Braly Municipal Stadium

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Braly Municipal Stadium
Braly2.JPG
Location Stadium Dr, Florence, AL
Coordinates 34°48′36″N 87°40′22″W / 34.81000°N 87.67278°W / 34.81000; -87.67278Coordinates: 34°48′36″N 87°40′22″W / 34.81000°N 87.67278°W / 34.81000; -87.67278
Owner City of Florence
Operator City of Florence
Surface ProGrass
Capacity 14,215
Tenants
North Alabama Lions (NCAA D2)
Florence High School Falcons

Tom Braly Municipal Stadium is a stadium in Florence, Alabama. It is primarily used for American football, and is the home field of the University of North Alabama Lions and the Florence High School Falcons. It also hosts the NCAA Division II national football championship game which is broadcast on ESPN.

The 14,215-seat stadium, home field of the University of North Alabama, was chosen as the host stadium for the Division II National Championship game in 1986.

The stadium is a block east of the university campus and adjacent to the Florence Middle School/Freshman Center. The middle school was formerly Coffee High School, but was transformed in 2004 when Florence's two public high schools merged. The city of Florence, rather than the university, owns the stadium.

Braly is named for Thomas Braly, Jr., a Coffee High School coach who was principal of the school from 1945 until his death in 1963.[1]

Seating capacity has increased by 6,200 seats since 1980 (5,000 in 1980 and 1,200 in 1998). The original playing surface featured a sand foundation that enabled the field to withstand six inches (152 mm) of rain at one time without altering the footing.[2] however that surface was replaced with ProGrass synthetic turf during the summer of 2010.[3]

Other renovations include a $175,000 scoreboard with a message center installed in 1995 and a 1998 renovation that doubled the working press area as well as provided additional restrooms and viewing booths for game administration. The 1995 scoreboard was replaced in 2010 with a $57,000 LED based scoreboard along with a new elevator to the press box and a resealing of the running track around the field.[4]

The new three-level press box consists of a first level that seats up to 50 sportswriters. The second level has areas for coaching staffs from competing schools, the public address announcer, the clock operator, the stadium manager, and also provides space for radio crews from both home and visiting teams. The third floor is used by television and film crews.

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