Video: Bristol Municipal Stadium – "The Stone Castle"
View images by photographer Randy Sartin of this unique high school football stadium in Tennessee.
New high school football stadiums are being built every year for tens of millions of dollars, but one of the most unique stadiums in the United States was built for a mere $34,000.
Bristol Municipal Stadium – better known as the Stone Castle – is the home field for Tennessee High School (Bristol, Tenn.)
The 8,000-seat stadium has the look of a medieval castle. The facade of the stadium features turrets and battlements along with an old wooden gate and and arched entrance.
Built during the Great Depression, Bristol Municipal was built with limestone from nearby Beaver Creek, according to the historical marker outside of the stadium. Using funds from the Works Progress Administration, which was part of the New Deal under president Franklin D. Roosevelt, the stadium cost just $34,000 to build and was completed in 1936. The first game was played on Oct. 8 with Tennessee playing Science Hill.
The city of Bristol is cut down the middle by the Tennessee-Virginia state line. The stadium is located on the campus of Tennessee High School (appropriately nicknamed the Vikings) and in the past hosted home games for Virginia High School (Bristol, Va.)
The two schools from the twin cities recently celebrated the 100th meeting in the rivalry between the two teams, known as the V-T game, on Sept. 8. The Vikings claimed the 24-7 win and lead the all-time series 70-28-2.View photo gallery of The Stone Castle stadium
Bristol Municipal has been home to a pair of state champions and a national championship team. Tennessee completed a 13-0 season with a win over Baylor (Chattanooga) in the 1972 state championship game at the Stone Castle and was later named the nation's No. 1 team by the Minneapolis-based National Sports News Service.
Tennessee also won the state title in 1971 but finished second in the nation behind Valdosta (Ga.), the nation's all-time winningest high school football program, and was tied with T.C. Williams of Virginia – the school the movie Remember the Titans
is based upon.
The stadium was initially renovated for $500,000 in 1986 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. Further renovations costing $3.2 million are underway, including renovation of restrooms, concessions stands and press box. The renovations on the home side of the stadium were recently completed and a synthetic turf field was installed two years ago.