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Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium

Building History
Other Names: Ficklen StadiumDowdy-Ficklen
Date Built: 1962/63
Date Razed:
Cost of Construction: $283,387
Gross Square Feet:
Assignable Square Feet:
Architects: Dudley & Shoe, Greenville, NC.

Namesake: James Skinner Ficklen (May 3, 1900 - September 17, 1955), a Greenville, NC, native, was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 1925 until his death, he was president and chairman of the Board for the E.B. Ficklen Tobacco Company of Greenville. As president of both the Tobacco Association of the US and the Leaf Tobacco Exporters Association, he became an important business leader in Greenville. Ficklen established the Ficklen Foundation in the early 1950s which, among other projects, sponsored scholarships for a number of students at ECU. This stadium was dedicated on September 21, 1963.

History: In 1994, the stadium was renamed Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium after million dollar donors to the Shared Vision Campaign, Ronald and Mary Ellen Dowdy. Ronald Dowdy, an ECU alumnus, was elected to the Board of Trustees in the fall of 1993 and served until 1996. He oversees Dowdy Properties of Orlando, Florida.

In 1995, Al and Debbie Bagwell of Lake Gaston, VA contributed a large gift to the Pirate Club and the field inside of Dowdy-Flicklen Stadium is now known as Bagwell Field.

Originally built to seat 10,000 people, Ficklen Stadium was designed for eventual expansion to 50,000 seats. It now seats 50,000 people. When first built, the concrete portion of the stadium measured approximately 280 feet in length with the highest of its fifty eight rows of seats being sixty feet above the ground. Ficklen Stadium's press box placed sportswriters and cameramen 75 feet above the field. The stadium was built entirely through public subscription funds. Ficklen Stadium replaced the 5000 seat College Stadium.

Since then it has undergone many improvements to become a most outstanding stadium. There are currently plans to have a new strength and conditioning center added to the west end of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Additions: Ficklen expansion 1978 1967/68 - W.M. Freeman Associates, High Point, NC, increased seating capacity to 20,000.

1970 - F.A. Miller Company, painted exterior

1974 - L.E. Wooten, installation of lighting

1977/78 - increased seating capacity to 35,000

1988 - $82,000 for a sound system

1991 - $1.6 million in repairs and renovations

1994 - stadium renamed Dowdy-Ficklen; roads improved around stadium

1996/98 - increased seating capacity to 50,000; improvements to Press Box made

1999 - unveiling of 12 foot, 3 ton Pirate sculpture; new scoreboard

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