Tiger Stadium (LSU)

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Tiger Stadium
Death Valley (aka Deaf Valley)
Lsuaerial.jpg
LocationWest Stadium Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70893
 United States
Coordinates30°24′43″N 91°11′8″W / 30.41194°N 91.18556°W / 30.41194; -91.18556Coordinates: 30°24′43″N 91°11′8″W / 30.41194°N 91.18556°W / 30.41194; -91.18556
Broke ground1924
OpenedNovember 25, 1924
Renovated1994, 2006, 2011
Expanded1931, 1936, 1953, 1978, 1988, 2000, 2014
OwnerLouisiana State University
OperatorLSU Athletics Department
SurfaceCelebration Bermuda Grass[1]
Construction cost$1,816,210.58 (1936 horseshoe)[2]
($30.6 million in 2014 dollars[3])
$60 million (renovations)
ArchitectWogan and Bernard[4]
Trahan Architects (renovations)
Capacity12,000 (1924-1930)
22,000 (1931-1935)
30,000 (1936)
46,000 (1937-1952)
67,720 (1953-1961)
67,508 (1962-1965)
67,510 (1966-1973)
67,720 (1974-1976)
67,744 (1977)
76,092 (1978-1983)
76,869 (1984-1985)
77,542 (1986)
78,882 (1987)
80,140 (1988-1992)
80,150 (1993)
79,940 (1994-1999)
91,600 (2000-2004)
92,300 (2005)
92,400 (2006-2010)
92,542 (2011-2013)
±100,000 (2014-future)[5]
Record attendance93,374
November 3rd, 2012 (vs Alabama)
Tenants
LSU Tigers football (NCAA) (1924–present)
New Orleans Saints (NFL) (2005) (Four games)
 
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Tiger Stadium
Death Valley (aka Deaf Valley)
Lsuaerial.jpg
LocationWest Stadium Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70893
 United States
Coordinates30°24′43″N 91°11′8″W / 30.41194°N 91.18556°W / 30.41194; -91.18556Coordinates: 30°24′43″N 91°11′8″W / 30.41194°N 91.18556°W / 30.41194; -91.18556
Broke ground1924
OpenedNovember 25, 1924
Renovated1994, 2006, 2011
Expanded1931, 1936, 1953, 1978, 1988, 2000, 2014
OwnerLouisiana State University
OperatorLSU Athletics Department
SurfaceCelebration Bermuda Grass[1]
Construction cost$1,816,210.58 (1936 horseshoe)[2]
($30.6 million in 2014 dollars[3])
$60 million (renovations)
ArchitectWogan and Bernard[4]
Trahan Architects (renovations)
Capacity12,000 (1924-1930)
22,000 (1931-1935)
30,000 (1936)
46,000 (1937-1952)
67,720 (1953-1961)
67,508 (1962-1965)
67,510 (1966-1973)
67,720 (1974-1976)
67,744 (1977)
76,092 (1978-1983)
76,869 (1984-1985)
77,542 (1986)
78,882 (1987)
80,140 (1988-1992)
80,150 (1993)
79,940 (1994-1999)
91,600 (2000-2004)
92,300 (2005)
92,400 (2006-2010)
92,542 (2011-2013)
±100,000 (2014-future)[5]
Record attendance93,374
November 3rd, 2012 (vs Alabama)
Tenants
LSU Tigers football (NCAA) (1924–present)
New Orleans Saints (NFL) (2005) (Four games)

Tiger Stadium is an outdoor stadium located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is best known as the home stadium of the Louisiana State University Tigers football team. Prior to 1924, LSU played its home games at State Field which was located on the old LSU Campus in Downtown Baton Rouge.

Tiger Stadium opened with a capacity of 12,000 in 1924. Renovations and expansions have brought the stadium's current seating capacity to 92,542, making it the eighth largest on-campus stadium in the NCAA and the eighteenth largest stadium in the world. When filled to capacity, Tiger Stadium ranks as the fifth largest "city" by population in the state of Louisiana.

Testimonials[edit]

Tiger Stadium is well known nationally for having among the best game day atmospheres in college football as well as being one of the most difficult places for an opposing team to play.

Despite being 14–2 at Tiger Stadium, famed Alabama head coach Bear Bryant once remarked that "Baton Rouge happens to be the worst place in the world for a visiting team. It's like being inside a drum."[6] In 2001, ESPN sideline reporter Adrian Karsten said, "Death Valley in Baton Rouge is the loudest stadium I've ever been in."[7] In 2002, Miami (Ohio) coach Terry Hoeppner said of Tiger Stadium, "That's as exciting an environment as you can have ... we had communication problems we haven't had at Michigan and Ohio State."[7] In 2003, ESPN's Chris Fowler called LSU his favorite game day experience.[7] In 2009 former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee stated on Sean Hannity's Fox News show that "Unfair is playing LSU on a Saturday night in Baton Rouge."

Survey after survey has concluded that Tiger Stadium is the most difficult place for a visiting team to play, including surveys by the College Football Association in 1987, The Sporting News in 1989, Gannett News Service in 1995, and Sport Magazine in 1998.[7] More recently, in 2007, ESPN named Tiger Stadium "the scariest place to play," saying that "Tiger Stadium is, by far, the loudest stadium in the country."[8]

In 2009, ESPN writer Chris Low listed Tiger Stadium's Saturday night atmosphere as unsurpassed in the country, ranking it No. 1 out of the conference's 12 stadiums.[9]

LSU prefers night games in Tiger Stadium with its opponents, but television coverage requires that many contests be played in the afternoons. The university is conflicted over maximizing its potential to win to needed advertising revenues from television coverage. As explained by Chet Hilburn in The Mystique of Tiger Stadium: 25 Greatest Games: The Ascension of LSU Football, "The Tigers are apt to win more games at night in Tiger Stadium but the university takes in much more revenue for a day game televised by CBS because of the Southeastern Conference contract with the network is so lucrative."[10]

In 2008, as Alabama narrowly defeated LSU, Wright Thompson of ESPN.com described Tiger Stadium as "the best place in the world to watch a sporting event."[11]

In 2013, the NCAA ranked Tiger Stadium as the loudest stadium in all of college football.[12]

Construction and seating capacity[edit]

LSU student section

With an official seating capacity of 92,542, Tiger Stadium is the eighteenth largest stadium in the world by capacity. It is the eighth largest on-campus stadium in the NCAA and the fourth largest in the Southeastern Conference, behind Neyland Stadium at Tennessee, Bryant-Denny Stadium at the University of Alabama, and Sanford Stadium at Georgia.

When the stadium opened in 1924, the seating capacity was 12,000, with grandstands on both sides of the playing field. In 1931, 10,000 seats were added to the existing grandstands.

In 1936 capacity was more than doubled when the north end zone was enclosed with a 24,000-seat addition. Money was not allocated in the state budget for the seating expansion, but money was allocated for dormitories. To bypass the legislature and increase his beloved school's stadium capacity, Governor Huey P. Long ordered that dormitories be built in the stadium, with seating above the student living quarters.[13] Until the early 1990s, the West, North and South Stadium dormitories were featured as part of student housing at LSU. The dormitories were later converted to office space for Athletic Department staff and faculty and studios for the College of Art & Design's Fine Arts graduate students.

The horseshoe was eliminated in 1953 by the addition of the south grandstands increasing capacity to 67,720. Unlike the existing stadium structure, they were double-decked in order to fit within the space provided. The first of the two upper decks was added to the west side of the stadium in 1978 to bring capacity to approximately 78,000.[7]

Tiger Stadium - North Endzone View

The stadium was upgraded multiple times in the 1980s beginning with replacement of bench seats with chair back seats and waterproofing of the east and west stands in 1985. The playing surface was moved eleven feet to the south to center the field in 1986. The north and south ends of the stadium were waterproofed and chair back seats added in 1987 to bring those sections up to date with the 1985 improvements. Also in 1987 the press box was redecorated, a few more seats were installed at the upper portion of the west lower stands, and all seating within the stadium was renumbered using a uniform seat-width. By the end of the 1980s the stadium held 80,150 spectators.[7]

The official capacity of the stadium was lowered to 80,000 in 1994 when a section of seating was removed for renovations to the visiting team locker room. The east upper deck seating 11,600 was completed in 2000 and brought total capacity to 91,600. The west upper deck was torn down at the end of the 2004 season, and construction began on "The Stadium Club." The new suites contain over 3,200 special amenity seats as a well as a state-of-the-art press box. The "Paul Manasseh Press Box" has been named for and dedicated to the memory of the long-time and popular sports information director. Construction on this addition was scheduled to be completed by the beginning of September 2005, but delayed due to Hurricane Katrina. Construction was completed for the 2006 season, bringing the stadium's capacity to 92,400.[7] A small number of club seats were added before the 2011 season, increasing the capacity to 92,542.[14]

During construction on the west side, a then-record-breaking crowd of 92,664 fans packed Tiger Stadium in a game against Auburn on October 22, 2005, as LSU defeated Auburn in overtime 20-17.[7] On October 6, 2007 a new record was recorded when 92,910 fans watched as the #1 ranked Tigers defeated the #9 Florida Gators 28-24.[15] A record-breaking attendance of 93,039 was again set on November 8, 2008 when #1 Alabama defeated #16 LSU in overtime 27-21. The record was breached yet again on October 10, 2009 when the #1 ranked Florida Gators came into Tiger Stadium and defeated #4 LSU 13-3. The attendance was 93,129. The current record of 93,374 was set on November 3, 2012 when #5 LSU lost to #1 Alabama 21-17.

On April 27, 2012, the LSU Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of a $80 million south end-zone upper deck expansion that will add approximately 60 "Tiger Den" suites, 3,000 club seats and 1,500 general public seats and bring the total capacity of Tiger Stadium to approximately 100,000, making it the 7th-largest college football stadium in the country. Construction began on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, and is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2014.[16] The project is being privately funded by Tiger Athletic Foundation.

Top 10 largest crowds
RankAttendanceVisiting TeamDateResult
1.93,374AlabamaNov. 3, 2012UA, 21-17
2.93,129FloridaOct. 10, 2009UF, 13-3
3.93,108ArkansasNov. 25, 2011LSU, 41-17
4.93,098AuburnOct. 22, 2011LSU, 45-10
5.93,039AlabamaNov. 8, 2008UA, 27-21 (OT)
6.93,022FloridaOct. 8, 2011LSU, 41-11
7.93,013ArkansasNov. 28, 2009LSU, 33-30 (OT)
8.92,980FloridaOct. 12, 2013LSU, 17-6
9.92,969AlabamaNov. 6, 2010LSU, 24-21
10.92,932TennesseeOct. 2, 2010LSU, 16-14
2012 NCAA football attendance leaders[17]
RankTeamGamesTotalAvg.
1.Michigan6673,511112,252
2.Ohio State8842,637105,330
3.Alabama7712,052101,722
4.Texas6605,304100,884
5.Penn State7677,10896,730
6.Georgia7648,92292,703
7.LSU8741,00592,626
8.Tennessee7629,75289,965
9.USC6527,67087,945
10.Florida7613,18287,597
Top 10 largest American football stadiums[18][unreliable source?]
RankStadiumCapacityLocationHome Team
1.Michigan Stadium109,901[19][unreliable source?]Ann Arbor, MIMichigan Wolverines
2.Beaver Stadium106,572[20]University Park, PAPenn State Nittany Lions
3.Neyland Stadium102,455[21]Knoxville, TNTennessee Volunteers
4.Ohio Stadium102,329[22]Columbus, OHOhio State Buckeyes
5.Bryant-Denny Stadium101,821[23]Tuscaloosa, ALAlabama Crimson Tide
6.Texas Memorial Stadium100,119[24]Austin, TXTexas Longhorns
7.Rose Bowl94,392[25]Pasadena, CAUCLA Bruins
8.Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum93,607[26]Los Angeles, CAUSC Trojans
9.Sanford Stadium92,746[27]Athens, GAGeorgia Bulldogs
10.Tiger Stadium92,542[17]Baton Rouge, LALSU Tigers

Lore[edit]

Tiger Stadium was the site of the legendary "Earthquake Game" against Auburn in 1988. LSU won the game, 7-6, when quarterback Tommy Hodson completed a game-winning touchdown pass to running back Eddie Fuller in the waning seconds of the game. The crowd reaction registered as a legitimate earthquake on the seismograph in the Louisiana Geological Survey office on campus.[28]

Other famous moments:

Tiger Stadium first opened its gates to fans in the fall of 1924 as LSU hosted Tulane in the season finale. Since the first game in Tiger Stadium, LSU has gone on to post a 354-138-18 (.716) mark in Death Valley.[7] Moreover, Tiger Stadium is also known for night games, an idea that was first introduced in 1931 against Spring Hill (a 35-0 LSU victory). In 2006, LSU celebrated its 75th year of playing night football in Tiger Stadium. LSU has played the majority of its games at night and the Tigers have fared much better under the lights than during the day. Since 1960, LSU is 201–59–3 (.773) at night in Tiger Stadium compared to a 20–22–3 (.476) record during the day over that span.[7] LSU lost its first Saturday night game since 2009 against Alabama on Saturday November 3, 2012.

Notable games[edit]

1920s[edit]

1930s–1960s[edit]

1970s[edit]

1980s–1990s[edit]

2000s[edit]

Nighttime at Tiger Stadium

Unique features[edit]

Facilities[edit]

LSU Strength and Conditioning facility[edit]

The LSU Strength and Conditioning facility or LSU North Stadium weight room, built in 1997, is located in the stadium. Measuring 10,000-square feet, it has 28 multi-purpose power stations, 36 assorted selectorized machines and 10 dumbbell stations along with a plyometric specific area, medicine balls, hurdles, plyometric boxes and assorted speed and agility equipment. The weight room also features 2 treadmills, 4 stationary bikes, 2 elliptical cross trainers, a stepper and stepmill. The floor is a flat, stable surface for the athletes to lift without worrying about raised platforms.[33]

The weight room was originally built for all sports including the LSU Tigers football team. The weight room is now home to the men's and women's basketball, gymnastics, softball, men's and women's swimming and diving, men’s and women’s tennis and volleyball teams. The LSU Tigers football weight room is now located in the LSU Football Operations Center.

Hurricane Katrina[edit]

Tiger Stadium - Decorated for the Saints

Tiger Stadium at LSU served as a temporary relocation site for the New Orleans Saints for four games of the 2005 NFL season after Hurricane Katrina damaged the Superdome and left much of New Orleans under water. The Saints, however, utilized only 79,000 of Tiger Stadium's seats (the new west side upper deck, which was still under construction, was closed for Saints games). The Saints' first two games in Baton Rouge came on the Sunday immediately following an LSU home game, meaning field crews had to repaint the field to NFL standards immediately following the completion of LSU's games, both of which kicked off at 7 p.m. Due to the time crunch, the NFL granted LSU's request to start the Saints' games in the late slot (3:05 p.m. CST).

The Saints went 0-4 in Tiger Stadium. The first game saw the return of Nick Saban, who led LSU to the national championship two years earlier. Saban's Miami Dolphins defeated the Saints 21-6. The Saints subsequently lost to the Chicago Bears (20-17), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-3) and Carolina Panthers (27-10).

Although none of the Saints' four Baton Rouge dates came close to selling out, the NFL exempted the Saints from the league's blackout rules following Katrina, and the games were televised locally by WAFB and WGMB.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Celebration Comes to "Death Valley" at LSU". Sod Solutions. Retrieved January 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ "History Tiger Stadium". Geaux Tiger Talk. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  3. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2013. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  4. ^ Ruffin, Thomas F. Jackson, Jo; Hebert, Mary J., eds. Under Stately Oaks: A Pictorial History of LSU [The New Campus]. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. p. 53. ISBN 0-8071-2682-9. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  5. ^ "LSU Tiger Stadium Expansion Gets OK from Bond Commission". The Times-Picayune (New Orleans). Associated Press. July 19, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  6. ^ "No place like home". Rivals.com. Retrieved October 2, 2007. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Tiger Stadium
  8. ^ "Death Valley tops list of scary venues for opposing teams". ESPN. Retrieved October 2, 2007. 
  9. ^ "My favorite stadiums in the SEC". ESPN. Retrieved July 3, 2009. 
  10. ^ Chet Hilburn, The Mystique of Tiger Stadium: 25 Greatest Games: The Ascension of LSU Football (Bloomington, Indiana: WestBow Press, 2012), p. 89
  11. ^ Hilburn, p. 7
  12. ^ "Loudest Stadiums". NCAA.com. 
  13. ^ Forces Shaping the Presidential and Congressional Election Campaigns in 2004
  14. ^ Rabalais, Scott (August 2, 2011). "LSU Announces Record Ticket Sales". The Advocate (Baton Rouge). Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Primetime Drama! Undisputed No. 1 LSU Rallies Past No. 9 Florida". Retrieved October 7, 2007. 
  16. ^ "Tiger Stadium Expansion Renderings". The Advocate (Baton Rouge). Retrieved May 30, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b LSU's Tiger Stadium (92,542) - LSUsports.net - The Official Web Site of LSU Tigers Athletics. LSUsports.net. Retrieved on 2013-07-29.
  18. ^ List of American football stadiums by capacity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved on 2013-07-29.
  19. ^ Michigan Stadium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved on 2013-07-29.
  20. ^ Penn State Official Athletic Site - Facilities. Gopsusports.com (1960-09-17). Retrieved on 2013-07-29.
  21. ^ [1][dead link]
  22. ^ [2][dead link]
  23. ^ University of Alabama Official Athletic Site - Facilities. Rolltide.Com. Retrieved on 2013-07-29.
  24. ^ Official website of University of Texas Athletics - Texas Longhorns - Facilities. TexasSports.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-29.
  25. ^ [3][dead link]
  26. ^ Press Release Distribution - PR Agency. Media-Newswire.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-29.
  27. ^ [4][dead link]
  28. ^ After 15 Years, LSU-Auburn Game Still An Earthshaking Experience
  29. ^ Tiger Stadium
  30. ^ It's title time once again
  31. ^ LSU Notes: GameDay comes back to Baton Rouge
  32. ^ [5][dead link]
  33. ^ http://www.lsupower.net/

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Louisiana Superdome
Home of the
New Orleans Saints
(with Giants Stadium & Alamodome)

2005 (4 games)
Succeeded by
Louisiana Superdome