Spartan Stadium (East Lansing, Michigan)

Spartan Stadium opened in 1923 in East Lansing, Michigan, United States. It is primarily used for football, and is the home field of the Michigan State University Spartans. After the addition of luxury boxes and club seating in 2004–2005, the capacity of the stadium grew from 72,027 to 75,005—though it has held more than 80,000 fans—making it the Big Ten's sixth largest stadium.


In the early 1920s, school officials decided to construct a new stadium to replace Old College Field. The resulting stadium—the lower half of the current stadium—was ready in the fall of 1923 with a capacity of 14,000. Over the years, the stadium grew. In 1936, the field's track was removed and permanent north and south endzone seating was added, increasing the seating capacity to 26,000. This expansion was built as a part of the Works Progress Administration, an agency created by the New Deal that employed Americans to carry out public works projects.The facility was dedicated as Macklin Field, named in honor of former coach John Macklin, who put Michigan State football on the map with a 29-5 record from 1911 to 1915 with victories over big name programs such as Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin.
After admittance into the Big Ten in 1948, Michigan State increased stadium capacity to 51,000 and the field was renamed Macklin Stadium. With Spartan football attracting national attention under Clarence "Biggie" Munn and Hugh "Duffy" Daugherty, 9,000 seats were added in 1956. The following season, the east and west sides were double-decked, boosting the capacity to 76,000. That same season, the stadium received its current name, Spartan Stadium. The school installed permanent lights in 2017.
In 1969, TartanTurf replaced the natural grass field and a modern scoreboard was added in 1973. In 1978, AstroTurf replaced the TartanTurf. A new modern video scoreboard was added before the 1991 season. Renovations improving sight lines, field security, handicap access, and club seats in 1994 reduced Spartan Stadium's capacity to 72,027. New turf was also installed in the summer of 1994. In 1998, Spartan Stadium's sound system was upgraded, adding a 21' x 27' Mitsubishi Diamond Vision video board to the south end and a message board to the north end. Home to one of the top turfgrass research programs in the nation, Michigan State installed a natural grass field in 2002. The most recent expansion was completed in August 2005. A new press box, 24 luxury suites, and 862 club seats were constructed on the west side of Spartan Stadium. This addition made Spartan Stadium the tallest building in East Lansing.

Homefield advantage

Through the 2012 season until their game against Notre Dame, the Spartans had won 15 straight games in Spartan Stadium—the program's longest home streak since winning 19 straight from 1950-53. Michigan State went undefeated at home in back-to-back seasons including marquee wins over Wisconsin, Michigan, and Notre Dame, marking the first consecutive perfect home seasons since 1955-56.

Special events


For almost nine years, the stadium held the world record for the largest ice hockey crowd in history. On October 6, 2001, a rink was constructed at the center of the stadium for Michigan State's season-opening game against archrival Michigan. Dubbed "The Cold War", 74,554 watched No. 1 nationally ranked Michigan State and No. 4 nationally ranked Michigan to a 3–3 tie. Country artist Shannon Brown sang during the second intermission. The game set off a wave of outdoor ice hockey games in large stadiums.
DateAway TeamScoreHome TeamAttendance
October 6, 2001Michigan3-3Michigan State74,554



On September 3, 2005, Spartan Stadium unveiled an 8-story, expansion which had been under construction since 2003. At a total cost of $64 million the project created:
The Stadium renovation was done under a joint venture of Clark Construction and Barton Malow Construction Company.

Video board renovation

On January 27, 2012, the Michigan State Board of Trustees voted for a Video Board Renovation and Audio Package upgrade. The cost of the renovation was $10 million. Features include:
The new scoreboards were unveiled on August 31, 2012, when the Spartans defeated #24 Boise State 17-13. The game was the 12th night game in the history of Spartan Stadium.


Game days at Spartan Stadium provide opportunity for tailgating. Popular locations include the tennis courts, "the rock", and around the MSU library area on north campus. Open alcohol is permitted on campus during tailgating hours, .