Three significant upgrades have led to Kelly/Shorts Stadium being named the finest stadium in the Mid-American Conference by Sporting News.
The installation of a $2.1 million scoreboard with double-sided video replay boards in 2007 completed a three-phase upgrade that also included the addition of a FieldTurf playing surface in 2004 and a permanent lighting system in 2006. The lights, which consist of six free-standing poles and two stations mounted on the press box, are NFL-quality and exceed ESPN's requirements for television.
The north scoreboard houses a pair of 16x30 video boards. A new scoreboard also was installed in the south end of the stadium in 2007.
Murals celebrating CMU's past championship teams and other great moments in the history of the program were added to the face of the locker room building in the north end zone in 2007.
Since the opening of Kelly/Shorts Stadium in 1972, CMU has posted a winning percentage of .716 at home. The stadium's seating capacity of 30,255 is the largest for an on-campus venue in the Mid-American Conference.
The west side of the stadium features a two-tiered press box. Nine guest suites and select club-level seating comprise the lower deck while the upper deck serves the media from radio, television and newspapers. Coaches' booths and game operations also are on this level.
The CMU student section occupies the south end zone while the Chippewa Marching Band is located in the southeast corner.
Originally a $2.2 million project and named Perry Shorts Stadium in honor of R. Perry Shorts who went on to a distinguished banking career after graduating from CMU, the stadium was dedicated on Nov. 4, 1972 when the Chippewas defeated Illinois State, 28-21, before a Homecoming crowd of nearly 17,000. It was the first collegiate game to be played on Astroturf in Michigan.
In June 1983, the CMU Board of Trustees voted to rename the facility Kelly/Shorts Stadium in honor of Kenneth (Bill) Kelly, who coached CMU from 1951-66.
A stadium record crowd of 30,302 saw CMU defeat rival Western Michigan, 38-28, in 2008. It was the first sellout since the stadium was expanded by 10,000 seats in 1998.