|Location||2531 North State Street|
Jackson, Mississippi 39216
|Operator||Jackson State University|
|Record attendance||64,112 (Miss. State vs. Southern Miss. 1981)|
Ole Miss Rebels (alternate site) (1953–1996)
Mississippi State Bulldogs (alternate site) (1953–1990)
Jackson State Tigers (1970–present)
Egg Bowl (1973–1990)
SWAC Championship Game (2021-present)
Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium is an outdoor football stadium in Jackson, Mississippi, United States. Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium has been the home stadium of the Jackson State Tigers football team since 1970. Originally known as War Veterans Memorial Stadium, it was later known as Hinds County War Memorial Stadium. It was redesigned and enlarged in 1960 and Ole Miss vs. Arkansas dedicated Mississippi Memorial Stadium in 1961 before a capacity crowd of 46,000. With political support from Ole Miss and Mississippi State and leadership from Ole Miss Athletics Director Warner Alford, Mississippi Memorial Stadium was enlarged to 62,500 in 1981 and on September 26, 1981 Ole Miss and Arkansas again dedicated the facility before 63,522.
As referenced, for many years Mississippi Memorial Stadium served as an alternate home stadium for the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University, and occasionally the University of Southern Mississippi. From 1973 to 1990 the Egg Bowl was played there and from 1992 to 2013 it hosted the Mississippi High School Activities Association state championship football games. In addition to college and high school games it has hosted several National Football League (NFL) preseason games. The Stadium was renamed Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in 1995. In 2021, the stadium hosted the spring edition of the SWAC Championship Game.
|Miss. State vs. Southern Miss.||November 7, 1981||64,112|
|Miss. Valley vs. Alcorn State||November 4, 1984||63,808|
|Ole Miss vs. Arkansas||September 26, 1981||63,522|
|Ole Miss vs. Miss. State||November 22, 1980||62,520|
|Jackson State vs. Alcorn State||November 23, 1996||62,512|
|Jackson State vs. Alcorn State||November 19, 1994||62,512|
|Ole Miss vs. Miss. State||November 21, 1981||61,153|
Construction on the facility began in early 1949 and it opened in 1950 with a seating capacity of 21,000. By 1953 temporary seating had brought the capacity up to 25,000 and in 1961 the stadium was expanded to hold 46,000. Then in 1981 it underwent an expansion that brought total capacity to 62,512, although subsequent renovations dropped the current seating to the official 60,492 seats. In 1960 the state legislature took over control of the stadium and it remained under their supervision until 2011 when "operational, administrative and managing powers and duties" were transferred to Jackson State University.
The stadium hosted its first football game on December 9, 1950, a contest between Holmes Junior College Bulldogs and the Kilgore College Rangers of Kilgore, Texas. A crowd of 18,000 saw Holmes fall to the visiting Rangers 32–12. The first Division I-A game took place on November 22, 1952, when Southern Mississippi defeated Louisville 55–26. Ole Miss first played their first game there on September 19, 1953, defeating Chattanooga 39–6, and on Halloween day of that same year, Mississippi State played there for the first time, suffering a 27–20 loss to Texas Tech.
From the 1950s through the 1990s, Ole Miss (University of Mississippi), Mississippi State, and Southern Miss regularly played selected "home" games there, including "SEC doubleheader Saturdays" in which one school would host a conference opponent in the morning or afternoon and the other would host a conference opponent at night. Notably, the annual Egg Bowl contests between Ole Miss and Mississippi State were held there from 1973 through the 1990 contest, after which the game returned to the two schools' respective campuses. Shortly after the 1980 expansion both Ole Miss and Mississippi State decided to enhance their on-campus facilities to develop the same home-field advantage of their fellow Southeastern Conference members, and gradually stopped playing games in Jackson altogether. The last game played there by an SEC school was a blowout win by Ole Miss over Division I-AA VMI in 1996; the Rebels' last conference game at Jackson was a 1993 win over Arkansas. Mississippi State's last home game at Jackson was a 34–22 victory over LSU in 1990 and their last game of any sort there was the 1990 Egg Bowl where they lost to the Rebels 21–9 playing as the visiting team. Southern Miss made regular appearances as well, playing both UM and MSU as well as games against such schools as Texas A&M (which joined the SEC in 2012). The Golden Eagles played their final home game there in 1988, a 38–21 win over Mississippi State.
The stadium was also host to the annual Capital City Classic between Jackson State and Alcorn State University, both of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, from 1993 to 2010. Starting in 2011 the game began to alternate between Veterans Memorial Stadium and Alcorn State's home field, Jack Spinks Stadium, in Lorman when The Braves exercised their right as the home to host the game on their campus. In a document published on the Alcorn State website University President M. Christopher Brown II and interim athletic director Dwayne White informally dubbed the game the "Soul Bowl".
From 2000 to 2004 Veterans Memorial was home of the renewed Backyard Brawl between Millsaps College and Mississippi College. On September 2, 2000, after a 40-year hiatus, the two schools resumed their football series and in front of a reported crowd of 10,200 spectators. Millsaps defeated Mississippi College 20–19.
From 1992 to 2013 the Mississippi High School Activities Association state championship football games were played at the stadium, but on July 20, 2014 MHSAA executive director Don Hinton announced that those games would begin rotating between Davis Wade Stadium at Mississippi State and Vaught–Hemingway Stadium at Ole Miss.
The facility faced an uncertain future as Jackson State University explored and proposed building an on-campus venue.
In the spring of 2013 Jackson State unveiled a proposal for a 50,000 seat, $200 million domed stadium that would also house the Tigers' basketball team, host concerts, and host special events. In addition to seating 50,000 for football, it would hold 17,000 for basketball and 21,000 for concerts and include 75 sky boxes for rental. The JSU Sports Hall of Fame would have been located on the first floor.
... the ultimate goal is that we have our own stadium close to campus just because we think that would be more beneficial to JSU.— Michael Thomas, JSU vice president of business and finance.
If JSU had relinquished control of the stadium, the University of Mississippi Medical Center expressed interest in using the property to build a medical research and treatment "city" in the area. If Jackson State had built a stadium either on or close to its campus UMMC would have regained ownership of the old facility and it would have been razed.
We don't have a football team, so we would have no use for the stadium. So we would develop a plan for the development for that property ... There's a lot involved here, and we don't want to cloud the issue. We want to make sure everyone understands that we're in full support of Jackson State.— Dr. David Powe, UMMC chief administrative affairs officer.
The 1993 Drum Corps International World Championships were held there with the Cadets of Bergen County taking 1st place.
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