Fairfield Stadium


Marshall played its last football game at Fairfield Stadium on Nov. 10, 1990.

Marshall Library Special Collections


A former garbage dump on Huntington’s South Side was not only the
football home of the Thundering Herd, but also countless
high school games and other events.

In 1925, when the West Virginia Legislature created the Huntington Board
 of Park Commissioners, it empowered the board to join with Marshall
 College and/or the Cabell County Board of Education to construct a
stadium. As a site for the new stadium, the board selected a
gravel pit owned and operated by businessman W.M.
 Prindle. The property once had been used as a
garbage dump. Prindle suggested the stadium
be called Fairfield, after his home county
 of Fairfield in Ohio, and his
idea prevailed.

The new stadium saw its first football game on Sept. 29, 1928,
 when Huntington High defeated Portsmouth (Ohio) High,
18-0. Marshall didn’t play its first game at
 Fairfield until the following Oct. 6.

Fairfield’s three-way ownership never worked well. With nobody solely
in charge, maintenance was neglected and the stadium was allowed
to deteriorate. In 1962, the situation became so dire the city
slapped a “CONDEMNED” sign on the stadium.
Repairs were made to keep the stadium open,
 but it was clear more had to be done.

Marshall was willing to upgrade Fairfield, but only if it became the stadium’s
 sole owner. In 1970, the park board and the school board gladly gave up
 their shared ownership. Marshall then installed an Astroturf playing
 surface, built new dressing rooms and made room for 6,800 more
seats by lowering the field. But even with those
 improvements, Fairfield was living
 on borrowed time.

Finally, with construction well underway on what would become
Marshall’s $30 million Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Marshall
played its last football game at Fairfield on Nov. 10, 1990,
 losing to Eastern Kentucky University, 15-12. After that,
Fairfield stood mostly unused. The dressing rooms
were remodeled to house Marshall’s Forensic
Science Center. Then came the decision to use
 the Fairfield site for construction of the $23.5
Erma Ora Byrd Clinical Center, and so the
 wrecking crew quickly demolished
what was left of the old stadium.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Sep. 26, 2023.


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