This football season marks the 50th year East Carolina University Pirates will take to the field at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Dowdy-Ficklen, originally called the James Skinner Ficklen Memorial Stadium, was named after James Ficklen who died in 1955.
ECU says he was one of Greenville's leading business leaders and the head of E.B. Ficklen Tobacco Company.
The stadium opened in 1963 and in its 50 years, Pirate fans say a lot has changed. From new bleachers to a new score board, fans say the stadium has come a long way.
"We're going to have 50 more better years than we've had the first 50. Now we seat over 50,000. The atmosphere is still as good, but now there's just more people. We got a new score board, so I've seen a lot of things step up since I've been here," said ECU Head Groundskeeper Joey Perry.
The stadium is sure to be full of fans for East Carolina University's home opener Saturday against Old Dominion at 7:00 p.m.