Built in 1923, Memorial Stadium serves as a living memorial for WWI Vets. Take a walk around the stadium colonnades on the second level; 183 of the 200 pillars each represent a U of I student that perished during WWI. During construction of the stadium, torrential rains caused a bulldozer to sink into the mud of what is now Zuppke Field. Being too expensive to remove, the bulldozer remains buried beneath the field to this day. Memorial Stadium was dedicated on October 18, 1924 during a game against the University of Michigan. In that legendary game, Illini player Harold ‘Red’ Grange scored six touchdowns in the first 12 minutes of the game. Rumor has it that shortly after Red Grange’s death in 1991, his wife spread his ashes on the field! Several renovations have expanded, and reduced, the seating of Memorial Stadium; today’s seating capacity is 62,870, while Astro Play replaced Astro Turf in 2001.
- Stadium gates open 1.5 hours prior to kick-off.
- No strollers, umbrellas, camera lenses, tri-pods, video cameras, banners, signs or coolers.
- No re-entry.
- No alcohol. Alcohol is served in the Premium Seating section only, and is not permitted outside the Premium Seating area.
- No bags or backpacks. Small purses or fanny packs may be allowed and are subject to search. As with most Big Ten football facilities today, it is best to leave all bags behind.
- Food in clear plastic bags, as well as sealed 20-oz. plastic bottles of water, are allowed.