Chet Anderson Stadium

Chet Anderson Stadium has been the home of Bemidji State University football since 1939 and offers a stunning lakeside setting that is practically unparalleled in college athletics. When field turf was installed in 2013, "The Chet" became home to both the BSU football and women's soccer teams.

History of the Stadium
Home Cookin' - Tesch Era at "The Chet"


History of the Stadium

As the Bemidji State Teachers College continued to increase its enrollment from just 130 students when it opened its doors on June 23, 1919 to 160 in 1923, the need for more space and facilities became apparent.

Mr. A.P White, a member of the Bemidji community and the Normal School Board, stated “now is the time for us to get our campus developed.”

At that time the east side of campus along the lakeshore was still wilderness. Mr. White’s suggestion was carried out and the grounds for tennis courts and a football field were leveled and surfaced in 1923.

The football field was located just east of the current student union along the shore of Lake Bemidji, just a few feet south from the current location of the stadium. The field ran north-south with sidelines running along the lakeshore.

In 1926, R.E. Mendenhall, BSU’s first staff member to hold a PhD who taught history and physical education, organized the college’s first football team. The team played four games that fall against local high schools. The first game played on the Bemidji State field (often referred to as Diamond Point Field) was held Oct. 27, 1926 against Cass Lake High School. Bemidji was victorious, winning the battle 13-0. The team ended the first season in Bemidji State history with a record of 1-2-1.

In August of 1935, with sponsorship by local organizations, citizens of Bemidji and the faculty, a $2,400 lighting system was installed in time for the upcoming season. Forty lights, mounted on eight 60-foot poles, illuminated the field brilliantly for the 1935 home opener Sept. 13 against Itasca Junior College. This would be the first night game to be played in Bemidji State history. The dedication for the new lighting system took place during halftime with a crowd of 1,500 in attendance. Bemidji State president M.W. Deputy, Mr. F.J McPartlin and Mr. H.Z. Mitchell spoke at the dedication ceremony and the game was preceded by a torchlight parade through the business section of the city.

A practice field was built in 1938. The field was built extending from the already-existing field west to Birchmont Road. A concrete building was also constructed at the southwest corner of the playing field to house football equipment.

In 1939, BSU received a $172,000 federal grant provided for sports fields, and all but a small portion was used to upgrade BSU’s athletics facilities. The projects included two new football fields and relocation of the existing fields, as well as a track, softball and baseball diamonds, soccer field, tennis courts and a general playing court. Concrete bleachers for the football field were included in the improvement plans. One of the new fields would be used as a practice field for football, while the game field was built inside the round cinder track. The location of the new field constructed as part of that project is the exact location of today’s field.

Throughout spring and summer of 1940, work continued on the new sports fields as well as the concrete bleachers. The 1940 football season opened on the newly constructed field as BSU played host to Concordia College on Sept. 27. But the $25,000 bleachers would not be complete until the 1941 season.

In 1941 the bleachers, one on each side of the field, were completed. The newly constructed bleachers housed two rest rooms, two shower rooms, a refreshment stand, two first-aid rooms, two ticket booths and offices for the coaches. The inside passageway of the bleachers was home to a 160 foot long and 11 foot wide cinder track used by the track team for training during inclement weather. The bleachers were made of reinforced concrete and were 180 feet long and 40 feet wide. The seats consisted of 15 rows of redwood benches set atop steel straps and would seat an estimated 1,500 people.

An enclosed sports booth, six feet wide and 14 feet long, occupied the position above and in the center of the north side bleachers. A glass front was installed to protect sports writers from inclement weather. With both bleachers completed the estimated capacity of the stadium was 3,500.

The present-day stadium and field has undergone modifications throughout the years, but the main structures are the same today as 60 years ago.  

In 1989, a new scoreboard and new playing surface were installed.

The facility was named the Chet Anderson Stadium on Oct. 5, 1996, in honor of former head coach Chester A. Anderson (1955-1965).

In July 2013, construction crews began work on the playing surface of “The Chet”. The project totaling $1.3 million, included demolition of the running track surrounding the field and the installation of a new entry plaza with the focus of the project being the installation of a new drainage system and synthetic playing surface. Crews removed the natural grass surface, originally installed in 1989, installed a perimeter curb, drainage system and turf, complete with BSU’s athletic logo. [Turf Rendering]

 

Prior to 2014



Home Cookin' - Tesch Era at "The Chet"

As Bemidji State has developed into a year-in, year-out title contender in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, the Beavers have also established one of the true home-field advantages in the region.

Since 1996, when Jeff Tesch took the reigns of the BSU program, the Beavers have posted a 62-23 record at Chet Anderson Stadium (.729) which includes a seven-game home winning streak that stretched from Sept. 27, 2008 to Sept. 19, 2009.

BSU has won 22 of its last 27 games played at Chet Anderson Stadium dating back to an Sept. 27, 2008 win over Northern State.

Perhaps the most exciting game in BSU history came on the turf at Chet Anderson Stadium on Oct, 7, 2000, in a Homecoming contest against Southwest State. In that game, BSU prevailed 65-63 in a four-overtime marathon, with the Beavers pulling out the win on a successful two-point conversion at the end of the fourth extra period.

More recently, the Bemidji State faithful were treated to a dramatic fourth quarter comeback by the 2009 Beavers versus nationally-ranked University of Minnesota Duluth. Down 28-14 after three quarters, BSU, under the direction of All-NSIC quarterback Derek Edholm, managed three scoring drives of over 60 yards during the final stanza, including a 32-yard touchdown strike to Jody Henningson as time expired, to come within a point of the No. 7 Bulldogs, 35-34.  Despite a valiant effort, a failed extra point attempt allowed visiting UMD to escape with the one-point victory.

The 2011 Beavers made program history when they recorded a win against their highest-ranked opponent when it downed No. 6 St. Cloud State Nov. 5, 19-14.

BSU at Home in the Tesch Era
Year NC NSIC Total
1996 0-2 1-2 1-4
1997 1-0 1-2 2-2
1998 1-0 3-0 4-0
1999 1-0 3-1 4-1
2000 1-0 4-0 5-0
2001 0-0 1-3 1-3
2002 0-1 4-0 4-1
2003 1-1 3-1 4-2
2004 2-0 2-1 4-1
2005 1-0 3-0 4-0
2006 0-2 3-0 3-2
2007 1-0 3-1 4-1
2008 0-0 4-1 4-1
2009 1-0 3-2 4-2
2010 0-0 4-1 4-1
2011 1-0 4-1 5-1
2012 0-0 5-1 5-1
2013 0-0 1-4 1-4
Total 11-6 52-21 63-26
Bold = Undefeated Home Season


MNSCU Bemidji State University is a member of the
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system
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W Basketball Northland College 34 Bemidji, Minn.
Nov 18 Bemidji State 97
W Basketball Mayville State 76 Bemidji, Minn.
Nov 21 Bemidji State 82
M Ice Hockey Bemidji State 1 Bowling Green, Ohio
Nov 21 (RV) Bowling Green 3
M Basketball Mayville State 66 Bemidji, Minn.
Nov 21 Bemidji State 77
Cross Country NCAA Central Regional Championship Wayne, Neb.
Nov 22 Complete
M Basketball Viterbo University 58 Bemidji, Minn.
Nov 22 Bemidji State 69
M Ice Hockey Bemidji State 2 Bowling Green, Ohio
Nov 22 (RV) Bowling Green 3
M Basketball Minnesota Morris 67 Bemidji, Minn.
Nov 25 Bemidji State 89
W Ice Hockey (9) Minnesota Duluth Bemidji, Minn.
Nov 28, 2:07 p.m. Bemidji State
M Ice Hockey (RV) St. Cloud State (Sponsored by Thrivent Financial) Bemidji, Minn.
Nov 28, 7:37 p.m. Bemidji State
W Basketball Minnesota Crookston Bemidji, Minn.
Nov 29, 2:00 p.m. Bemidji State
W Ice Hockey (9) Minnesota Duluth Bemidji, Minn.
Nov 29, 2:07 p.m. Bemidji State
M Basketball Minnesota Crookston Bemidji, Minn.
Nov 29, 4:00 p.m. Bemidji State
M Ice Hockey (RV) St. Cloud State (Sponsored by Thrivent Financial) Bemidji, Minn.
Nov 29, 7:07 p.m. Bemidji State
W Ice Hockey Pursuit of Excellence (Exh.) Bemidji, Minn.
Dec 3, 7:07 p.m. Bemidji State
Athletics Beaver Pride Luncheon Walnut Hall; Bemidji, Minn.
Dec 5, 12:00 p.m.
Track & Field CSS Multi Duluth, Minn.
Dec 5, 5:00 p.m.
W Basketball St. Cloud State Bemidji, Minn.
Dec 5, 6:00 p.m. Bemidji State
W Ice Hockey Minnesota State Bemidji, Minn.
Dec 5, 7:07 p.m. Bemidji State
M Basketball St. Cloud State Bemidji, Minn.
Dec 5, 8:00 p.m. Bemidji State
M Ice Hockey Bemidji State Anchorage, Alaska
Dec 5, 10:07 p.m. Alaska Anchorage
Track & Field The Opener Duluth, Minn.
Dec 6, 12:00 p.m.
W Basketball Minnesota Duluth Bemidji, Minn.
Dec 6, 4:00 p.m. Bemidji State
W Ice Hockey Minnesota State Bemidji, Minn.
Dec 6, 4:07 p.m. Bemidji State
M Basketball Minnesota Duluth Bemidji, Minn.
Dec 6, 6:00 p.m. Bemidji State
M Ice Hockey Bemidji State Anchorage, Alaska
Dec 6, 7:07 p.m. Alaska Anchorage
W Basketball Bemidji State Sioux Falls, S.D.
Dec 12, 6:00 p.m. Augustana
W Ice Hockey Bemidji State St. Cloud, Minn.
Dec 12, 7:07 p.m. St. Cloud State
M Ice Hockey Northern Michigan Bemidji, Minn.
Dec 12, 7:37 p.m. Bemidji State
M Basketball Bemidji State Sioux Falls, S.D.
Dec 12, 8:00 p.m. Augustana
W Ice Hockey Bemidji State St. Cloud, Minn.
Dec 13, 3:07 p.m. St. Cloud State
W Basketball Bemidji State Wayne, Neb.
Dec 13, 4:00 p.m. Wayne State
M Basketball Bemidji State Wayne, Neb.
Dec 13, 6:00 p.m. Wayne State
M Ice Hockey Northern Michigan Bemidji, Minn.
Dec 13, 7:07 p.m. Bemidji State
W Basketball Bemidji State Crookston, Minn.
Dec 19, 5:00 p.m. Minnesota Crookston
M Basketball Bemidji State Crookston, Minn.
Dec 19, 7:00 p.m. Minnesota Crookston
W Ice Hockey Ohio State Bemidji, Minn.
Dec 19, 7:07 p.m. Bemidji State
W Ice Hockey Ohio State Bemidji, Minn.
Dec 20, 2:07 p.m. Bemidji State
W Basketball Minot State Bemidji, Minn.
Jan 2, 6:00 p.m. Bemidji State
W Ice Hockey Bemidji State St. Charles, Mo.
Jan 2, 7:00 p.m. Lindenwood