Brown Field - named for former Valparaiso University president Henry Baker Brown - has been home to the Valparaiso University football team since the program was founded in 1919, to the Crusader men's soccer program since 2009 and to the Valpo women's soccer team since 2013. With a seating capacity of 5,000, Brown Field is the perfect location to watch a football game on a Saturday afternoon.
The Crusader football team won its first game ever at Brown Field 26-0 against the Chicago YMCA on October 11, 1919.
On October 11th, 2014 - the 95th anniversary of the Brown and Gold's first victory on the gridiron - the Warren G. Hoger Track was dedicated. The track, which features a state-of-the-art Rekortan all-weather surface, surrounds the soccer and football playing surface. It includes high jump, long jump, triple jump, pole vault, and steeplechase areas. The facility gives Valpo the capability to host NCAA Division I track meets, including the Horizon League outdoor championships. Six months after the dedication, the Crusaders hosted their first outdoor meet in April of 2015.
Prior to the 2008 season, a new artificial surface was installed at Brown Field as part of numerous renovations under the fund-raising campaign known as FITT (Football, Intramurals, Track and Tennis). The first phase of the multimillion dollar project included the installation of the ProGrass, as well as moving the grandstands and adding handicap accessibility. Lights were added as well in 2010.
The ProGrass50 Blend is a blend that consists of 100% polyetheylene fibers, that are 50% mono-filament and 50% parallel silt, which are tufted into a woven primary backing. The secondary backing consists of an application of heat-activated urethane to permanently lock in fibers. The turf has the appearance of a natural grass field.
A new 37-foot high scoreboard was erected in the northeast corner of the stadium, and with it, a new video board for graphics. New play clocks and goalposts were also included in the renovations.
For the first 87 years of the Brown Field’s existence, the playing surface was natural grass. The stadium hosted its 400th home contest for the Crusaders during the 2008 campaign.
When the men’s soccer team was founded in 1983, Brown Field played host to a handful of games. The men’s soccer program adopted Brown Field as its permanent home pitch in 2009 following the installation of ProGrass. The women’s soccer team started playing select matches on Brown Field in 2008 and eventually moved to the facility permanently in 2013.
Brown Field has played host to a number of postseason events. The Crusader football program most recently hosted the Pioneer Football League championship game in 2003 at home, while the 2011 Horizon League Men’s Soccer Championship and the 2014 Horizon League Women's Soccer Championship were also held there. Brown Field has also hosted early-round action in the Horizon League men’s and women’s soccer tournaments as well.
With the addition of the ProGrass, Brown Field can also serve as Valpo’s practice field. The Valparaiso University recreational sports department utilizes Brown Field as well, as do other varsity athletic teams for practices.