Mackay Field and Stadium

Mackay Field and Mackay Stadium were made possible through the extensive generosity of Clarence Mackay, son and heir of Comstock silver baron John Mackay. In 1908, the same year that he provided funding for the Mackay School of Mines, the John Mackay statue, and the university quad, Clarence Mackay turned toward improving the campus athletic facilities.

Prior to this, those facilities had consisted of a gymnasium, located on the current site of the Ansari Business Building, and Evans Field, a natural hollow to its northeast rented from J.N. Evans, where football games were played. Built in 1896, the gymnasium served as a physical education facility, dance pavilion, and auditorium, and allowed the University of Nevada to be competitive in intercollegiate sports for the first time. It was home to the 1899 women's indoor basketball team, which secured the first real intercollegiate victory won by a University of Nevada team.

In 1908, Clarence Mackay purchased Evans Field and deeded it to the university, and paid for the construction of the Mackay Stadium to provide a better facility for hosting sports practices and games for such sports as football, rugby, and track and field. The stadium had an oval, quarter-mile cinder track surrounding a new and improved football field, and rows of concrete bleachers that could seat 2,700 people. The stadium won praise as a sign of the University's continued growth and dedication to a quality sports program.

When the University of Nevada football team played their first game in Mackay Stadium on dedication day, Saturday, October 23, 1909, it was considered one of the finest athletic facilities on the west coast of the United States. In 1910, a two-story brick building known as the Training Quarters was completed beside the field, to allow University of Nevada teams to train nearby.

The location of the former athletic field and stadium is now known as Hilliard Plaza or Hilliard Quad, and is surrounded by the Ansari Business Building, Mack Social Sciences Building, Schulich Lecture Hall, the Chemistry Building, the Leifson Physics building, and the Reynolds School of Journalism. A plaque commemorating the stadium can be found on a rock in the north-center of the plaza.

Images

Under construction

Under construction

Training Quarters building under construction, ca. 1909. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Mackay Training Quarters

Mackay Training Quarters

The Mackay Training Quarters stood beside Mackay Field from 1910-1965. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Gymnasium on the hill

Gymnasium on the hill

The historic gymnasium stood from 1896-1964. It was built after a series of fundraisers, enabling university to participate in intramural sports in its early years and was home to many special events such as performances, sports, and commencement. The hollow behind the gymnasium, Evans Field, was developed as a football field and later became the first Mackay Field and Stadium. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Baseball team

Baseball team

The Baseball team poses in front of Mackay Training Quarters, circa 1911. Photo by Dana Photo (San Francisco). Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Track

Track

Runners approach the tape at the finish line during a high school track meet at the University of Nevada, 1911. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Women's field hockey

Women's field hockey

The women's varsity field hockey team practices on Mackay Field, 1925. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Homecoming, 1926

Homecoming, 1926

The 1926 Homecoming football game, University of Nevada v. St. Mary's. Rows of parked cars are in the foreground. Players are at edge of Mackay Field, near the 50-yard line. Photo by Keith Scott and John Babcock of Jewel Studio, (Reno, NV). Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

High jump

High jump

The University of Nevada track team perform the high jump at a track meet in 1940. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Football

Football

Football with the Mackay Training Quarters in the background in 1952. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Football team, 1954

Football team, 1954

University of Nevada football Wolf Pack opens its 1954 season entertaining the San Francisco State Gators at Mackay Stadium. Members of the squad are, top row, left to right; Bob Ferrari, John Mayerhoff, Buddy Piazzo, Jim Wittenberg, Bill Howton, Walt Ryals, Dick Bankofier, George Ball, Jim Thornton, Chuck Harrison, Phil Hatch, Jack Hogan, Mike Marfisi. Middle row, left to right are: Feffler, John Scrivani, Ed Jesse, Frank Sullivan, Otis Blankenship, Dave Ryan, Jim Fast, Mike Leslie, Jerry Booth, Joe Viani, Boyce Ford. Bottom row, left to right; Lee Schroder, Ken Fujii, Bob Litton, Jim Chapman, Frank Garcia, Jim Baker, George Mross, Floyd Justus and Jim Wright (September 1954). Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Empty stadium, 1960s

Empty stadium, 1960s

Mackay stadium as it stood in the 1960s. The Virginia Street Gymnasium and Lincoln Hall are visible behind the stadium Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Marching band, 1962

Marching band, 1962

University of Nevada marching band and head majorette in the fall of 1962. Photo by T.J. "Doc" Kaminski, News Service, UNR. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Governor's Day protest, 1970

Governor's Day protest, 1970

Students on Mackay Field protest the killings at Kent State University during Governor's Day in 1970. ROTC cadets are in the foreground. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Video

Football at Mackay Field, 1937

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Student acrobats at Mackay Field, 1937

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Rugby / football on Mackay Field

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Track and Field events

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Women's field hockey at Mackay Field

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Cite this Page:

Amanda Buell and Reno Historical Team, “Mackay Field and Stadium,” Reno Historical, accessed August 16, 2017, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/76.
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