Goodwin Stadium

Prior to the 1930s, the Arizona State Teacher’s College football team played at Irish Field, which had bleachers capable of holding no more than one hundred spectators. Tempe businessman Garfield Goodwin arranged for the purchase of ten acres along Apache Boulevard for $7,000 in 1936 to build a new stadium. The contractor for the project was a young man named Del Webb, the real estate developer who created Sun City, Arizona. Some classes were relocated to rooms in the stadium, including the shops of the Industrial Arts Department. The project had to be rushed to finish in time for the home opener against Cal Tech.

President Gammage named the new stadium after Garfield Goodwin to honor this benefactor and Tempe leader. Bleacher seating was now available for up to 4,000 spectators. Publicity, season ticket promotions, and a redoubled effort at recruiting were pushed to fill the seats. As fan attendance began to greatly outgrow Goodwin Stadium, students pushed for a bigger facility. Potential locations narrowed to Papago Park or the land between the buttes at the north end of campus. The Tempe Buttes location was chosen for the 30,000 seat Sun Devil Stadium, which was completed in time for the 1958 season.

The old Goodwin Stadium was used for Tempe High School games and other events, including a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964. However, the university had other plans for the site, and Goodwin Stadium was demolished in 1976 to make way for a parking lot to accommodate the demands of the growing campus.

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