Although construction began in 1936, Neale Stadium was dedicated in 1937. The facility hosted its first game against the beavers from Oregon State. To everyone’s surprise, the Mighty Vandals pulled the upset and defeated the beavers 7-6. The Spokesman Review has a great image of the dedication ceremony. The event was one of the largest ever held on the Idaho campus. Imagine that – in 1937 Idaho constructed at 25,000 seat stadium on campus.
The Vandals were a favorite to win their game in Boise against Utah State. But, the weather was rainy which resulted in a scoreless tie. At this time the game in Boise wasn’t an annual affair, but rather a special event and opportunity for the players from Southern Idaho to play in front of their fans from back home.
Vandal fans can also take pleasure in the fact that the team from Moscow upset the Montana Grizzlies in Moscow to spoil an undefeated and untied season by the Griz.
Idaho’s 1937 campaign was so successful that head coach Ted Bank was rumored to be leaving Moscow for Ann Arbor to take over as the Wolverines head coach. The rumors proved to be false as Coach Bank would remain at Idaho through the 1940 season. Idaho finished 1937 with a 4-3-1 record including victories over Oregon State, Montana, and Gonzaga.
Here’s a video of the Idaho-Washington State game