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Year Opened: 1924 | Field Surface: Artificial Turf
Michie Stadium, completed in 1924, is one of the older stadiums in the country and one of the most inspirational. Michie Stadium sits above the scenic Hudson River and has been voted by several football experts as having one of the best settings for watching a game. Several upgrades have provided Michie Stadium modern amenities while keeping its historic charm and tradition.
The stadium originally was dedicated to the memory of Dennis Mahan Michie, who was instrumental in starting football at West Point in 1890. Michie organized and captained Army's first team.
Michie Stadium has hosted the Army-Navy game just once, in 1943, although it was played twice in the 1890s in West Point. The game is generally played at a neutral site and of the 111 meetings, Philadelphia has hosted 83 games and New York 11. Navy leads the series 55-49-7.
Blaik Field at Michie Stadium was dedicated to Earl "Red" Blaik in 1999. Blaik coached Army to its three national championships (1944, 1945, 1946) and coached Heisman Trophy winners Felix "Doc" Blanchard, Glenn Davis and Pete Dawkins. Blaik is Army's winningest coach, with a 123-33-10 record in 18 seasons.
The mule has been Army's mascot since 1899, selected for the role because it had been used successfully for many military operations and was considered a stout, hearty animal. The mule debuted at a game in the same year as an answer to the Navy goat.
The Black Knights nickname was given to the Army football team by a sportswriter in the 1930s. The academy's teams were known by the name Cadets until 1999, when the athletic department started using Black Knights, which is now preferred. Both are acceptable.
Three hours before kickoff, a full-dress cadet parade (complete with tarbuckets -- the elaborate headdress worn by cadets) takes place on "The Plain," Army's vast expanse of lawn between Washington Hall and Trophy Point. Before games, a regiment marches in formation on to the field and leads the crowd in cheers. (Army's football games were staged on The Plain before Michie Stadium was built.)
Skydivers generally bring the game ball into the stadium before kickoff. Army cadets stand throughout the game. A cannon is fired for each point Army scores and cadets do push-ups for each point, as well.
After the game, players face the rest of the cadets and sing the Army alma mater.
A more recent addition to the fan experience at West Point is Black Knights Alley, an entertainment area geared for younger fans on the east side of Michie Stadium.
Source: United States Military Academy
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