This Saturday afternoon (November 3, 2018), marks the end of an era. West Texas A&M University football says goodbye to Kimbrough Memorial Stadium. Since 1959, the stadium has stood as a symbol of pride for WT fans and students. Back on May 11th, WT broke ground on a new, state of the art stadium on campus. The new facility will be open in time for the 2019 football season. Meanwhile, Kimbrough has been sold to the Canyon ISD to continue using for high school football and sporting events. There are currently plans to remodel the aging stadium to bring it more up to date.

Saturday, WT will face Texas A&M Kingsville for the last home game of the 2018 season. Kickoff is 6:00pm, but you can come down much earlier than that. Each home game begins on "The Range," the official tailgate party area, presented by United Supermarkets. As always, there will be free food, music, games, giveaways, and more! Don't miss this last chance to celebrate the Buffs at Kimbrough.

Rendering of the new stadium. Credit: WT
Rendering of the new stadium. Credit: WT

More about Kimbrough Memorial Stadium:

Originally known as the Buffalo Bowl, the facility was renamed Kimbrough Memorial Stadium in 1971 in honor of the late WT football coach and athletic director Frank Kimbrough. Operation of the stadium has been facilitated by the Canyon Independent School District since 1991, when the University leased Kimbrough to the Canyon Independent School District in a 99-year, $99-agreement.

The location, just off the Interstate 27 on the Amarillo-Canyon Expressway, was chosen for its ground features that made a bowl-like construction easier for the Neil Singleton Construction Company of Amarillo. The $700,000 financing was handled, in part, by donated money from boosters desiring to replace the old 7,000 seat, on-campus structure that occupied land where the Administration Building, Killgore Research Center and Cornette Library now stand.

The stadium received its first major overhaul since its opening on Sept. 26, 1959, when a new synthetic grass surface known as Field Turf was installed in 2003, replacing the original Bermuda-grass field.

Its east-side chair back section, which was the original home side, had power outlets every two seats affording fans power for electric blankets, radios, coffee pots, and even the new portable television sets.

The stadium's dedication in 1959 served as the centerpiece for the University's 50th anniversary celebration and was attended by U.S. Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, U.S. Representative Walter Rogers, members of the Board of Regents of Texas State Teachers Colleges, and delegates from about 40 colleges and universities across the Southwest.

The first game ever played in the Bowl also marked the first visit to the Panhandle by longtime Border Conference rival University of Arizona. A crowd of 11,000 fans saw the Wildcats defeat Coach Clark Jarnigan's young Buffs, 7-6, when freshman quarterback Corky Dawson was stopped in his attempt to run for two points after he had scored the Buffs' first touchdown in the new stadium on a 10-yard keeper. The first victory by WTAMU in the new stadium was a 34-21 decision over Drake University on Halloween in 1959. In the stadium's first day game, Virginia Tech defeated the Buffs 26-21.

WTAMU defeated Angelo State 37-7 on Oct. 3, 1998, in the 200th Buff game played at Kimbrough. The Homecoming game drew 12,240 spectators, the most since 1982. The mark would be shattered in 2005, as 22,993 fans packed Kimbrough Stadium on Oct. 8 to watch the Buffs defeat rival Eastern New Mexico, 52-51, in overtime to claim the Wagon Wheel Trophy and their first conference championship since 1986. But the largest crowd to ever pack Kimbrough Memorial occurred on Oct. 13, 2007, when 23, 276 fans witnessed watched WT defeat Eastern New Mexico, 62-31.

The Buffs have led the nation in Division II attendance figures the last three seasons when Coach Don Carthel was at WT, averaging just under 14,000 fans per regular season home contest during the 2005 campaign, over 12,000 fans per game during the 2007 season and have twice seen crowds in excess of 22,000 pack the historic bowl in each of the past two years.

In the 2009 WTAMU football season, we celebrated the 50th year anniversary at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium. Here are some videos that were featured during the game.



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