A new era of Gamedays began at Abilene Christian in September 2017 with the opening of Wildcat Stadium and the beginning of traditions such as Wildcat Country Tailgating in the Campus Mall.
An unprecedented number of students, alumni, friends, parents, faculty and staff – more than Gameday organizers had anticipated – turned out to celebrate Opening Weekend, first with a Chapel session in the stadium on Friday morning, followed by a free concert by rock band NEEDTOBREATHE that night.
“I enjoyed seeing students there, laughing and singing along and having fun, and seeing them earlier yesterday on the field and in the stands for Chapel, praising God and creating memories,” ACU president Dr. Phil Schubert (’91) said at a brunch honoring donors to the stadium Saturday morning, including April (Bullock ’89) and Mark (’86) Anthony.
“Anthony Field at Wildcat Stadium was made for moments like those and for what we’ll experience later when the Wildcats take the field for the first game. It was made to be a place where students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, friends and neighbors can be drawn into closer community with one another. From student-athletes to members of Big Purple, from fans who come from out of town or down the street, Wildcat Stadium is for everyone.”
De’Andre Brown (’17), from Lewisville, Texas, scored the first touchdown at Wildcat Stadium.
“That has been a goal of mine since there was just a pile of dirt out here where the stadium is now,” Brown told acusports.com. “I’ve been thinking about that touchdown for two years.”
“The win capped off an amazing day,” he said. “There was a great Gameday feeling on the campus from the morning all the way through the end of the game. Honestly, we didn’t know we had that many people that cared about us and loved us and wanted to come out and watch us play. It was terrific.”