KIDD BREWER STADIUM
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Kidd Brewer Stadium has undergone extensive renovations, most notably the 120,000-square-foot Appalachian Athletics Center on the stadium's west side, over the past five years.
Despite the standard salutation afforded to all visitors to Kidd Brewer Stadium, The Rock has offered anything but a warm welcome to opponents since it opened as Conrad Stadium on Sept. 15, 1962.
    
In addition to boasting of the most picturesque settings for any sports venue in North America, with Appalachian State’s beautiful, modern campus and the natural beauty of the High Country serving as a backdrop, Kidd Brewer Stadium also stakes claim to being one of the toughest venues in the nation for a visiting team to leave with a victory.
    
The 2012 season marked the 50th anniversary of the opening of the venerable stadium, where Appalachian boasts a 219-66-5 all-time record, including wins in 65 of its last 73 home games.
    
Along with the scenic surroundings and plethora of Mountaineer victories, Appalachian State faithful also enjoy one of college football’s premier gameday atmospheres at The Rock. Since the beginning of the 2005 season, more than 1 million fans have passed through the KBS turnstiles with attendance surpassing the stadium’s official seating capacity for 46-straight regular-season games going into the 2013 campaign.
    
Since 2005, the average attendance for a regular-season game at Kidd Brewer Stadium has been 26,780, a mark that comes in at 133 percent of the stadium’s average official seating capacity during that time. Appalachian State has led NCAA Division I FCS in regular-season attendance each of the past six seasons.     
    
To meet the demand of Mountaineer fans, Appalachian State has added nearly 7,000 seats to the stadium over the past five years. Kidd Brewer Stadium’s official seating capacity was 16,650 in 2007 but four separate expansion projects in the last five years have upped the number of seats to 24,050.
    
Officially opened on September 15, 1962 as Conrad Stadium, in honor of former University trustee and R.J. Reynolds executive William J. Conrad, the stadium was originally constructed with 10,000 permanent seats.
    
Conrad Stadium was renamed on Sept. 3, 1988 in honor of Kidd Brewer, one of the most successful head coaches in Appalachian football history and a colorful part of North Carolina history. Brewer, a Winston-Salem, N.C., native who served as head football coach of the Mountaineers from 1935-38, complied a 30-5-3 overall mark in his four seasons at the helm of the Apps. An All-American at Duke, Brewer’s 1937 squad was unbeaten and unscored upon in the regular season.
    
After leaving Appalachian, Brewer started a sales career, but shortly thereafter reported for active duty in World War II. He served as a Naval lieutenant in the Pacific. After the war, Brewer was secretary to U.S. Sen. Josiah W. Bailey (D-N.C.). Upon Bailey’s death in office Brewer served his replacement, Sen. William B. Umstead, as administrative assistant.
    
Brewer returned to North Carolina and ran for lieutenant governor in 1956. Between campaigns for governor (1964) and state court of appeals (1968), he made a name for himself as a developer, insurance salesman and philanthropist.
    
The stadium has undergone many facelifts since its construction, but still stands as a beacon to the Mountaineer faithful.
    
Seating capacity was expanded from its original 10,000 to 18,000 with the addition of 8,000 seats on the stadium’s west side following the 1978 season. Completion of an extensive renovation and restoration project on the original 10,000 seats in 1995 readjusted the permanent seating capacity to 16,650.
    
The capacity remained at 16,650 until 2008, when a 4,400-seat upper deck on the stadium’s east side and the renovation of handicapped seating areas upped the amount of permanent seats to 20,150.
    
In 2009, The Rock wrapped up its most extensive facelift to date with the opening of the 120,000-square-foot Appalachian Athletics Center. The Appalachian Athletics Center, which was officially unveiled on Sept. 12, 2009 when ASU hosted McNeese State , houses state-of-the-art strength and conditioning, athletic training and academic facilities to benefit all 20 of Appalachian’s varsity sports, as well as extensive locker rooms, meeting space and offices for ASU football and coaches and centralized offices for athletics administrators.
    
The Appalachian Athletics Center also provides additional stadium seating in the way of 18 luxury suites, 600 club seats and spacious club-level and Chancellor’s Box areas that offer spectacular views of the playing surface and campus. When the facility opened in 2009, Kidd Brewer Stadium’s official seating capacity rose to 21,650.
    
In 2011, the stadium expanded for the third time in five years when 1,500 seats were added just feet from the playing field in the north end zone, raising the official seating capacity to 23,150. A fourth expansion in six years came last season, when an additional 900 seats were added in the north end zone, bringing The Rock’s official capacity to its current 24,050.
    
Other stadium enhancements throughout the years include the state-of the-art “AppVision” videoboard that was added in 1999 and enlarged prior to the 2001 season. In 2008, the “AppVision” videoboard was outfitted with a new widescreen display that is nearly twice the size of the previous screen. In 2013, LED ribbon boards were installed on the stadium’s east and west sides.  
    
Kidd Brewer Stadium’s playing field has also been on the cutting edge throughout its history. In 1970, the stadium’s original natural grass was replaced with the Carolinas’ first-ever artificial surface. In 2003, Appalachian became one of the initial collegiate programs in the country to install FieldTurf as its football surface and, in 2011, Kidd Brewer Stadium became the first venue in the nation to feature FieldTurf’s new ‘Revolution’ playing surface.