Maxwell Field, home to Linfield football and track teams since 1928, underwent the most significant renovation in its long history during the spring and summer of 2004.
A $1.44 million facelift was funded entirely by private donations and volunteer labor. The facility features a new synthetic field, polyurethane track, stadium lights, as well as new scoreboard, color video display, and pressbox.
The enhanced facility was formally rededicated in Sept. 2004, at a ceremony following the final preseason football scrimmage.
FieldTurf, an artificial surface utilizing sand and rubber infill, replaced Maxwell Field's grass surface. The conversion from natural to artificial grass provides a consistent surface perfectly suited for the Wildcats' high-flying offense. With improved drainage and the absence of mud, the field remains in excellent playing condition even late into the season. The field no longer needs to be mowed, watered, fertilized or painted, lowering maintenance costs sharply.
More than 60,000 square feet of artificial surface was installed. Lettering, featuring "LINFIELD" in one end zone and "WILDCATS" in the other, was cut and sewn into place. A bright red, 10-yard wide "L" at midfield completed the field graphics. Sand and granule-sized pieces of recycled rubber give the field the necessary cushion.
The Atlas track is an Olympic-shaped 400-meter oval that features softer curves than the previous design, originally built to English standards. The old latex-based track was upgraded to a longer-lasting polyurethane surface, increasing the lifespan from approximately six years to 10-12 years. The competition areas for shot put, discus, and javelin were relocated, as were the long jump, high jump and pole vault pits and runways.
A state-of-the-art $264,000 Daktronics scoreboard and full-color video display replaced the 25-year-old scoreboard. The 10-by-25-foot scoreboard features red electronic LED digits that display the score, time remaining, as well as down and distance.
The video display screen measures approximately 10 feet high by 14 feet wide and is operated by a Venus 7000 controller. The technology uses red, green and blue LEDs to display video replays, as well as statistics, advertisements, graphics and animation. One fixed camera mounted high above on the film deck and a roving sideline camera feed the display board live action or instant replay.
NFL-sized field goal posts were put into place in each end zone, four Musco light towers were erected, and 25-second play clocks were upgraded.
The finishing touches of the project included a complete demolition and reconstruction of the pressbox. For the first time, the pressbox is entirely enclosed, creating a buffer for statisticians, game operations personnel and members of the media. The interior includes four broadcast booths, two coaches booths, eight remote statistics display monitors, internet access, as well as work space and permanent storage for the scoreboard, video and audio systems.
A large portion of the labor and materials for the pressbox were donated. More than 400 individuals and organizations contributed to the Athletics Master Plan.
The fall of 2007 welcomed a new $30,000 sound amplification system. The Sportsound 1000 features premium digital audio processing to ensure clear sound and intelligible speech. Linfield is the first college or university in the Northwest to install the all-in-one sound system.
Maxwell Field has served as host for 16 NCAA Division III playoff events since 2004 and was also the site of the 2005 and 2011 Northwest Conference track and field championships.
Linfield’s first sports field, circa 1896, was regarded as “the most satisfactory college athletic field in the state,” according to published reports of the time.
When Melrose Hall was constructed on the site of the original sports field in 1928, the football team relocated to the southeast portion of campus. The “new” gridiron was named in remembrance of J.O. Maxwell, who donated most of the money necessary to purchase the property. A 700-seat covered stadium was erected along the west sideline.
Over the next two decades, football grew in popularity. At the time, the college had little money available to build a larger football grandstand. However, federal funding was available for construction of college dormitories. School officials, using a creative approach, combined the two projects and the result was Linfield’s one-of-a-kind football facility. In 1947, Memorial Stadium and the accompanying residence hall was completed and named in memory of the Linfield men who died in the service of their country during World War II. The concrete, wood and brick stadium was built with a covered seating capacity of 2,250. When combined with portable seating, capacity is about 4,000. Beneath the grandstand are locker rooms and training facilities which were renovated in 1984. A detached building housing a ticket booth, concession stand and restrooms was added in 1989.