Located in the far northeast corner of the Augustana College campus, Ericson Field is the football and track home of the Vikings. The stadium is named after Senator Charles J.A. Ericson who died in Boone, Iowa in 1910.
Charles Ericson was born in the Province of Calmer, Sweden, and moved to America (and Moline) when he was 12. Although he went to school in Moline, Charles hunted and fished in the area where the stadium that bears his name now stands. After moving from the Quad Cities when he was 19, he moved to Mineral Ridge, Iowa where he opened a general store and eventually helped organize the First National Bank of Boone in 1872.
He became interested in politics and in 1895 was elected as a state senator in Iowa. When he died in 1910, Ericson left Augustana College with 260 acres of farmland in Iowa that was also rich in coal. Then he added $13,000.00 to help the school buy land for an athletic field.
He placed three conditions on his gift. The land was priced at $26,000.00 and Mr. Ericson stipulated that Augustana College should raise the other $13,000.00; that the tract of land at Fifth Avenue and 38th Street be purchased since he played there as a boy and that the field be named Ericson Athletic Field.
The school still uses the site as the home of its athletic teams. The stadium has seating for 3,500 spectators and there are locker room facilities under the south grandstand. During the summer of 1992, a new bright blue nine-lane track was installed from money raised mostly by donations from the Augustana College track alumni.
In the summer of 2002 a new synthetic turf was installed on the playing field and lights were added. The Ericson Stadium lockerrooms underwent an extensive renovation in the summer of 2003.
Obviously, the football Vikings enjoy playing at home as a 253-85-6 overall record down through the years indicates. That mark does include nine NCAA playoff games that were played at Rock Island Public Schools Stadium during the 1980's.
Paul V. Olsen Track
Augustana's nine-lane track was completely resurfaced in 2008, as were the pole vault, long and triple jump and javelin runways. It is a full-pour, polyurethane Tartan surface, which contains 14 percent rubber and 86 percent polyurethane -- the exact same track you will find at the U.S. Olympic Training site in San Diego.