The Bison football, men's lacrosse and men's and women's track and field teams all compete at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium, which pays tribute to one of Bucknell's most distinguished alumni and to its numerous war veterans.
The stadium, dedicated in 1924 in honor of Bucknell men and women who served the United States in time of war, was renovated and renamed in 1989 to honor one of Bucknell's most distinguished alumni and one of the true heroes of American sports.
Christy Mathewson was one of the five original members of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., but gained his initial athletic fame as a fullback, punter and dropkicker at Bucknell from 1898-1900.
One of the truly outstanding players of his era, Mathewson kicked a point after touchdown in the first varsity game of his freshman year, and in the next three years added 13 touchdowns and eight field goals.
Mathewson gained national attention when he dropkicked two field goals against Pennsylvania in 1899 and added a 45-yard field goal against Army the following year. As a result, he was named the "12th man" on Walter Camp's 1900 All-America team.
Reports in Bucknell files indicate that Mathewson practiced his dropkicking hour after hour, and these reports also note that his punting was exceptional throughout his career, a three-year stretch during which he scored 106 points.
"Matty" was also a punishing runner, and one game account makes note of a 65-yard touchdown run and a 70-yard kickoff return.
The facility that bears Mathewson's name has been almost completely refurbished in the last 20 years. A new locker room and weight room were constructed in 1987. The Tom Gadd Weight Room was updated with brand new equipment in 1999, allowing Bison players an outstanding facility for daily use and weight training.
In 1988, the horseshoe edifice was totally resurfaced and new seating was added. New concession stands, rest rooms, ticket booths and souvenir stands were added a year later, along with an eight-lane, all-weather track, which was resurfaced in 2003.
The section at the south end of the stadium was landscaped in 1988, and a new scoreboard and messageboard was added.
The most recent upgrades include new lights, which feature a nearly 10-fold increase in candle power, and a new FieldTurf playing surface. The synthetic grass, a gift from Norm Garrity '63 and his wife, Mary Lou '64, was laid in the summer of 2001 and drew rave reviews in its initial seasons.
Encircling the football field is an eight-lane Rekortan Track, originally laid in 1989 and replaced in 2002 and again in 2012.
Seating Capacity: 13,100
Surface: Synthetic Field Turf/Eight-lane Rekortan Track
Built: The stadium, which opened Oct. 18, 1924, originally seated 18,000 and was the largest structure of its kind in Pennsylvania at the time.
Renovated: 1988 - south end seating converted to landscaping
1989 - all-weather track, new scoreboard, concession stands and restrooms installed
2001 - FiedTurf installed
2002 - running track replaced
2012 - New FieldTurf and track surfaces installed
Namesake: Christy Mathewson
Other: Norm Garrity '63 and his wife, Mary Lou '64, who donated the funds for the FieldTurf, were honored in a special pre-game ceremony prior to the Sept. 29, 2001 victory over St. Mary's (Calif.).