Gerald J. Ford Stadium is the home of the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Mustangs football team. It is located on the SMU campus in University Park, Texas. The stadium opened in 2000 and has a capacity of 32,000. It features an artificial turf playing surface, a two-tier grandstand, and a state-of-the-art video board. It also has a full-service press box, concession stands, and a variety of premium seating options.

Gerald J. Ford Stadium

American football stadium on the Southern Methodist University campus near Dallas, TX, US
“Ford Stadium” redirects here. For the NFL stadium in Detroit, see Ford Field.

32°50′11.92″N 96°47′2.38″W / 32.8366444°N 96.7839944°W / 32.8366444; -96.7839944Coordinates: 32°50′11.92″N 96°47′2.38″W / 32.8366444°N 96.7839944°W / 32.8366444; -96.7839944 Owner Southern Methodist University Operator Southern Methodist University Capacity 32,000 Surface FieldTurf Construction Broke ground September 10, 1999 Opened September 2, 2000 Construction cost $42 million
($66.1 million in 2021 dollars) Architect Ellerbe Becket General contractor Huber, Hunt & Nichols Tenants SMU Mustangs (NCAA) (2000–present)
Armed Forces Bowl (NCAA) (2010–2011)
First Responder Bowl (NCAA) (2019–present)

Gerald J. Ford Stadium is a stadium in University Park, Texas, with a Dallas mailing address. The stadium is owned by Southern Methodist University (SMU) and used primarily for games played by the SMU Mustangs football team.

About Ford Stadium

The stadium is named after Gerald J. Ford, a billionaire banker who provided most of the funding for its construction.

Outside the northeast corner of the stadium is Doak Walker Plaza, honoring the former Heisman Trophy winner and SMU’s greatest football star. The plaza includes a life-sized replica of the Doak Walker Award trophy, awarded annually to the nation’s top college football running back. The northwest corner is connected to the Loyd All-Sports Center, which contains locker, training, and office space for SMU athletics, as well as the Spirit Shop, the office of the Alumni Association, and the Athlete Education Center.


The building stands on the site of the former Ownby Stadium, the school’s previous on-campus football stadium. Ownby was demolished starting in late October 1998 in order to clear the land designated for the new stadium. Ford Stadium opened on September 2, 2000 with a football game against the University of Kansas.

On September 24, 2010, the regular season attendance record was set at Gerald J. Ford Stadium when 35,481 people watched the TCU Horned Frogs face off against the SMU Mustangs in the Battle for the Iron Skillet. TCU won the game and the Iron Skillet 41–24. The overall attendance record is set at 36,742 for the 2010 Armed Forces Bowl between SMU and the Army Black Knights.

Future expansion

The north-south oriented stadium is bowl-shaped, with stands on three sides (west, east, and north). The stadium is expandable to 45,000 seats by enclosing the horseshoe on the south end.


In 2012, SMU Mustang Athletics announced the construction of additional luxury suites, as well as the upgrading of infrastructure to the Paul B. Loyd, Jr. All-Sports Center to allow access to designated outdoor seating areas in the stadium. Construction was completed prior to the start of the 2013 season.

On July 26, 2016, SMU officials announced plans for an upcoming facilities project that will include a new indoor performance center for the Mustangs football team, as well as an outdoor natural grass football practice field. The additions are part of the initial phase of SMU’s $150 million comprehensive facilities upgrade.

On December 2, 2022, SMU broke ground on the Gary Weber Endzone Complex, a new, $100 million dollar state-of-the-art facility for the school’s football team. The complex, which is named after former SMU football player Gary Weber, will include a new weight room, training facilities, meeting rooms, and offices for the football program. The complex is expected to be completed in time for the start of 2024 football season.

Attendance records

Rank Attendance Date Game Result
1 36,742 December 30, 2010 SMU 14, Army 16
2 35,569 September 24, 2022 SMU 34, TCU 42
3 35,481 September 24, 2010 SMU 24, 4 TCU 41
4 34,820 September 20, 2014 SMU 6, 6 Texas A&M 58
5 34,790 August 30, 2013 SMU 23, Texas Tech 41
6 34,749 September 5, 2009 SMU 31, Stephen F. Austin 23
7 33,458 September 11, 2004 SMU 13, Texas Tech 27
8 32,267 September 2, 2000 SMU 31, Kansas 17
9 32,074 September 4, 2015 SMU 21, 4 Baylor 56
10 32,016 September 15, 2012 SMU 3, Texas A&M 48
11 32,000 October 22, 2016 SMU 38, 11 Houston 16
12 32,000 September 7, 2002 SMU 14, Texas Tech 24
13 30,987 September 23, 2016 SMU 3, TCU 33
14 30,923 September 20, 2008 SMU 7, TCU 48
15 29,538 September 3, 2005 SMU 23, Baylor 28
16 29,528 November 9, 2019 23 SMU 59, East Carolina 51
17 29,121 September 11, 2021 SMU 35, North Texas 12
18 28,436 September 29, 2012 SMU 16, 15 TCU 24
19 28,142 October 5, 2019 24 SMU 43, Tulsa 373OT
20 27,106 September 20, 2003 SMU 6, Oklahoma State 56


  • Home Side, 2016

    Home Side, 2016

  • Wide Shot, 2016

    Wide Shot, 2016

See also


External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gerald J. Ford Stadium.
Preceded by

Host of the College Cup
Succeeded by

Preceded by

Host of the Women’s College Cup
Succeeded by

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  • E. M. Stevens Football Stadium (Trinity)
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