Saturday, November 3, 2007


I have to admit, I'm not much of a football fan (my father, who lives and breathes OSU football, still doesn't understand how we're related), but in honor of the Cavaliers' big nail-biter of a victory over Wake Forest today and the accomplished season they've been having overall this year, I thought I'd offer a little postcard history tour of the UVa football program.

Since 1931, the Cavaliers have called Scott Stadium home. But the 61,500-seat Scott Stadium we see today bears little resemblance to the much smaller Scott Stadium of 50 years ago (or even the version of 25 years ago, for that matter). And yet the Scott Stadium of 50 years ago was a giant compared to the previous home of UVa football -- Lambeth Athletic Field, located behind today's Lambeth Dorms.

Taking it back even one step further -- for the first 15 years or so after the program's inception in 1888, UVa played its home football games in the "Mad Bowl" behind Madison Hall.

The earliest image I have of Lambeth Field, circa 1905 (prior to construction of the colonnades you see below).

s Lambeth just a few years later (circa 1916). At least one journal of that era, according to this excellent history of Lambeth Field from the Cavalier Daily, described it as "the finest athletic stadium in the South, and one that compares very favorably with the stadiums at Syracuse and Harvard." Season tickets back in 1913 could be had for the bargain price of $7.50 for students and $9.50 for alumni.

Lambeth again, circa mid-1920s. This structure had 8,000 seats and cost $35,000 to build.

Scott Stadium was 10 years old in 1941, when this postcard was mailed. At the time, the stadium held 25,000 people. Look how much green space there was! (Vivid contrast to today.)

Circa 1951. According to its wikipedia entry, Scott Stadium is the oldest Division I football stadium in Virginia.

Back in the late 1960s, Scott Stadium was on the far edge of UVa's grounds. Not so much anymore!

Scott Stadium, 1970. I wonder whatever became of those two young people at the bottom left...

And just for kicks, here's Scott Stadium today (photo by Mike Ingalls of TheSabre.Com):

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