Mitchell Stadium

Mitchell Stadium
Mitchell Stadium
Location Stadium Drive
Bluefield, West Virginia
Broke ground 1935
Opened 1936
Owner Bluefield, West Virginia
Operator Bluefield High School, Graham High School
Surface Turf
Architect Works Progress Administration
Capacity 10,000

Mitchell Stadium is a 10,000 seat stadium in Bluefield, West Virginia. It was built by the Works Progress Administration in 1935, and is located in Bluefield's city park that straddles the West Virginia–Virginia state line.

The facility now serves as the home football field for the public high schools of Bluefield and its twin city of the same name in Virginia—Bluefield High School in West Virginia and Graham High School in Virginia. The stadium is in West Virginia, unlike the neighboring Bowen Field baseball park, which is in Virginia. This means that Graham is unique among American high schools in that its home football games are actually played in another state. The stadium is actually, however, closer to the Graham building than the Bluefield building.

History

In the 1950s and early 60s, West Virginia University and Virginia Tech would play their annual football game there, taking turns being the "home" team. In 2007 the two schools returned to the venue with a soccer game.

In the August of 2007, new field turf was installed into the stadium by the June Shott Foundation. The same year they named the field after her. There have also been attempts to rename the stadium completely. In the summer of 2010, the Merrill Gainer Stadium Committee tried to get the stadiums name changed to Gainer Stadium in honor of legendary coach Merrill Gainer. Gainer coached at Bluefield High School from 1959-1967 and won 4 state championships. He later coached at Patrick Henry High School and won the 1973 Virginia AAA State Championship. The idea to change the name was eventually dropped because of a lack of interest from the public.

In the fall of 2010, Bluefield College will resume playing football after more than 60 years. It will play at the stadium in the NAIA in the Mid-South Conference. 2010 games will be listed as "junior varsity" and be against a collection of 13th year high schools, junior varsity teams, and junior colleges, with a regular schedule to begin in 2012.

The Annual Graham / Beaver Game

One of the biggest games of the year is the annual Graham / Beaver game. Around 12,000 people crowd the stadium from all over to watch the game. The Beavers have a winning record over the G-Men which is 62-23-2 (Most of those victories came when Bluefield had a much larger enrollment). In recent years, the rivalry is much more evenly matched. The rivalry is so big that highlights of the game have been broadcasted ESPN. It used to be that the Beavers would sit on the home side every game, even when Graham was listed as the Home team. However, in recent years, they have alternated sitting on the home side.


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