Kelly/Shorts Stadium

Southeast CampusKelly-Shorts-stadium.jpg 

Kelly/Shorts Stadium

Central Michigan University plays its home football games in Kelly/Shorts Stadium. A $28 million expansion project following the 1997 season added 10,000 seats to the stadium, increasing its capacity to 30,199 spectators. A two-tiered press box, locker room and nine guest suites also were included in the expansion project. The football program has faced the Florida Gators, Iowa Hawkeyes, Michigan State Spartans, and the Michigan Wolverines in recent years.

The first game played at Kelly-Shorts stadium was a Homecoming victory won against Illinois State on November 4, 1972. This was the first collegiate game played on Astroturf in Michigan. Since 1972 the turf has been replaced twice, in 1983 and 1993. In 1986, a $140,000 scoreboard complete with a full-color message center was erected at the south end of the stadium. In addition, Kelly/Shorts also received a new auxiliary scoreboard in the north end zone. A $550,000 renovation to the locker room complex was completed prior to the start of the 1996 season.

In 2004, the Astroturf was removed in Kelly-Shorts Stadium in favor of FieldTurf, a new synthetic playing surface.

The facility was originally named Perry Shorts Stadium in honor of R. Perry Shorts, a Saginaw banker who was a 1900 graduate of Central Michigan and a generous donor. In June of 1983, the CMU Board of Trustees voted to rename the stadium Kelly/Shorts Stadium in honor of Kenneth "Bill" Kelly, who coached the Chippewa football team to a 91-58-2 record from 1951 to 1966.