The newly renovated Lumberjack Stadium is a major façade of the $106 million Health and Learning Center (HLC), providing Northern Arizona University with one of the top soccer facilities in the West. Located on the north side of campus, the Lumberjack Stadium location remains rich in history.
The covered facility will hold 1,000 fans in chair-back seating to watch home contests for the Northern Arizona women’s soccer program after serving as the main football facility at NAU for 20 years. The Lumberjack soccer program has advanced to two NCAA College Cups since 2008 while winning a combined three Big Sky Conference Championships. They opened the new stadium on Aug. 26, 2011.
New lights blanket the field that meets the minimum NCAA dimensions of 65 yards wide by 120 yards long, allowing for highly popular evening matches. There is also a new press box, locker room facilities and coaches’ offices for the team, while HLC provides offices and locker rooms for women’s golf, tennis, track and field and other NAU Athletics staff members.
The women’s soccer program christened its home 15 years ago Oct. 24, 1997, with a Big Sky Conference tilt against Cal State Northridge. It was a match to remember, as Danielle Wile of NAU scored in the second overtime session to give the home team a wild 7-6 win. The match still holds NAU records for most shots in a game, most goals between two teams, and most goals scored (7), a record tied two seasons ago against Lamar.
The original stadium, which seated 3,000 fans, began as the home of Lumberjack football in the fall of 1957, with the Lumberjacks opening the facility with a 47-0 win over Ft. Huachuca Army Base. The stadium remained the football home until 1977, when the gridiron program moved into its current home, the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome. During its 20 years in Lumberjack Stadium, the football team carded a 61-33-3 (.644) record. It is also the spring home of the nationally prominent NAU outdoor track and field teams, highlighting a recently resurfaced track.
Over the Football Homecoming weekend of 2008, the 1958 Arizona State College (NAU’s former name) football team gathered in Flagstaff for their 50th Anniversary celebration. On the afternoon prior to the game, the playing surface at Lumberjack Stadium, the former home of the football team, was named "Max Spilsbury Field" in a special ceremony in honor of their coach Max Spilsbury.
Spilsbury coached at NAU from 1956-64, posting 58 wins over nine seasons. It was a mark that stood for the five decades before current head coach Jerome Souers broke the record in 2008.