Davis Wade Stadium

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Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field
Davis Wade.jpg
Former names New Athletic Field (1914-1920)
Scott Field (1920–2000)
Location 90 B.S. Hood Drive, Mississippi State, MS 39762[1]
Coordinates 33°27′23″N 88°47′37″W / 33.45639°N 88.79361°W / 33.45639; -88.79361Coordinates: 33°27′23″N 88°47′37″W / 33.45639°N 88.79361°W / 33.45639; -88.79361
Owner Mississippi State University
Operator Mississippi State University
Capacity Unknown (1914-1927)
Approximately 6,000 (1928-1936)
20,000 (1937-1948)
32,000 (1936-1947)
35,000 (1948-1982)
32,000 (1983-1985)
40,656 (1986-2000)
45,286 (2001)
52,884 (2002)
55,082 (2003-2013)
61,337 (2014-present)[2]
Record attendance 62,945
October 11, 2014 vs Auburn Tigers
Surface Prescription Athletic Turf (natural grass)
Construction
Opened 1914
Renovated 1928, 1982, 2002, 2014
Expanded 1936, 1948, 1986, 2002, 2014
Construction cost Original Unknown
$15,000 (1928 renovation)
$7.2 million (1986 expansion)
$21 million (2002 renovation)
$75 million (2014 renovation)
Architect Original Unknown
W.P.A (1936 expansion)
Foil Wyatt Architects (2002 renovation)
360 Architecture (2014 renovation)[3]
Tenants
Mississippi State Bulldogs (NCAA) (1914–present)
MHSAA football championships (2014, 2016)[4]

Davis Wade Stadium, officially known as Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field, is the home playing venue for the Mississippi State Bulldogs football team. Located in Starkville, Mississippi, the stadium has a capacity of 61,337 and is the largest football stadium in the state of Mississippi. Originally constructed in 1914 as New Athletic Field, it is the second-oldest stadium in the Football Bowl Subdivision and the fifth oldest in college football, behind Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium, the Yale Bowl, Harvard Stadium, and Penn's Franklin Field.

History[edit]

The stadium was built in 1914, as a replacement for Hardy Field,[5] and was called New Athletic Field. In 1920 the student body adopted a resolution to name the field Scott Field in honor of Don Magruder Scott, an Olympic sprinter and one of the University's football stars from 1915-16.[6] Prior to the 2001 season the stadium was named Davis Wade Stadium in honor of longtime MSU supporter Floyd Davis Wade Sr., because of a large financial contribution he made toward stadium expansion. The field retained the name Scott Field and the official name of the facility is "Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field".[7]

Renovations and expansions[edit]

Davis Wade Expansion 2014

In 1928 permanent seating for 3,000 was built on the west side. In addition, there were portable stands with a similar capacity bringing the seating total to around 6,000. In 1936, with the use of WPA labor, concrete stands seating 8,000 people were added to the west sidelines and steel bleachers were built on the east sideline and end zones. This brought the total capacity to 20,000. 1948 saw the stadium enlarged once again with the expansion of the west sideline structure and the addition of 12,000 concrete seats and stands in both end zones to bring the total capacity to 35,000. In 1983, the end zone seating was removed, reducing the capacity to 32,000. A 1986 expansion costing $7.2 million, raised without state budget appropriations, added almost 9,000 seats, consisting primarily of a 5,500-seat upper deck as well as permanent lighting and a computerized scoreboard which was replaced in 1997 with a Sony JumboTron. The Frank Turman Fieldhouse received an additional floor to its facility in 1990. Named Leo W. Seal M-Club Centre in honor of Leo W. Seal, Sr., a two-year letter winner at State, it is a meeting place for the letterman organization, the M-Club.

In 1999, the Turman Fieldhouse underwent numerous changes, including remodeled dressing rooms for both teams, and an all-new recruiting lounge, and the stadium began a $50 million expansion and renovation partially funded by Floyd Davis Wade, Sr., co-founder and director of Aflac. The expansion was completed in 2002 bringing the total capacity to 55,082, including 50 skyboxes, 1,700 club-level seats and a second upper deck seating 7,000. In recognition of Mr. Wade's donation, the stadium was renamed Davis Wade Stadium in his honor in the year 2000. The playing surface, however, is still known as Scott Field.

In the fall of 2008 construction was completed on an all-new $6.1 million 112 ft (34 m) wide by 48 ft (15 m) tall high-definition video display board in the south end zone above the Leo Seal M-Club Center. The LED video system is the seventh largest high-definition video board in college football. The new board was used for the first time on November 1, 2008, during the Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Kentucky Wildcats football game. The main video display is complemented with two high definition LED advertising boards on each side of the main board, as well as a high definition LED "ribbon ticker" which spans the width of the structure below the main board. Therefore, the total video board square footage (on one structure) is 6,896 sq. ft.[8] To complement the all-new video system, a new state-of-the-art sound system has been installed by Pro Sound, headquartered in Miami, Florida.[9]

A $75 million expansion, completed in August of 2014, increased the capacity of the stadium to 61,337, created new concessions and restrooms, and created a new west side concourse. Part of the expansion included sealing off the north end zone and installing a large high definition video board, similar to the one in the south end zone which replaced the JumboTron that was installed there in 1997.[10]

Attendance Records[edit]

Davis Wade Stadium Attendance Records
Rank Attendance Date Game Result
1 62,945 10-11-2014 #3 Mississippi State 38, #2 Auburn 23
2 61,889 08-30-2014 Mississippi State 49, Southern Miss 0
3 61,113 10-04-2014 #12 Mississippi State 48, #6 Texas A&M 31
4 58,103 11-14-2009 Mississippi State 3, #2 Alabama 31
5 57,871 11-12-2011 Mississippi State 7, #4 Alabama 24
6 57,831 10-13-2012 #19 Mississippi State 41, Tennessee 31
7 57,704 09-06-2014 Mississippi State 47, UAB 34
8 57,211 11-16-2013 Mississippi State 7, #1 Alabama 20
9 57,178 10-24-2009 Mississippi State 19, #1 Florida 29
10 57,113 10-05-2013 Mississippi State 26, #10 LSU 59
11 56,924 09-15-2011 #25 Mississippi State 6, #3 LSU 19

Traditions[edit]

  • The Junction, located on the south side of the stadium, is a grassy park where Bulldog fans tailgate under tents during sports weekends. It is named The Junction for the railroad that ran through the tailgating area in the campus' past. It also replaced "Malfunction Junction", a set of adjacent intersections where 6 different streets converged on campus. The streets were rerouted around the area and a pedestrian park was built on the site. While many Bulldog fans tailgate in other places on campus, The Junction is unique in that it allows thousands of fans to tailgate under tents directly in front of the stadium without cars or traffic. The Junction has been referred to as the “premier tailgate experience” by the Birmingham-based firm contracted for its design and development.[11]
  • The "Dawg Walk" is held approximately three hours before each home game. This is where the team and coaches walk through The Junction to the stadium with the Famous Maroon Band band performing and thousands of Bulldog fans lining the walk, cheering the players on.
  • One of the Bulldogs' proudest and longest traditions is the ringing of cowbells. From 1977 to 2009, "artificial noisemakers" were banned by the SEC, including cowbells, but fans continued to bring them in even though administrators encouraged fans not to use cowbells and security guards "search" you upon entry. There could be as many as 40,000 cowbells in the stadium during a big game. In the 2010 season, a compromise was reached on a trial basis allowing fans to legally bring cowbells under SEC rules to games at Davis Wade Stadium as long as the cowbells were only used at sanctioned times: Pregame, quarter breaks and Half-time, Time Outs, and when Mississippi State scores.[12]

Facts[edit]

  • Between October 2009 and September 2014, Davis Wade Stadium hosted thirty one consecutive sellouts. That stretch included 9 of the top 10 crowds to attend a game at the stadium. The streak ended with a contest against the University of Alabama at Birmingham (the crowd was one of the top ten in stadium history but was not enough to keep the sellout streak alive in the newly expanded stadium).[13][14][15]
  • The original Bulldog mascot, Bully I, is buried on the 50 yard-line under the players bench.[16][17][18]
  • The high definition video board is currently the second largest video board in the SEC and the seventh largest on-campus video board in the nation. (List of largest scoreboards in NCAA college football)
  • The entire concourse area underneath the East Upper Deck is sealed and climate-controlled.
  • Davis Wade Stadium is one of the locations of the Egg Bowl, the annual rivalry match up between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Ole Miss Rebels of the University of Mississippi. The game alternates between Davis Wade Stadium and Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on the Ole Miss campus. The 100th game between the teams was played at Davis Wade Stadium. Because of the way the locations alternate from year to year, Mississippi State hosts on the odd-numbered years and Ole Miss hosts on the even-numbered years.
  • The first Division I-A college football game played post 9-11 was in this stadium between Mississippi State and the South Carolina Gamecocks on September 20, 2001, and broadcast on ESPN.
  • Mississippi State is credited with being the first to use the song Who Let The Dogs Out? at a sporting event. MSU used the version recorded by Chuck Smooth rather than the Baha Men version. It was played before and during Mississippi State football games and was used for the Dawg Pound Rock once it was moved from the field to the sidelines. Although put on hiatus during Sylvester Croom's tenure as Mississippi State head coach, the Dawg Pound Rock and the song made a popular return in the 2009 season.
  • In 2011 Bleacher Report called it one of college football's top 50 stadiums to see before you die. [19]

References[edit]

External links[edit]