The Way Back: Fanfare

The Longhorns played the Arkansas Razorbacks on Oct. 15, 1966, in a stadium that would soon undergo significant renovations.

This funky fisheye shot almost does justice to the electric feeling of cheering on the Longhorns under the late summer sun. When this photo was taken in 1966, the football stadium was still just the Texas Memorial Stadium. (Darrell K Royal’s name would be added in 1996.) That year saw major changes to the campus landscape, on and off the field.

A renovation project completed before the start of the ’67 season created the East Mall as we know it today, with a tree-lined walkway stretching from the Tower to the fountain just north of the Alumni Center. The project also included updates to the stadium: New wrought-iron gates went in under the stadium arches, and ticket booths were constructed that could be rolled in and out of the stadium to accommodate Saturday ticket sales. The removal of chain-link fencing at the stadium’s perimeter allowed for new landscaping, exterior lighting, and additional walkways, and the locker rooms for both teams were doubled in size.  

With the success of these upgrades, Texas Athletics and other campus leaders were also considering how to add and improve seating. At the time, the stadium only sat around 66,000 fans. “The idea of making a bowl out of the stadium [didn’t] really hold much appeal since this would place some seats too far from the playing area,” Al Lundstedt, the business manager for intercollegiate athletics at the time, told The Daily Texan. But, as we now know, seats were steadily added over the years until the 2019–21 expansion finally completed the bowl, making DKR-Texas Memorial the seventh-largest stadium in the country with the ability to hold 100,119 screaming fans.

CREDIT: 1967 Cactus yearbook


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