Gerald J. Ford Stadium
Gerald J. Ford Stadium is a stadium
A modern stadium is a place or venue for outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a structure designed to allow spectators to stand or sit and view the event.)Pausanias noted that for about half a century the only event...

 in University Park, Texas
University Park, Texas
University Park is a city in Dallas County, Texas, United States, and a inner suburb of Dallas. The population was 23,324 at the 2000 census. The city is home to Southern Methodist University. Like its neighbor, Highland Park, it is a city partially surrounded by the municipality of Dallas...

, one of the two "Park Cities"
Park Cities, Texas
Park Cities is a term commonly used in reference to two communities in Dallas County, Texas - the town of Highland Park and the city of University Park...

 that form an enclave
Enclave and exclave
In political geography, an enclave is a territory whose geographical boundaries lie entirely within the boundaries of another territory.An exclave, on the other hand, is a territory legally or politically attached to another territory with which it is not physically contiguous.These are two...

 within the city limits of Dallas
Dallas, Texas
Dallas is the third-largest city in Texas and the ninth-largest in the United States. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the largest metropolitan area in the South and fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States...

. The stadium is used primarily for football, and it is home to the Southern Methodist University (SMU)
Southern Methodist University
Southern Methodist University is a private university in Dallas, Texas, United States. Founded in 1911 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, SMU operates campuses in Dallas, Plano, and Taos, New Mexico. SMU is owned by the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church...

SMU Mustangs
The SMU Mustangs is the name of the athletic teams representing Southern Methodist University. The Mustangs participate in the NCAA's Division I as a member of Conference USA. In 2005, SMU accepted an invitation to the Western Division of Conference USA, and left the Western Athletic Conference...

 and is frequently used for local high school football games. It was the last on-campus stadium in NCAA Division I-A (now Division I FBS) to open in the 20th century.

The building stands on the site of the former Ownby Stadium
Ownby Stadium
Ownby Stadium was a stadium in the University Park neighborhood of Dallas, Texas. It was the home of the Southern Methodist University Mustang football team.Named for Jordon Ownby, the stadium was built at the south end of the campus...

, the school's previous on-campus football stadium. Ownby was demolished starting in late October 1998 in order to clear the land designated for the new stadium. Ford Stadium opened on September 2, 2000 with a football game against the University of Kansas
University of Kansas
The University of Kansas is a public research university and the largest university in the state of Kansas. KU campuses are located in Lawrence, Wichita, Overland Park, and Kansas City, Kansas with the main campus being located in Lawrence on Mount Oread, the highest point in Lawrence. The...

. The north-south oriented stadium is bowl-shaped, with stands on three sides (west, east, and north). SMU can one day develop south side seating, extending the stadium's seating capacity
Seating capacity
Seating capacity refers to the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, both in terms of the physical space available, and in terms of limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats...

 to 45,000.

The stadium is named after Gerald J. Ford
Gerald J. Ford
Gerald J. Ford is a successful Texas banker known for buying and selling thrift banks. Ford bought his first bank in 1975 for $1.2 million and later sold it for a profit of $80 million....

 (who should not be confused with former U.S. President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Gerald R. Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

), a billionaire banker who provided most of the funding for its construction.

Outside the northeast corner of the stadium is Doak Walker
Doak Walker
Ewell Doak Walker, Jr. was an American football player who is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a teammate of Bobby Layne in high school and the NFL.-Early life:...

 Plaza, honoring the former Heisman Trophy
Heisman Trophy
The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award , is awarded annually to the player deemed the most outstanding player in collegiate football. It was created in 1935 as the Downtown Athletic Club trophy and renamed in 1936 following the death of the Club's athletic director, John Heisman The Heisman Memorial...

 winner and SMU's greatest football star. The plaza includes a life-sized replica of the Doak Walker Award
Doak Walker Award
The Doak Walker Award, first awarded in 1990, honors the United States's top college football running back. It is named after the Southern Methodist and Detroit Lions football player Doak Walker...

 trophy, awarded annually to the nation's top college football
College football
College football refers to American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities...

 running back
Running back
A running back is a gridiron football position, who is typically lined up in the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, and to block.There are usually one or two running...

. The northwest corner is connected to the Loyd All-Sports Center, which contains locker, training, and office space for SMU athletics, as well as the Spirit Shop, the office of the Alumni Association, and the Athlete Education Center.

On September 24, 2010, the regular season attendance record was set at Gerald J. Ford Stadium when 35,481 people watched the TCU Horned Frogs
TCU Horned Frogs
The TCU Horned Frogs are the athletic teams that represent Texas Christian University, consisting of 18 varsity teams. The "horned frog" nickname and mascot refer to the Texas horned lizard, as known as the "horned frog". The women's athletics teams are often referred to often as the Lady Frogs...

 face off against the SMU Mustangs
SMU Mustangs
The SMU Mustangs is the name of the athletic teams representing Southern Methodist University. The Mustangs participate in the NCAA's Division I as a member of Conference USA. In 2005, SMU accepted an invitation to the Western Division of Conference USA, and left the Western Athletic Conference...

. TCU won the game, 41–24. The overall attendance record is set at 36,742 for the 2010 Armed Forces Bowl
2010 Armed Forces Bowl
The 2010 Armed Forces Bowl was the eighth edition of the college football bowl game, and the first of two editions to be played at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the campus of Southern Methodist University in the Dallas enclave of University Park, Texas. From the bowl's inception as the Fort Worth Bowl...

 between SMU and the Army Black Knights
Army Black Knights
Army Black Knights is the name of the athletics teams of the United States Military Academy. They participate in NCAA Division I-A as a non-football member of the Patriot League, a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision independent school, and a member of Atlantic Hockey, the Collegiate Sprint...


On September 15, 2007, the Gerald J. Ford Stadium hosted one of the rare ‘#1 vs. #2’ matchups in high school football
High school football
High school football, in North America, refers to the game of football as it is played in the United States and Canada. It ranks among the most popular interscholastic sports in both of these nations....

, as Miami Northwestern
Miami Northwestern High School
Miami Northwestern Senior High School is a public high school located in Miami, Florida, United States, serving students in grades 9-12. It serves the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami. The school colors are Old Gold and Royal Blue...

 beat Southlake Carroll 29–21 in front 31,896 fans and an ESPNU
ESPNU is a television channel that specializes in college sports, and is produced by, affiliated with and owned by parent network ESPN. ESPNU originates out of ESPN Regional Television's ESPNU (often referred to as The U) is a television channel that specializes in college sports, and is produced...


External links

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