The surroundings in the vicinity of Ohio University’s Peden Stadium have changed drastically over a span which is drawing close to eight decades. However, when football fans come to the stadium, they are watching the action in the same general area that has been home to the Bobcats since 1929, the oldest stadium in the Mid-American Conference and of the oldest types in the country.
Ohio's Peden Stadium, named after former Bobcat head coach Don Peden, was built at a cost of $185,000 and featured 14,000 seats that were divided between two sides. The stadium held the dedication game on November 2, 1929 with a 14-0 victory over Miami. As Ohio's coach from 1924-46, Peden led his teams to 121 wins in 178 games (six Buckeye Athletic Association championships), a record that still stands as the school's best. The stadium was named in Peden’s honor during a ceremony held at the stadium on October 22, 1960 versus arch rival Miami. The Bobcats emerged victorious 21-0.
Entering its 90thseason hosting the Bobcats, Peden Stadium has gone through numerous renovations throughout the years providing a first-class facility for its student athletes and fans. Between 1989 and 1992, a five-story tower was constructed replacing the old press box. In addition to serving as the press box on game days, the tower also houses the football offices, athletic training facilities, and team meeting rooms.
In 2001, a $2.8 million project removed the track, lowered the playing surface and increased the capacity to 24,000. Approximately 2,000 lower-level, bleacherback seats - called the Phillips Club - were added to bring fans closer to the action.
In 2005, the stadium underwent an ambitious makeover renovating and expanding the athletic training facility to include a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy room. Meeting space on the second floor was expanded and improved with the football industry's most advanced and innovative digital video technology to better assist in the areas of scouting, game film analysis and game preparation. A team auditorium where the entire team can gather was also built to aid in communication between players and coaches.
The summer of 2017 saw Peden Stadium outfitted with a new, state of the art video board behind the south end-zone on Victory Hill. Along with the updated videoboard, a new sound system and speakers were installed throughout the stadium to enhance the fan experience. The project, totally $1.1 million dollars, was funded entirely by athletics.
In addition to the stadium itself, the facility also contains locker rooms for the football, track, and field hockey programs, plus equipment and training rooms.