The specific information provided in this paper offers a descriptive history regarding the attempts of Southern Methodist University (SMU) to be “modern” through tracing the institution’s movement from one playing field to another. Like other southern universities, SMU started football and built an on-campus stadium of concrete and steel believing their legitimacy as an institution could be enhanced through providing football as a product for consumption. However, SMU is unique among many of its contemporaries because soon after building an on-campus facility, it decided to move off campus in the pursuit of greater name recognition and revenue. Collectively, such efforts were recognized as helping to make SMU the “educational surprise of the decade, if not the century,” following its opening in 1915. The modernization of SMU football stadia involves construction and renovation of facilities from Armstrong Field (1915) to Gerald J. Ford Stadium (current).
Seifried is with the Dept. of Sport Management, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. Tutka is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.