Francis Field (St. Louis County, Missouri)
|Location||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Architect||Cope and Stewardson|
|Washington University Bears (NCAA)
St. Louis Stars (NASL) (1975–77)
Francis Field is a stadium at Washington University in St. Louis, currently used by the university's track and field, cross country, football, and soccer teams. It is located in St. Louis County, Missouri on the far western edge of the university's Danforth Campus. It was built in time for the 1904 World's Fair, and was used as the main stadium for the 1904 Summer Olympics. At its height, the stadium had a 19,000 person seating capacity, but stadium renovations in 1984 reduced the capacity to 4,000 persons. It is one of the oldest sports venues west of the Mississippi River still in use. Francis Field has been upgraded to include many of the characteristics of modern stadiums. Instead of grass, the stadium now utilizes artificial Field Turf, which can be configured for both soccer and football.
The 1904 Summer Olympics (the first to be held in the Western Hemisphere) were given to St. Louis, Missouri as a result of the efforts of David Rowland Francis, for whom the stadium and accompanying gymnasium are named. Built in 1902, Francis Field's permanent stands represent one of the first applications of reinforced concrete technology. Both Francis Field and its gymnasium are U.S. National Historic Landmarks. During those games, the stadium hosted the archery, athletics, cycling, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, roque, tug of war, weightlifting, and wrestling events. At some dirt courts located outside the stadium, the tennis events took place.
Following the 1904 Olympics, Francis Field became the permanent home of the Bears, who were formerly known as the Pikers. From the 1920s through the 1950s, the Bears played before crowds of as many as 19,000 people, competing against universities such as Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Boston College, with half of the spectators in temporary wooden stands. The Bears now play in the NCAA as a Division III team.
In July 1994, Francis Field served as a centerpiece for the U.S. Olympic Festival as 3,000 athletes were housed on the campus for the country's top amateur sporting events.
In 1994, the Francis Field was again an Olympic focal point, as 3,000 athletes were housed on the Danforth Campus for the U.S. Olympic Festival.
Francis Field hosted the 1986 AAU/USA National Junior Olympic Games, the first and second National Senior Olympic Games, and the 1985 NCAA Division III National Men's Soccer Championship.
- Debate 2000 Washington University in St. Louis
- Spalding's report of the 1904 Summer Olympics. pp. 222-9, 233-47.
- D3football.com: Season Previews
- Washington University in St. Louis selected to host a 2004 presidential debate
- Washington University in St. Louis - Historical Campus Tour
|Events and tenants|
Public Schools Stadium
California Memorial Stadium
|Host of the College Cup
California Memorial Stadium