Eldon Fix Track and Fred Wilson Field at Griswold Stadium
When Lewis & Clark resumed football in 1946, there were no athletics facilities at the Palatine Hill campus. The area where Griswold Stadium now stands was a tree-covered ravine. The newly-formed team played its games in 1946 at Jefferson High School, the Vaughn Street Baseball Park in Northwest Portland, and Portland Civic Stadium.
In 1947, a football field with a cinder track surrounding it was carved out of the hillside on the northwest corner of campus. Fisher Field, as it was known then, was used for football practice from 1948 to 1952. The Pioneers were still playing their games at Civic Stadium through the 1952 season.
In 1952, at the urging of students, trustees, and administrators, work was started on a permanent home for Pioneer football. Trustee Graham Griswold donated $25,000 and most of the lumber needed to spearhead the project. The stadium was built on the bank between the parking lot and Fisher Field. The plans included a 3,700-seat stadium with 1,900 of those seats covered by a grandstand roof.
The first game was played in the new stadium on October 10, 1953, against Linfield College. The Wildcats won the contest 12-7 with the star of the game, Linfield halfback Ad Rutschman, being given the game ball by Portland mayor Fred Peterson.
The site was officially named and dedicated to Graham Griswold in the season-opener of the 1954 season against Montana State on September 18. Griswold Stadium also houses the Eldon Fix Track and a press box located directly above the stadium's seating.
The track and the football playing field were originally resurfaced in 1999. In 2003, Lewis & Clark added lights to Griswold, allowing more usage to include night football games and the addition of women's soccer.
On October 7, 2006, prior to the opening kickoff of the homecoming football game, Lewis & Clark College President Thomas J. Hochstettler made the announcement that the playing surface at Griswold Stadium had been named "Fred Wilson Field" in honor of the Pioneers' former coach.
During the summer of 2010 the field got a face-lift with the installation of AstroTurf® GameDay Grass™ 3D. The new field is a natural-looking synthetic surface that's more durable than 100% polyethylene systems. Tweed tufting more accurately mimics the true coloration of natural grass. A double nylon Root Zone® acts as a traction layer, providing fiber support and reducing the compaction associated with other infill products. A full drainage system was installed to allow for vertical drainage, and an irrigation system was built into the field to allow users to dampen the surface, which further enhances the playability. The field is fully inlaid with markings for football and soccer.
In honor of the new playing surface, the field was rededicated to Fred Wilson prior to the start of the women's soccer game on Sept. 3, 2010. At Lewis & Clark, Wilson played baseball, basketball, and football as a student from 1948-51, graduating from L&C in 1951. He returned to Palatine Hill in 1957 as the head baseball and assistant football coach, and took over the football head coaching position in 1965. Overall, Wilson coached football for 20 years, golf for 19, baseball for 11, and served as the Director of Athletics for 17 years. He was also a professor at the College before his retirement in 1987. He is a five-time inductee to the Lewis & Clark Sports Hall of Fame, once as an individual (1980), twice as a member of an inducted team (1993, 2001), once as an assistant coach (1995), and once as a head coach (2006).
The summer of 2012 brought the addition of new Southern Bleachers. The new seating allows for 3,000 spectators, and a portion of the seating, including the 500 VIP individual seats, are under cover.