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Commonwealth Stadium

Commonwealth Stadium is the name of a stadium in Lexington, Kentucky, USA. This stadium, named for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is located on the campus of the University of Kentucky and is the home field for the school’s football team, replacing the smaller Stoll Field/McLean Stadium. The field is named C.M. Newton Field in honor of retired UK athletic director and former baseball and basketball player C.M. Newton.

Built in 1973, it is the newest football stadium in the Southeastern Conference, as measured by date of original construction. The original capacity for the stadium was 57,800. In Commonwealth’s first game, played on September 15, 1973, the Wildcats defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 31–26, as quarterback Ernie Lewis ran for two touchdowns and threw for another touchdown to lead the Wildcats. The facility currently seats 67,942.

In 1999 both ends of the stadium were enclosed and 40 suites were added, 10 in each corner of the stadium, resulting in a symmetrical oval bowl. The total cost of the expansion was $27.6 million. During the 1999 season, Kentucky’s average home attendance for football games was 67,756. Attendance for the game against Tennessee that year was 71,022, which remained the record attendance until the Wildcats’ 2007 game against Florida drew 71,024. In recent years, crowds of over 70,000 have become very common.

Since 1999, fireworks have been shot from atop the suites after every Wildcat touchdown.

In July 2011, the University of Kentucky announced a massive audio and video upgrade to Commonwealth Stadium. These upgrades include two LED video boards each measuring approximately 37 feet (11 m) high by 80 feet (24 m) wide (2,960 square feet), making each display the 20th-largest scoreboard in the country. Combined, the 5,920 square feet (550 m2) will make the new video boards one of the largest scoreboard systems in the country. Additionally, a new custom audio system and over 1,800 linear sq/ft of video ribbon board will be implemented by September 10, 2011.

The approximate cost of the upgrades total close to $6 million.

The stadium is currently undergoing a $110 million renovation. The renovation includes a new press box, loge box seats, club seats, recruiting room, suites, concourses, bathrooms, lights and exterior facade while reducing capacity to around 61,000. The project is expected to be completed by the start of the 2015 season.

Commonwealth Stadium
1540 University Drive
Lexington, Kentucky 40506

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Commonwealth Stadium

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