Drake Stadium
For Elvin Drake Stadium at UCLA, see Drake Stadium (UCLA). Drake Stadium is a stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. It is primarily used for the Drake Relays, and is the home field of the Drake University Bulldogs. It opened in 1925 and underwent a $15 million renovation in 2005. Widening the track reduced the stadium's seating capacity from 18,000 to 14,557. The football field at Drake Stadium is named in honor of Drake alumnus and football great, Johnny Bright and the track is name after famed announcer Jim Duncan. Drake Stadium has seen the Drake Bulldogs win ten conference championships in football, while advancing to twelve college football bowl games. As part of the stadium renovation an artificial surface was installed for both football and soccer. The stadium is also the home field for Des Moines Roosevelt High School and for some games for Dowling High School. Drake Stadium is also the home to the Drake Relays, one of the premier track and field meets in the country. Thousands of high school, college, and professional track athletes come to Drake Stadium in late April to compete in one of the largest track meets in the United States. The stadium also hosts the Iowa boys and girls high school track state championships. The 2005-06 renovation project improved many aspects of the stadium. The surface area of the stadium was flattened (previously the infield sat several feet lower than the track surface). It created a reconfigured track to meet NCAA, national and international standards, improved seating, and added a "safety lane" on the outside of the track for athletes (in the old configuration, fans could easily make contact with a competitor in lane 8). In addition, a new scoreboard with video screen was placed at the northeast corner of the stadium. In addition, Drake Stadium hosted the 1970 and 2008 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and will host the 2010 USA Open Track and Field Outdoor Championships in addition to the 2011 and 2012 NCAA Outdoors . The 2008 NCAAs doubled the previous four-day record crowd with a total attendance of 41,187 (including over 11,000 for the final day) despite heavy flooding in Des Moines. The renovated stadium is considered a contender for more future prestigious events, such as the U.S. Olympic Trials .