Dacotah Field
Dacotah Field was originally located northwest of Ceres Hall, in what was a huge open area, bordered by the Cattle and Horse Barns to the north, University Drive (then 13th Street North) to the East, and Ladd and Dakota Halls to the west. Although the field wasn’t fenced until 1910, in the 1904-1095 catalog, the athletic field is first mentioned: “The athletic field contains football and baseball grounds, a quarter mile track for work in field sports, and is admirably adapted to the needs of the college.” (Annual Catalog of the North Dakota Agricultural College, 1904-1905, p. 90). In 1910, work was done on the field, which included a “substantial and artistic fence” donated by the American Steel and Wire Fence Company, and about eight feet to the inside and paralleling the fence, a hedge was added.

By 1912, the white fence surrounding the field was complete. It covered three sides with the south side being roped off when the season opened. White bleachers with a capacity of about six hundred . The hedges, which were planted on all sides of the woven fence surrounding the entire field, grew nicely and were expected to hide the enclosure from outside view. The field's entrance was located at the back of the Armory (Festival Hall). The first game on the new playing field saw the A.C. "Farmers" defeat the Wahpeton "Indians" by the astronomical score of 123 to 0 (The Weekly Spectrum, September 24, 1912)

The need for a modern athletic facility became glaring in the 1920s, but it was not until the mid-1930s that the NDAC Athletic Board of Control was able to act on this need. Through the federal government's Works Progress Administration (WPA) community construction projects were available. NDAC was successful in securing WPA services for the project. From November 1937 through the summer of 1938, the WPA provided men and material (to the tune of $28,000). NDAC invested $20,000 and the result was a 7,000 seat modern stadium including a quarter-mile cinder track (Souvenir Program, Dedication of New Dacotah Field, October, 1938).

As NDAC grew, it became necessary to move Dacotah Field further north. In 1949 the process began and the field was moved just north of the North Court Housing Units (today the site of the Bison Sports Arena). The move was completed by the start of the 1950 football season (Spectrum, September 16, 1949, p.2). After the move in 1949-1950, Dacotah Field underwent several changes. In 1952, two-thirds of the north stands were destroyed by fire.

With the building of the Bison Sports Arena (BSA) in 1970, Dacotah Field moved again, to the west end of the BSA. In 1972, a new 7,000 seat grandstand, purchased from the New England Patriots, replaced the old wooden bleachers. The new bleachers increased the stadium's seating capacity from 10,000 to 13,000 and contained 3,000 individual chair seats, a 4,000 bleacher style area, a combination built-in press box and other features. In 1975, artificial turf replaced the grass field and floodlights were added (Spectrum, October, 17 1952, p. 1; Spectrum, March 14, 1975, p. 11).

In 1992, the NDSU football team played its last regular season game on Dacotah Field. The construction of the Fargodome and the agreement between the Dome Authority and NDSU meant that all football home games would be played in the Fargodome. The Bison were victorious in the last game played at Dacotah Field defeating Morningside by a score of 24 to 7. Today Dacotah Field is used by the college for practice; the local high schools for practices and games; and the University for physical education classes.
33 photos · 10,551 views