Football and Women's Lacrosse
Monmouth University plays all of its home lacrosse and football games at Kessler Field on the school’s beautiful 155-acre campus in West Long Branch, New Jersey. In the summer of 2005, Kessler Field was refitted with a state-of-the-art artificial surface by the FieldTurf Corporation. The $900,000 project enhances Kessler Field's status as one of the finest venues in New Jersey.
For the opening of the Monmouth Hawks’ first football season in 1993, a 3,000-seat grandstand with press box was built. Alumni John and Henni Kantor Kessler, class of 1969 and 1968, respectively, donated $250,000 toward construction. The Monmouth Hawks now boast one of the finest facilities for Division I lacrosse in the region.
Kessler Field was built in 1993 and opened for the Hawks’ inaugural season. On September 25, 1993, the first-ever game was played at Kessler Field as the Hawks hosted Sacred Heart University. Incidentally, the Pioneers won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball, which was kicked off by Randy Brewster at 1:06 p.m. The Hawks’ first offensive play was a reverse, resulting in a four-yard gain by William Holder. Sacred Heart posted a 12-0 shutout in the contest.
Although the facility officially seats 4,600 fans, a record crowd of 6,233 packed Kessler Field on Homecoming Weekend in 1993. The spectators witnessed a barnburner as the Hawks fell to Hartwick, 17-13. On December 2, 2007 Kessler Field hosted the Inaugural Gridiron Classic. The University of San Diego, the Pioneer Football League Champions travelled to Monmouth County to face the Hawks in a televised game. USD topped the Hawks 27-7 in the game.
Monmouth, which has posted a 43-25 mark at Kessler Field in its 14 seasons of play, has averaged over 3,400 fans per game in the program’s history. In 2007, the Hawks led the Northeast Conference in attendance for the second consecutive year.