|Former names||Madison Stadium (1975-1981)|
JMU Stadium (1981-1989)
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
|Owner||James Madison University|
|Operator||James Madison University|
|Opened||September 20, 1975|
|Construction cost||$62 million (expansion)|
|Architect||HKS, Inc. (Sports Design - expansion), Moseley Architects (Architect of Record - expansion)|
|James Madison Dukes football (1975-present)|
Bridgeforth Stadium is a football stadium located on the campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The stadium is home to the James Madison Dukes football team. The playing surface is named Zane Showker Field.
Bridgeforth Stadium, with a seating capacity of 24,877, is currently the largest stadium in the Colonial Athletic Association and 13th largest at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level.
Originally named Madison Stadium, it was built in 1975 and had a capacity of approximately 5,200. The stadium was originally designed as a multi-purpose facility, and hosted football, track and field, lacrosse, and field hockey events. In addition, the stadium contained indoor racquetball courts, several classrooms, support space for the JMU ROTC program, and administrative offices for JMU varsity athletic teams and media relations. In 1981, the stadium then called JMU Stadium, underwent its first expansion which included a second set of seats giving it a total capacity of more than 12,000. The stadium was again renamed in 1990 for William E. Bridgeforth, former member of the JMU Board of Visitors. In 2003 the field was named in honor of JMU benefactor Zane Showker (whose name is also on the building for JMU's School of Business). In 2004, the university added a new scoreboard with video replay features, which was dismantled after the 2010 season as part of a significant renovation of the entire facility. It was replaced by a much larger video scoreboard behind the south endzone. In 2006, the existing artificial turf was replaced with FieldTurf. The stadium is situated in the Lakeside area of campus, and is adjacent to the multimillion-dollar Plecker Athletic Center and a five story parking deck.
A major stadium renovation and expansion project began in December 2009. The expansion included the demolition of the then existing west stands, removal of the track, and the construction of a $62 million, two-tiered complex in its place. After completion in August 2011, Bridgeforth Stadium's seating capacity was raised to 24,877 permanent seats. In addition to increased seating, the expansion included the construction of a larger video and scoreboard, the addition of 17 suites, a club lounge with chairback seating, and increased stadium lighting. All total, the completion of the Bridgeforth Stadium and Zane Showker Field complex, including the Plecker Athletic Performance Center and parking deck, represents an investment of approximately $90 million.
On September 10, 2011, the Dukes played for the first time in the newly expanded stadium. In front of a sellout crowd of 25,102 fans, the Dukes defeated the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut State University by a score of 14-9.
Some of the recent notable games in JMU history that have been played at Bridgeforth Stadium are: