M. M. Roberts StadiumEdit profile
M. M. Roberts Stadium is an American football stadium located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. It is the home of The University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles football team. The stadium was originally opened on October 29, 1932 as "Faulkner Field", with a wooden grandstand which held 4,000 spectators at the time. It was named for local businessman L.E. Faulkner, who financed the materials and equipment for the stadium, which was built for free by local unemployed workers during the Great Depression. In 1938, permanent concrete stands which also housed dormitory space for student-athletes were built on the east side of the field, with the help of Southern Miss football players hauling the concrete. It was from this that the stadium received the nickname "The Rock" (in reference to prison work crews -- none of which were used to build the stadium). The stadium was expanded again in 1950, when the 7,500-seat West Stadium Dormitory stands were built for $350,000. Later, 2,000 bleacher seats were added, as well as new lights (the stadium had lights as early as 1934) and a new scoreboard. By the end of this expansion, the stadium sat 15,000. In 1976, the stadium was rebuilt, with two sets of double-decked grandstands on either side for $6.3 million. It was opened on September 25, 1976 with a loss at the hands of in-state rival Ole Miss. The new stadium (but not the field itself) was renamed for M. M. Roberts, an alumnus of then-Mississippi College and member of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. He is credited for helping to build the school up to its current university status, the largest such school in Mississippi south of Jackson. In 1989, the current press box was added. Other improvements to the stadium include the Southern Miss Athletic Center, a field house and athletics training facility opened in 2002 in the north end zone, new lighting poles, new south stands that are being added, as well as the new Momentum Turf field added in 2004. The new playing field was renamed Carlisle-Faulkner Field in honor of the contributions of Gene Carlisle, an entrepreneur and alumnus who funded much of the project to add an artificial surface to the stadium. The playing field at Roberts Stadium underwent a name change in the 2004 summer when it was renamed Carlisle-Faulkner Field at M.M. Roberts Stadium in honor of entrepreneur, Southern Miss graduate and Golden Eagle supporter, Gene Carlisle, who provided outstanding support and contribution to the Athletics Department and the University - much of which went to the installation of a new playing surface - Momentum Turf by Sportexe. In 2008, the university opened an addition to the stadium that encloses the south end zone, adding nearly 4000 seats and 33 specialty suites. The expansion included luxury boxes as well as a new scoreboard in the North Endzone and premium seating and a club level on the east side of the stadium. The World Renowned "Pride of Mississippi" Marching Band now sits in the new expansion in the south end zone. On September 5, 2009, the attendance record of 36,232 was set in the 2009 season opener against Alcorn State. The stadium has seen many great Southern Miss players throughout its years, including Derrick Nix, Sammy Winder, Reggie Collier, Hall of Fame kicker Ray Guy, and quarterback Brett Favre.