BB&T Field

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This article is about the football stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. For the baseball stadium also in Winston-Salem, see BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, North Carolina). For the baseball stadium in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, see BB&T Coastal Field.
BB&T Field
Groves Stadium or "The Chapel"
BBT Field Deacon Tower Wake Forest University football stadium.jpg
Former names Groves Stadium (1968–2007)
Location 411 Deacon Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27105
Coordinates 36°7′50″N 80°15′17″W / 36.13056°N 80.25472°W / 36.13056; -80.25472Coordinates: 36°7′50″N 80°15′17″W / 36.13056°N 80.25472°W / 36.13056; -80.25472
Broke ground March 1967
Opened September 14, 1968
Owner Wake Forest University
Operator Wake Forest University
Surface FieldTurf: 2006 to present
Natural grass: 1968 to 2006
Construction cost $4 million
($27.1 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Walter Robbs Callahan & Pierce (renovations)
Capacity 31,500
Tenants
Wake Forest Demon Deacons football (NCAA) (1968–present)

BB&T Field (the playing field contained in Groves Stadium) is a football field in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It is primarily used for American football, and is the home field of the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons. The stadium opened in 1968 and holds 31,500 people. It is the smallest football stadium, by capacity, in both the ACC, and in all BCS Automatic Qualifying conferences.

In September 2007, Wake Forest University and BB&T, which is headquartered in Winston-Salem, announced a 10 year deal to officially rename the stadium "BB&T Field" starting with the first 2007 home game against Nebraska.[2] The deal is part of a larger development process to secure funds for stadium renovations and upgrades.

The former stadium name of Groves Field goes back to the original stadium at the original location of Wake Forest (Wake Forest, North Carolina). The old stadium was financed by Henry Groves, and when the school announced the move to Winston-Salem, he and his brother, Earl, decided to make a further contribution to the school to keep their name on any new stadium. After moving to Winston-Salem, many games were played in Bowman Gray Stadium while the project to build a new stadium met with many setbacks. It was not until 1966 that the final fundraising was done, and the stadium opened in September 1968, with the Deacons losing to old rival NC State. The former Groves Stadium became the home football field for Wake Forest High School and is today known as Trentini Stadium.[3]

The current stadium consists of two bowed grandstands on either side of the field. The southeast endzone is known as "Deacon Hill," and is used for berm seating during games. The Bridger Field House, originally built in 1968 with the stadium, was demolished in early 1996 and rebuilt during the 1996 football season. It opened midway through the 1997 football season. The structure is located behind the northwest endzone. In the summer of 2006, the natural grass surface was replaced with FieldTurf.

Wake Forest and Virginia Tech at Groves Stadium in 2006

The stadium is part of a larger complex east of the main campus at the corner of Deacon Boulevard and University Parkway, which includes Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park and Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

In 2006, the Wake Forest Athletics Department announced plans to further the renovations on BB&T Field (then Groves Stadium) with the construction of Deacon Tower which will house a new press box. Deacon Tower opened prior to the 2008 season. The press box is the centerpiece of the third of six levels of renovations set to take place at BB&T Field. The old press box, built in 1968, was successfully imploded & demolished on the morning of January 14, 2007 as numerous Demon Deacon fans watched on. Previous renovations included the bricking of the facade of the grandstand in 2005 and the implementation of FieldTurf in 2006.

BB&T Field is just west of Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park, home of the Wake Forest baseball team (previously Ernie Shore Field which held the Winston-Salem Warthogs minor league baseball team; now known as the Winston-Salem Dash which play at BB&T Ballpark located in downtown Winston-Salem).

Photo gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ Daniels, Rob (September 6, 2007). "What's in a Name? $$$$". Greensboro News & Record. Retrieved September 6, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Demon Deacons Facilities: BB&T Field". Wake Forest Sports. Archived from the original on December 5, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2007. 

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