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Virginia Tech Historical Data Book, Section 6.4:
Athletic Facilities


Proper athletic facilities in the early days were non-existent. Students desiring to play baseball merely found the most level spot available and played there. The first rugby football was played in the fall of 1891 on a far-from-level area behind Barracks No. I (Lane Hall). A small, ungraded area near the present Memorial Chapel was assigned for both athletic and military drill use in 1894 and was known as Sheib Field. The area was enlarged in 1902 and became known as Gibboney Field. In 1909 the area was graded and leveled, the grandstand enlarged, and the name changed to Miles Field. Miles Field was used for football, baseball, and track until Miles Stadium was completed in 1926. Miles Stadium was razed following the 1964 football season and was superceded by the present Lane Stadium.

The first gymnasium was known as the Pavilion. It was converted to that use from a mess hall in 1894. It was used as a gymnasium until a wooden field house was built and turned over to the Athletic Association in January 1915. Intercollegiate basketball was played in the old stone auditorium from January 1909 until 1915. The field house, the first building erected primarily for use as a gymnamium, burned down in 1923, and the Pavilion was pressed into use again until 1926, when Memorial Gymnasium was completed. Memorial Gymnasium was used for varsity basketball until January 1962, when the first game was played in the present Cassell Coliseum. A new field house, supplementing the gymnasium and coliseum, was completed late in 1971 across Spring Road from Lane Stadium.

A listing of major athletic facilities follows. Facilities no longer existing appear in italics:

AUDITORIUM - (See buildings section, following).

BASEBALL FIELD - Located between Lane Stadium and Cassell Coliseum. Completed 1954.

COLISEUM - Construction begun September 1960. All major construction completed December 1964. First basketball game played Jan. 3, 1962 (Tech 91, Alabama 67). Approximate total completion cost: $2,775,000; 187,000 sq. ft.; steel and concrete construction; roof supported by laminated wood arches; contains 9,876 permanent seats; first used for Commencement June 9, 1963; first used for an inauguration April 4, 1963 (Hahn); first used for concert purposes Nov. 19, 1963 (Mantovani Orchestra). Originally known as Student Activities and Physical Education Building.

FIELD HOUSE (Present) - Major construction completed fall 1971. Cost: $700,000. Primarily of stone and structural steel construction; 71,189 sq. ft.

FIELD HOUSE (Old) - Built 1914; burned down Nov. 4, 1923. Cost: approximately $18,000. First building erected primarily for use as a gymnasium; also used for dances. Was of wood construction, located on site approximately halfway between Newman Library and Eggleston Dormitory. Dedicated Jan. 27, 1915.

GIBBONEY FIELD - (See introduction, above).

GOLF COURSE - The present nine-hole golf course was opened in May 1958.

LANE STADIUM - Construction begun 1964; most major construction (190,357 sq. ft.; cost: $2,113,047) completed by 1969. Stadium first used for freshman football game Sept. 24, 1965 (Tech freshmen 8, U. of Maryland freshmen 8). First varsity game Oct. 2, 1965 (Tech 9, William and Mary 7). Stadium dedicated Oct. 23, 1965, at combined Homecoming and first Governor's Day football game (Tech 22, Virginia 14). Permanent seating capacity: 35,050; three decked press box seats approximately 350 (first deck guest box, 168; second deck sports writers and statistics crew, 109; third deck press box services, electronic media, scouts and coaches). An area underneath the cantilevered press box was glassed in 1971 to seat members of the "Golden Hokie" Club. Named for Edward Hudson Lane '10, chairman of the board of the Lane Co. and former member of the board of directors of the VPI Educational Foundation, president of the Student Aid Association, and former member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. Stadium financed completely through private funds and gifts.

MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM - Alumni started a campaign in 1919 to build a gymnasium to memorialize Techmen who had lost their lives in World War I. Building was completed and dedicated Oct. 23, 1926; pool section added in 1933. Total cost: $436,710; 91,594 sq. ft. In addition on to current use, building has been used in the past for varsity basketball (1926-1961) and an auditorium, dance and exhibition hall, radio and television offices, Alumni Association offices, and the College of Education. Formerly called World War I Memorial Gymnasium.

MILES FIELD - (See introduction, above).

MILES STADIUM - Original stadium seated 3,750 in permanent seats and cost $101,344. It was built in sections by class donations. First game played in stadium was a victory over Roanoke College Sept. 25, 1926; dedication game played Oct. 23, 1926 (Tech 6, Virginia 0); seating increased to 16,000, using temporary bleachers, by time facility was razed in 1964-65. Last game played in stadium was Nov. 7, 1964. Of 95 games played in the stadium, Tech won 66, lost 25, and tied 4. Stadium site is surrounded by O'Shaughnessy, Lee, and Pritchard dormitories. Named for Clarence P. "Sally" Miles '01, former director of athletics, graduate athletic manager, professor, and dean. Old Miles Field and the present Miles Dormitory were also named for C.P. Miles.

PAVILION - (See Buildings section, following).

SHEIB FIELD - (See introduction, above).

TRACK - An outdoor "Grasstex" track was completed in 1965. Cost: $78,000; located between the new Field House and South Gate Drive. Other tracks have been located in Miles Stadium, at Miles and Gibboney Fields, and inside Memorial Gymnasium (suspended track; removed in 1964).

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URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/archives/databook/text/chap6/6_4.htm
Last Modified on: Tuesday, 25-Sep-2001 08:16:08 EDT