Thompson Stadium

Last updated
Thompson Stadium
Thompson Stadium 1942.jpg
Looking south at 1942 Army-Navy Game, [1]
the third and most recent at Annapolis
Full name Robert Means Thompson Stadium
Location United States Naval Academy
Annapolis, Maryland
Coordinates 38°58′43″N76°28′59″W / 38.9786°N 76.483°W / 38.9786; -76.483 Coordinates: 38°58′43″N76°28′59″W / 38.9786°N 76.483°W / 38.9786; -76.483
OwnerUnited States Naval Academy
OperatorUnited States Naval Academy
Capacity 12,000
SurfaceNatural grass
Construction
Built1914
Opened 1914
Demolishedearly 1980s
Tenants
Navy Midshipmen (NCAA)
(19241958)
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Red pog.svg
Annapolis 
Location in the United States
USA Maryland location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Annapolis
Location in Maryland

Robert Means Thompson Stadium was an American football stadium in the eastern United States, located on the campus of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Constructed in 1914, it was the home stadium of the Navy Midshipmen from 1924 through 1958, and was named after alumnus Robert Means Thompson (1849–1930). He created or led several athletically-based organizations at the academy until his death. It was succeeded by the larger Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in 1959, [2] the current venue of Navy football.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team with possession of the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with the ball or passing it, while the defense, the team without possession of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs or plays; if they fail, they turn over the football to the defense, but if they succeed, they are given a new set of four downs to continue the drive. Points are scored primarily by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

Stadium Place or venue for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts, or other events

A stadium is a place or venue for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a tiered structure designed to allow spectators to stand or sit and view the event.

East Coast of the United States Coastline in the United States

The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, the Atlantic Coast, and the Atlantic Seaboard, is the coastline along which the Eastern United States meets the North Atlantic Ocean. The coastal states that have shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean are, from north to south, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Contents

Before its conversion to a football stadium, the Thompson Stadium site was an unused area on the south end campus, near the water of Annapolis Harbor. Work on the stadium began in 1914, and was finished later the same year. The seating capacity was 12,000, [3] and it underwent few changes during its entire use. It was surrounded by a regulation quarter-mile (402 m) running track, and only had a single seating section, along the southwest sideline. The field had a northwest-southeast alignment, at an elevation slightly above sea level.

Seating capacity number of people who can be seated in a specific space, in terms of both the physical space available, and limitations set by law

Seating capacity is the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, in terms of both the physical space available, and limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats hundreds of thousands of people. The largest sporting venue in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has a permanent seating capacity for more than 235,000 people and infield seating that raises capacity to an approximate 400,000.

Elevation Height of a geographic location above a fixed reference point

The elevation of a geographic location is its height above or below a fixed reference point, most commonly a reference geoid, a mathematical model of the Earth's sea level as an equipotential gravitational surface . The term elevation is mainly used when referring to points on the Earth's surface, while altitude or geopotential height is used for points above the surface, such as an aircraft in flight or a spacecraft in orbit, and depth is used for points below the surface.

Sea level Average level for the surface of the ocean at any given geographical position on the planetary surface

Mean sea level (MSL) is an average level of the surface of one or more of Earth's bodies of water from which heights such as elevation may be measured. The global MSL is a type of vertical datum – a standardised geodetic datum – that is used, for example, as a chart datum in cartography and marine navigation, or, in aviation, as the standard sea level at which atmospheric pressure is measured to calibrate altitude and, consequently, aircraft flight levels. A common and relatively straightforward mean sea-level standard is instead the midpoint between a mean low and mean high tide at a particular location.

During the 1940s, the Naval Academy began to look for options to construct a new, larger football stadium. The school's directors collected money to build the stadium, for which much support was given by the public, due to the lack of seating at Thompson Stadium. Construction on the new stadium began in 1958 and it opened in September 1959. [2] Use of Thompson Stadium ended for varsity games, but it remained until the early 1980s, when it was replaced by Lejeune Hall, [4] the venue for USNA water sports.

Name

From its origins until 1931, Thompson Stadium went without a name, [5] and was referred to on maps as simply "Football Field." [6] That year on May 30, the stadium was formally dedicated as the Robert Means Thompson Stadium, for the benefactor and alumnus of the Naval Academy. [7] Born in March 1849, Thompson graduated from the Naval Academy as part of the class of 1868. He was commissioned as an officer in the Navy in 1869, but retired two years later to pursue a career in law. After leaving the navy, Thompson became active in helping with the athletics program at the academy, donating the Thompson Cup, an award given to the academy's athlete with the greatest improvement throughout the course of the season. In addition, he served as the head of several Naval Academy organizations and founded the Naval Academy Athletic Association. [8]

History

The Naval Academy's football team played their first game 140 years ago in 1879, an away game against the Baltimore Athletic Club, which ended in a scoreless tie. [9] The Navy football team, not yet known as the "midshipmen," [10] did not have an official stadium. For the duration of the 1880s, during which the squads obtained a record of thirteen wins, twelve losses, and two ties, the football squads most likely played home games on an unused drill or parade field. [5] [9] From the beginning of the 1890s until 1924, a period in which the Navy squads finished with an overall record of 202–82–23 (.695), the football team used Worden Field, a large multi-use athletic field for their home games. [5] [11]

Worden Field

Worden Field is a large grass field located on the campus of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. First mentioned in 1890, the field served as the home stadium for the academy's Midshipmen football team from that year through 1923, replaced by Thompson Stadium in 1924. Since the early 1900s, the field has hosted all of the academy's various yearly parades and many of its drills. It has progressively grown smaller, due to the addition of buildings and roads within the academy.

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Navy Midshipmen sports organization

The Navy Midshipmen are the athletic teams that represent the United States Naval Academy. The academy sponsors 33 varsity sports teams and 12 club sport teams. Both men's and women's teams are called Navy Midshipmen or "Mids". They participate in the NCAA's Division I, as a non-football member of the Patriot League, a football-only member of the American Athletic Conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), and a member of the Collegiate Sprint Football League (men), Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (men), Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges, Eastern Intercollegiate Gymnastics League (men), and Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association. Navy is also one of approximately 300 members of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).

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Wesley Brown Field House

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Navy Midshipmen baseball

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The 1883 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy in the 1883 college football season. The team was the third intercollegiate football squad to represent the United States Naval Academy, and the first time the school participated in consecutive seasons. The squad was captained by member Frank Hill. The team played just a single game, a 2 to 0 (2–0) shutout loss to Johns Hopkins, which was the school's first ever loss. The squad was the first to have the approval of the academy's staff, and is regarded as the first official game played by the Midshipmen. The season continued a seven-season, eight game rivalry between the Naval Academy and Johns Hopkins.

Navy–Johns Hopkins football rivalry

The Navy–Johns Hopkins rivalry was an American intercollegiate football rivalry between the Navy Midshipmen football team of the United States Naval Academy and the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays football team of Johns Hopkins University. The two institutions, located within the span of a few miles in the state of Maryland, first met for a football game in 1882. Following the initial contest, both teams played each other annually for eight years, before it was called off for unknown reasons. The teams competed again in 1911 and 1912, again disbanding the contest until a final match took place in 1919.

The 1884 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy in the 1884 college football season. The team was the fourth intercollegiate football squad to represent the United States Naval Academy, and was the final time the school played a single-game season. The squad was captained by rusher Jim Kittrell. The team's single game was a 9 to 6 (9–6) defeat of rival-school Johns Hopkins. The season continued a seven-season, eight game rivalry between the Naval Academy and Johns Hopkins. It was the final season that a Naval Academy team would go unbeaten and untied.

The 1885 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy in the 1885 college football season. The team was the fourth intercollegiate football squad to represent the United States Naval Academy, and marked the first time that the school played a multiple-game season. The squad was captained by halfback Cornelius Billings. The year began with a blowout victory over St. John's College, but was followed by close losses to Johns Hopkins University and the Princeton Tigers reserves squad. The season continued a seven-season, eight game rivalry between the Naval Academy and Johns Hopkins, and began a ten-game, seven-year rivalry with St. John's.

1977 Navy Midshipmen football team

The 1977 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy (USNA) during the 1977 NCAA Division I football season. Navy competed as an independent with no conference affiliation. The team was led by fifth-year head coach George Welsh.

1959 Navy Midshipmen football team

The 1959 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy (USNA) during the 1959 college football season. Navy competed as an independent with no conference affiliation. The team was led by first-year head coach Wayne Hardin.

The 1887 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy during the 1887 college football season. The team compiled a 3–1 record and outscored its opponents 41 to 22. The Midshipmen shut out their first three opponents, including an 8–0 victory in the seventh installment of the Navy–Johns Hopkins football rivalry. The Johns Hopkins game was played at the Academy grounds in Annapolis, Maryland, and was described by The Sun as "a veritable slugging match" and "one of the roughest games of football" ever seen there. In the final game of the 1887 season, the Midshipmen lost to the Princeton Tigers "B" team in the final game of the season. The team captain was George Hayward.

2019 Navy Midshipmen football team United States Naval Academy in the 2019 NCAA Division I FBS football season

The 2019 Navy Midshipmen football team represents the United States Naval Academy in the 2019 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Midshipmen are led by twelfth-year head coach Ken Niumatalolo and play their home games at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Navy is a member of the American Athletic Conference (AAC) in the West Division.

References

Footnotes
  1. "Navy's 14-0 win adds final touch to unusual service clash". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). Associated Press. November 29, 1942. p. 13.
  2. 1 2 "Navy is winner in new stadium". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. September 27, 1959. p. 3, sports.
  3. "Contract is let for Navy Stadium". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). November 15, 1922. p. 14.
  4. "1972 Reef Points map". USNA Parents Club of North Texas. 9 October 2010. Archived from the original on 14 November 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  5. 1 2 3 Kiland et al., p 191
  6. United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (Map) (1924 ed.). Cartography by C.E. Miller. United States Army. June 30, 1924. § L31-M33.
  7. "Navy Dedicates Stadium In Honor Of Thompson". The Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. AP. 31 May 1931.
  8. Royston 2009 p. 213
  9. 1 2 Navy 2005 p. 154
  10. Staff (2013). "U.S. Naval Academy Facts, Figures and History". Traditions. United States Naval Academy . Retrieved March 14, 2013.
  11. Navy 2005, pp. 154157
Bibliography
Annapolis, Maryland Capital of Maryland

Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. Situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, 25 miles (40 km) south of Baltimore and about 30 miles (50 km) east of Washington, D.C., Annapolis is part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. Its population was measured at 38,394 by the 2010 census.

United States Naval Institute private military association

The United States Naval Institute (USNI), based in Annapolis, Maryland, is a private, non-profit, professional military association that seeks to offer independent, nonpartisan forums for debate of national defense and security issues. In addition to publishing magazines and books, the Naval Institute holds several annual conferences.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

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