|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 six years.|
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.
Going into its 55th season in the venerable stadium, Appalachian State boasts a 225-72-5 all-time record at Kidd Brewer Stadium, including wins in 71 of its last 85 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. Over the last decade (2005-14), more than 1.75 million fans have passed through the KBS turnstiles with attendance surpassing the stadium’s official seating capacity for 54 of the last 58 regular-season games going into the 2015 campaign.
Since 2005, the average attendance for a regular-season game at Kidd Brewer Stadium has been 23,779, a mark that comes in at 117 percent of the stadium’s average official seating capacity during that time. Appalachian State led NCAA Division I FCS in regular-season attendance in each of its final seven seasons in the FCS ranks and, despite a 1-5 start and inclement weather for much of its initial NCAA Division I FBS home campaign, still ranked third in the Sun Belt Conference in 2014.
To meet the demand of Mountaineer fans, Appalachian State has added nearly 7,000 seats to the stadium since 2007. Kidd Brewer Stadium’s official seating capacity was 16,650 in ‘07 but three separate expansion projects in the last seven years have upped the number of seats to 23,150.
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, compiled 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 the Mountaineers hosted McNeese State, houses state-of-the-art strength and conditioning, athletic training and academic facilities that benefit all 20 of Appalachian State’s varsity sports, as well as extensive locker rooms, meeting space and offices for App State football 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.
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.