Built in 1997, Princeton Stadium is a facility simplistic in goals and complex in structure.Princeton Stadium was built with more than just football Saturdays in mind. Instead it stands as an extension of the campus, and its goal is to be integrated into the daily life of the University. The stadium concourses are always open, and the facility has served as a meeting and banquet place for many constituents.
Through a generous gift from alumnus William C. Powers ’79, FieldTurf was added to the stadium to provide an ideal playing surface for both games and practices. The new “Powers Field” at Princeton Stadium was dedicated in the fall of 2007. A state-of-the-art video scoreboard, which offers in-game replays, interactive fan entertainment and a professional-style pregame introduction, was also introduced last year. Since the introduction of FieldTurf, Princeton is 7-3 on Powers Field.
Princeton Stadium stands on the site that was once Palmer Stadium, though the new stadium is approximately 70 feet closer to Nassau Street than its predecessor. Palmer Stadium was the home to Princeton football from the time it was built in 1914 until it closed after the 1996 season.
Princeton Stadium has a seating capacity of 27,800, with room for more than 30,000 in the building. To get a good feeling for the facility, consider these two facts: Princeton Stadium sits 15 feet higher from the turf to the top point of the stadium than Palmer did; yet, Princeton Stadium’s closest seats are merely 17 feet away from the field.
The wall-building, which surrounds the seating area on three sides, is one of the most unique features of the stadium. It was built from 3,500 precast pieces of concrete, the heaviest of which weighs 80,000 pounds, or the size of 56 offensive lines.
There are two main purposes of the wall-building. First, it helps the stadium maintain Palmer’s historic horseshoe design while still allowing seating on four sides. Second, the wall-building houses the press box, a lounge, concession stands, rest rooms and an auxiliary scoreboard.The lighting provides 80 foot-candles uniformly over the playing area, which allows for night games not only in football but also in lacrosse or soccer.
The public address system is a Turbosound Flashlight loudspeaker system, the same system that has been installed in NFL stadiums in both Oakland and Green Bay. There are fall mums planted around the old Palmer Memorial Stadium stone, which has been preserved and placed in the center of the northern concourse.
Princeton University's Palmer Stadium, the second-oldest football stadium in the United States, was torn down last summer. The stadium was built in a four-month period of 1914 and was the home for Princeton football and track and field for 82 years.
The new facility, Princeton Stadium, is being built on the same site as Palmer, and will have separate venues for track and football. It is scheduled for completion in time for the 1998 football season.
Palmer Stadium opened (on Oct. 24, 1914) and closed (on Nov. 23, 1996) with football games between Princeton and Dartmouth. In all Princeton played 461 football games in the stadium and had a record of 283-161-17.
Palmer also played host to memorable moments in many other sports, most notably track and field. The end of the stadium ensures that Jesse Owens will forever have the Palmer record for the long jump, which he set in 1936. Other Olympians to have competed at Palmer include Al Oerter, Edwin Moses and Lynn Jennings.
The new stadium will have a smaller seating capacity of 30,000, as compared with Palmer's 45,750. Unlike Palmer there will be seating in the new stadium's east end zone, though there will be a wall-building attached to the structure on three sides to simulate Palmer's traditional horseshoe design.
A common structure in the east end zone will join the two facilities and have seating for football and track and field, thus creating the new athletic complex.