Since it’s college football season in the United States, let’s take a break to introduce Florida International University’s football stadium, FIU Stadium. Yesterday, September 8th, was FIU’s football home opener against the University of Akron. Last night was also the first game after the stadium’s lower bowl was completed. This expansion creates a completely enclosed stadium for the first time ever.
The stadium was originally built in 1994, opening in 1995 as “FIU Community Stadium.” The stadium sat only 7,500 on mostly temporary bleachers, but it served its purpose for local high school football teams. After FIU began its own football program in 2002, however, the stadium changed its name to “FIU Stadium” and plans began to form to build a full, permanent stadium on the same on-campus site. That permanent stadium came in 2008, when FIU opened its new 18,000-seat stadium against the University of South Florida on September 20, 2008. The new stadium demolished most of the old stadium, leaving behind just the small ticket offices from the 1995 stadium to the north. The new stadium added permanent seating in a C-shape, leaving a gap along the northern sidelines where the visitor fans would sit on temporary bleachers from the original 1995 stadium. Now on September 8, 2012, the lower bowl of the stadium was finally completed, giving FIU Stadium a seating capacity of about 25,000. Future plans call for FIU Stadium to add a second level that will expand capacity to around 50,000 seats.
- Miami Today News, March 8, 2007: FIU plans $50 million stadium, student center