers. Don’t let the small appearance of the park fool you; the stands at University Field have hosted crowds of nearly 3,000 multiple times.
The reason for this is simple: The fan experience and product on the field are almost unrivaled at any other softball field in the country. The team is one of the best in the nation, going deep in the Women’s College World Series for the past few seasons. The success of the team has attracted ESPN on numerous occasions, which has heightened the interest in the team tenfold. Combine that with the great job the marketing department does during the game, and you have one of the most enjoyable sporting experiences available at Missouri.