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Breaking down the history and what to know about gamedays at Mizzou

If you are headed to Columbia for a game this season, here’s what is vital to know.

NCAA Football: South Dakota at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Stadium

The Missouri Tigers American collegiate football team officially plays its games at “Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium”, but any local will call it Faurot Field or, simply, “Faurot”.

In 1919, then-dean of the graduate school, Walter Miller, mentioned in his commencement address the push to raise funds for a “ Memorial Union”— a community center that still stands today — and a “Memorial Stadium” for sports. The “Memorial” moniker was tagged onto both projects in memory of the alumni of the university who were killed on the battlefields of Europe during World War I. The fundraising for both began in 1921 with students being tasked to pledge $100 (the equivalent of $1,707.77 in today’s currency) and alumni pledging $200 ($3,415.54 today). After accumulating $238,000 in pledges (roughly $4 million in 2023) groundbreaking occurred for the Union in 1921 and on the stadium in 1925.

By 1926 stadium construction was complete, capable of holding 25,000 fans (which currently constitutes the lower bowl in today’s stadium), and was complemented by a track that encircled the grass playing field.

From 1949-1978 the stadium underwent multiple expansion projects, closing the open stadium on the south side, building up past the bowl, and installing a press box. While Faurot, at its peak, could seat 75,000, renovations in 2015 and 2018 took the total capacity to a little over 62,000.

The 1985 season unveiled a new Omniturf installed on the field, which also coincided with one of the worst stretches of Missouri football history, so any Mizzou fan alive in those days will happily tell you that it was cursed (check out the “5th Down Game” for proof”). It was also notoriously slick and multiple coaches and Big 8 officials cited Missouri with the task of improving the playing field. Currently, Mizzou’s turf is the same grass/synthetic turf mix that most stadiums use to this day.

In 1927 the Mizzou freshmen class constructed a massive, 90 feet wide by 95 feet tall letter “M” out of whitewashed rocks, one of the more unique landmarks among college football stadiums. While a targeted prank by many rival schools, the M is kept under careful watch now and the tradition of freshmen applying a fresh coat of white on the rocks every year continues to this day. In addition, graduating seniors from the football team, marching band and cheer squads take one of the rocks with them upon the completion of their last home game.

Now equipped with video boards on the north and south sides, an elevated second level on the east side, luxury terraces in the south concourse, and — new to 2023 — the removal of the track around the field, Faurot Field has been fully modernized for today’s modern college football atmosphere and optimized for the crowds that frequent Faurot on fall afternoons.


As with most college towns, the ability to tailgate for a Missouri football game is limited only by your imagination.

Tailgating around the stadium is considered the most optimal. Parking lots around Faurot, Mizzou Arena, and the Hearnes Center are filled up starting the night before the game. RV tailgating is in the far back corner where Marching Mizzou practices but anyone with a vehicle and the intuition can set up a masterful spread among the sports parking lots.

There’s also tailgating along Providence and Stadium roads (which intersect at the stadium). Or, if you prefer, you can grab food and drinks at a litany of local establishments downtown and walk/stumble your way to the game just in time for kickoff.

If you do find yourself tailgating in the parking lots, keep an eye out for wandering musicians from Marching Mizzou. Most are hungry (and thirsty) college kids who will be performing for the next four hours and are scrounging for something to work off the hangover. Like friendly raccoons who know the school songs, they’ll frequently trade your favorite Mizzou song for a tasty morsel or two. Or, also like raccoons, you can roll up a newspaper and tell them to shoo. Up to you!


Pregame, there are two things that you can catch before heading into the stadium.

First is the Tiger Walk. By now, every football player has some sort of “[Mascot] Walk” but Missouri has been doing theirs since 2000. This occurs when the football leaves the athletic compound that they congregate at andc ross the bridge over Providence Road to head into the locker room at the stadium. Elements of Marching Mizzou, the Golden Girls (Mizzou’s dance team), and the cheer squad will set up lines to funnel the team through as fans line up around them and cheer the team as they head in.

Second is when the band and cheer squads head into the stadium to prep for the pregame performance. You’ll always know this is happening because Truman the Tiger jumps onto a Mizzou-decorated fire truck and hits the siren while simultaneously, the Marching Mizzou drumline will perform as the band troops to the field.

Once in the stadium (and even outside) you’ll hear the telltale call sign of “M-I-Z” answered by “Z-O-U”. It’s done on Mizzou first downs and also organically from the stands throughout the game. The “Missouri Waltz” is a favorite song that gets played at the end of the 1st quarter where the fans sway in time and then clap along (out of time, mind you) to the official song of the state of Missouri.

The newest addition to Mizzou’s repertoire of activities to do during a game is the playing of “Narco” by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet which gets played on every 3rd down. If you’re a Missouri fan, it never gets old; if you’re a visiting fan...apologies in advance.

Also, Missouri has adopted the Killers song “Mr. Brightside” as their own personal anthem, playing it at both football and basketball games. As a friendly reminder as to who Mizzou’s true rival is, students will chant “F-K-U” (with the “F” being replaced with the actual naughty word) as an ode to that school to the west that Mizzou fans don’t acknowledge. Against, you love it if you’re fan, and if not...well, we’re not sorry about that one.