Brooks Field is one of the oldest football stadiums in existence, tracing its origins back to 1892 as the playing field of the Colorado School of Mines. Originally it was a dirt surface athletic field in exactly its current configuration, built within a clay pit, a fitting mined-out home for the Orediggers. Its earliest known athletic contest is possibly a 50-0 victory by Mines over Jarvis Hall, CSM's onetime sister school, in 1892. It has been home to the football Orediggers through all but the first four years of their existence (their previous home were the now-destroyed grounds at the southeast corner of 19th and Illinois streets in Golden), and has been renovated several times throughout its existence. The field was originally called Athletic Park, and was re-christened Brooks Field in 1922. It is named after Ralph D. Brooks, onetime Trustee of the Colorado School of Mines.Renovations
Historic photographs show Brooks Field as a dirt surface, without grandstands and surrounded by a board fence. Despite such conditions it is known to have hosted crowds of spectators, who could have used nearby slopes to view games from. Later early wooden grandstands were added to the park. In 1922 and 1924 the current grandstands were built by noted local builder William "Cement Bill" Williams. This featured wooden bench seats upon a steel superstructure, with home and visiting locker rooms, public restrooms and refreshment stand beneath. In 1922 the dirt surface was converted to natural grass, which it has remained ever since. Originally home also to the CSM baseball team, it became a primarily football facility in 1937 after baseball was moved to Darden Field just to the west. During the 1930s a Federal Emergency Relief Administration project scooped out the slopes at the west side of Brooks Field to make room to construct a track around the surface, and it has hosted track and field events since. Around the 1980s the grandstands were renovated to cover most wooden benches with metal surfaces and create a central concourse, along with steps down to the field level.Notable events
Brooks Field has hosted many notable athletes and teams over its many years of play. Although missing out on the legendary 103-0 victory of the Orediggers over the University of Colorado in 1890 as well as their first Colorado Football Association championship in 1891, it has hosted 14 championship football teams since then as well as homegrown Major League Baseball players Albert E. Jones and Roy Hartzell. Hartzell's brother Lester was the first quarterback to play at this stadium.Championship Football Teams
The Orediggers have fielded 17 football champion teams within over a century of play:
1891 - Colorado Football Association Champions^ 1892 - Colorado Football Association Champions^ 1893 - Colorado Football Association Champions 1897 - State Inter-Collegiate League Champions 1898 - Colorado Football Association Champions 1904 - Colorado Football Association Champions 1906 - Colorado Football Association Champions 1907 - Colorado Football Association Champions 1912 - Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Champions 1914 - Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Champions 1918 - Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Champions 1939 - Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Champions 1942 - Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Champions 1951 - Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Champions 1958 - Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Co-Champions 2004 - Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Champions 2010 - Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Co-Champions
^Orediggers played at original grounds south of the Mines campus in these seasons
- Brooks Field hosted the latter part of the Orediggers' 18-game football winning streak against collegiate teams that spanned from 1888-1894.
- The 3rd perfect and 4th unbeaten season of the football Orediggers took place here in 1893 (5-0-0, CFA Champions).
- Brooks Field hosted the latter half of the football Orediggers' streak of 6 winning seasons from 1888-1894.
- CSM's earliest known football loss at Brooks Field took place in 1896 to the University of Colorado (a 30-0 shutout).
- The first live televised football game in Colorado history took place here on November 15, 1952, a game between the Orediggers and Colorado College shown on Channel 2 (it would be 52 more years before the next televised CSM game took place).
- The only football playoff game at Brooks Field took place on November 13, 2004 as the Orediggers beat Midwestern State University.