Here’s the official Vaught-Hemingway Stadium history, pulled directly from the official Ole Miss Sports website:
Approximately 60,000 fans gather to form a sea of Red and Blue. They let out a collective roar and chant “Hotty Toddy” as the Rebels take the field for another heavyweight college football game on a brisk Saturday afternoon in the fall.
Such is the norm at the historic Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which is located on the southeast side of the University of Mississippi campus. The stadium increased its capacity to 60,580 in 2002 with the bowling in of the south end zone, making it the largest facility in the state.
With the additional seating, the Rebels have set record-breaking attendance figures over the last six years, drawing all 10 of the largest single-game crowds in school history. In 2009, Ole Miss’ contest against No. 3 Alabama drew 62,657, the largest crowd ever to watch a football game on campus in Mississippi. The momentous Ole Miss-LSU encounter in 2003 attracted a crowd of 62,552. The Rebels’ matchup with Tennessee in 2004 gathered 62,028 fans, and the incredible victory over No. 8 LSU in 2009 drew 61,752.
Recent upgrades to Vaught-Hemingway include video ribbonboards in 2007, a large high definition video scoreboard in 2008 and the installation of FieldTurf in 2009, which is considered to be the world leader in artificial turf.
The stadium, known as Hemingway Stadium for much of its existence, began its long historic life in 1915 when students at the University helped in the construction of the first football grandstand at the site of the present field. The construction of the stadium and its permanent foundation was a three-year, federally-sponsored project. Stadium capacity was originally listed at 24,000.
Blue fiber glass seating was added to the West side stands in 1971 and later added to the East stands in 1973. Permanent aluminum bleachers were installed in both end zones in 1980 to bring the stadium to 41,000. During the summer of 1988, the stadium received a major facelift, highlighted by a new press box, new aluminum sideline seating and a club level section for 700 people. Renovations continued in the summer of 1990 when lights were added to the stadium. A Sony JumboTron scoreboard/message center was added for the 1997 season.
In 1998, the Guy C. Billups Rebel Club Seating area was completed, placing an upper deck on the east side of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The addition, which includes a special seating section with an enclosed concession and lounge area, pushed capacity to over 50,000.
The stadium is named for the late Judge William Hemingway (1869-1937), professor of law and longtime chairman of the University’s Committee on Athletics. On Oct. 16, 1982, John Howard Vaught saw his name added to the stadium. Vaught compiled a 190-61-12 record as head football coach at Ole Miss and brought the Rebels National Championships in 1959, 1960 and 1962. At the 1998 season opener vs. Memphis, the field was named in honor of Dr. Jerry Hollingsworth for his continuing generous support to Ole Miss athletics.