Today in NC State History: First game in Carter Stadium
The student body was getting bigger and the football team was getting better under head coach Earle Edwards. Riddick Stadium, the longtime home of the NC State football team, was no longer adequate for a growing university.
A new stadium was needed, and university officials decided to put it away from campus and convert Riddick Stadium into a parking lot. The Wolfpack Club raised some of the money and bonds were sold to reach the $4 million needed to build a new stadium.
And on this day in 1966, the first game (against South Carolina) was played in the new Carter Stadium.
The 41,000-seat stadium in west Raleigh was named for alums Nick and Harry Carter, brothers who made the initial donations. The stadium was renamed Carter-Finley Stadium in 1979 in honor of businessman A.E. Finley, who gave the single largest donation to build the stadium.
The new stadium was such a success that the bonds were paid off by 1978 - 26 years ahead of schedule, according to North Carolina State University: A Narrative History, by Alice Elizabeth Reagan.
The new stadium was seen by many as a reward for the good work Edwards had done with the football team, according to a 2001 article in NC State magazine. The football team had not had more than four home football games a year for the previous decade because of the poor condition of Riddick Stadium.
“When Carter Stadium opened on Oct. 8, 1966, with the Wolfpack playing South Carolina, it was the culmination of a longtime dream for Edwards,” according to the story.