Fall has officially made its appearance, and to many people this means the season of colorful leaves, chai lattes and apple picking. In Durham, however, the beginning of fall triggers a change in not only the environmental surroundings, but also in the Wildcat spirit. It means that Homecoming is right around the corner. Homecoming is an exhilarating tradition that starts with tailgating and hopefully ends with victory. Many UNH community members could argue that there’s no better place to be on Homecoming day than right on campus.
This past year has brought a lot of change to the environment that houses this beloved annual Wildcat tradition. After undergoing extensive construction that lasted from after the 2015 season until the summer of 2016, Cowell Stadium became Wildcat Stadium. The process had a direct impact on last fall’s Homecoming.
Students, alumni and other fans gathered to watch the Wildcats take on the Phoenixes of Elon University on the first Saturday of October last year. Then, the stadium that once seated approximately 6,500 people only had a seating capacity of 5,000. Though the option of standing room around the end zones and track could hold a couple thousand more, the quantity of holding room to the quantity of fans was undeniably restricted. As a consequence, there was less access to tickets available. In fact, there was a pre-sale for alumni due to the limited seating capacity.
“The capacity of the stadium was reduced significantly because of the construction of the new stadium… everyone was limited,” said Jon Danos, senior associate athletic director for External Relations.
Although the construction to the stadium restricted the number of available seats for fans to cheer on the Wildcats, its completion resulted in a plethora of benefits. The newly named Wildcat Stadium is even bigger and better than before. It’ll be interesting to see how the new stadium’s renovations will transform the Homecoming experience.20160907-_mg_9998-1-copy
Arguably the most notable change is the seating capacity, as it has more than doubled the amount to now being able to hold 11,015 fans. Along with this already impressive increase in seats comes a transformation of the stadium to house all of the amenities that fans could ever desire.
“We built an entirely new structure on the west side of the playing surface,” Danos said. “[Along with the new seating], we replaced what used to be bleachers, and now there are bathrooms, concession stands and more.”
Homecoming has been a beloved tradition in the Wildcat setting since the late 1940s. Considering both the importance and value it holds to the very merit of UNH, the athletic department has worked very hard to produce an environment that serves as a sanctuary for the UNH community. This is not only for the players who create the team, but also the generations of players and fans who have created a Wildcat spirit that is unbreakable.
In addition to the luxuries and benefits that the new construction has provided, there has been a recent change made in the ticket system provider. What was once an arguably troublesome process to purchase tickets through Ticketmaster has now transformed into a simplified and discounted experience through Glitnir.
Don’t miss out on your opportunity to watch the UNH Wildcats take on the College of William and Mary Griffins on Saturday, Oct. 1. Tickets can also be purchased the day of at Gate A. Go Wildcats!

Executive Editor