Today in NC State History: First game in Carter Stadium

October 8, 2012
By Bill Krueger

PrintThe 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.


1968 image from a postcard marking the dedication of the new Carter Stadium, courtesy of Historical State


3 Responses to “Today in NC State History: First game in Carter Stadium”

  1. John Morris says:

    Great article! It was designed by Milton Small, who designed many other structures for NC State, including the now-destroyed Bookstore, Burlington Nuclear Engineering Labs, Talley Student Center, Biltmore Hall, among others.

    A drawing of the newly-constructed stadium was given as a gift to the architect, seen here courtesy of NCSU Special Collections Research Center:

  2. Betsy R. Mebane says:

    I was there that day and actually got to give a football to Mr Carter at the pre-game introductions. The N&O published a picture to this. If you have a copy, I would love a copy.

    When I started at NCSU we played in Riddick. I was a cheerleader and so thrilled to cheer for the PACK! What an honor it was for me to be part of the dedication of the new stadium and cheer there.

    Still going to all the games. Love the WOLFPACK/

  3. Randy Bates says:

    I was there for the first game as a 10 year old 5th grader. After several years of attending games at Riddick with my Mom and Dad, this new stadium just seemed gigantic. It was also pretty empty as it was built for the crowds that would come in future years.

    The two things I remember most about the game was a pass interception that was run back for a TD and standing on the back line of the end zone when the game ended and the huge football players walking past me as they enetered the old field house.

    The parking lot was a great place to tailgate, eat fried chicken and throw football with your friends. I have many fine memories of the old days at Carter Stadium. Hope to have many more before I’m done.

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