of Northwest football, Bearcat Stadium, has FieldTurf
with seating facilities and an approximate capacity of
7,500. Bearcat Stadium is located adjacent to Lamkin
Activity Center and off College Avenue. Homes just across
the street from the stadium and Northwest residence halls at
the north end of the stadium give Bearcat Stadium an
intimate, collegiate feel.
State University’s football facility has been called Bearcat
Stadium since 2004. This beautiful, state-of-the-art
facility, called "the crown jewel of the MIAA" by the Kansas
City Star, was formerly known as Rickenbrode Stadium.
Bearcat Stadium is the
longest-running continuous site for football in all of NCAA
Division II. No other stadium in Division II has played host
to its team’s games for as long. The Bearcats’ athletic
field was first located behind the Administration Building.
But in 1913, the team’s games were moved to the field at the
In 1917, construction
was completed at the new field and it was named Memorial
Stadium. The facility was re-named Rickenbrode Stadium in
1961 by University President J.W. Jones. It was named
Rickenbrode Stadium in honor of long-time Northwest employee
and Bearcat supporter William Rickenbrode. For nearly 44
years, the facility was named for Rickenbrode.
In 2000, the first of
a wave of major changes to the stadium took place. The east
grandstand was completely rebuilt. This project was funded
solely by Northwest students. The renovations weren’t
finished, however. Following the 2001 season, demolition of
the west grandstand and construction of the new west side
had begun. The Bearcats played the 2002 season with
temporary bleachers and a temporary press seating area.
In 2003, the
new-and-improved stadium was unveiled. The new construction
included an increased seating capacity on the west side,
chairback and railback
seating, 10 luxury suites, a spacious and functional press
area and a new scoreboard, complete with video board. The
most recent set of renovations was funded entirely by
private funds. Some of those private funds were behind the
re-naming of the stadium in 2004.
A small group
of anonymous donors wished to give a generous donation to
the stadium project. They did not want to be identified.
Instead, their wish was that the stadium honor everyone who
was involved with making the facility what it is today. From
“Mr. Bearcat” William Rickenbrode to the students who were
responsible for the renovation on the east side of the
stadium and all the donors and others who were involved with
the west side renovations, all are Bearcats in one way or
another. Therefore, Northwest’s football facility will now
honor all of them and be known as Bearcat Stadium.