Ladd–Peebles Stadium

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Ladd–Peebles Stadium
Ladd Peebles Stadium.jpg
Former names Ernest F. Ladd Memorial Stadium
Location 1621 Virginia Street, Mobile, AL 36604
Coordinates 30°40′23″N 88°4′32″W / 30.67306°N 88.07556°W / 30.67306; -88.07556Coordinates: 30°40′23″N 88°4′32″W / 30.67306°N 88.07556°W / 30.67306; -88.07556
Owner City of Mobile
Operator City of Mobile
Capacity 33,471 (football, 2012–present)
38,888 (football, 2011)
40,646 (football, 1969–2010)
40,605 (football, 1958–1968)
36,000 (football, 1948–1957)
50,000 (concerts)
Surface Grass (1948–2004)
FieldTurf (2004–present)
Construction
Opened 1948
Construction cost $10 million (renovations)
Architect Clark Geer & Latham and Associates, Inc. (renovations)
Tenants
Mobile County High schools
Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic (1988–2010)
Senior Bowl (NCAA) (1951–present)
GoDaddy.com Bowl (NCAA) (1999–present)
South Alabama Jaguars football (NCAA) (2009–present)

Ladd–Peebles Stadium (formerly Ernest F. Ladd Memorial Stadium) is a stadium in Mobile, Alabama. It is primarily used for American football, and is the home field for the Senior Bowl, the GoDaddy.com Bowl, and the University of South Alabama Jaguars. It opened in 1948 and has a seating capacity of 33,471.[1]

It was originally named for Ernest F. Ladd, a local banking magnate who died in 1941. In 1997, it was renamed to honor E.B. Peebles, a civic leader who was instrumental in the revitalization of the Senior Bowl.[1]

In addition to football, the stadium is also used for concerts (maximum capacity 50,000), boxing matches, high school graduations, trade shows, and festivals.[1] Ed Sullivan, Jimmy Buffett, Taylor Swift and many other entertainers have performed at Ladd–Peebles Stadium.[1]

History[edit]

The stadium was constructed in 1948 with private funding from a local banker wishing to create a permanent honor to his mentor, Ernest F. Ladd. The stadium's first game was a meeting between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Vanderbilt Commodores on October 2, 1948 which ended in a 14–14 tie.[1] From 1948 to 1968, with the exceptions of 1960 and 1962, the Crimson Tide played one game per year in Ladd Stadium. In 1958, legendary head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant coached his first game as Alabama's head coach in Ladd Stadium when the Crimson Tide fell 13-3 to LSU.

Ladd–Peebles Stadium also played host to numerous other major college games over the years. Auburn played eight games at Ladd from 1948–55, playing the likes of Clemson, Florida and Ole Miss. The University of Southern Mississippi was also a consistent Ladd Stadium tenant, as the Golden Eagles played 17 games there from 1950 through 1974. Southern Mississippi's opponents included schools such as Texas A&M, Florida State and Alabama.

On September 13, 2014 a crowd of 38,129 watched a game at the stadium between the South Alabama Jaguars and the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a game that marked the first sell-out in USA football history. The Bulldogs prevailed in the contest by a final score of 35-3.[2][3]

In 1951, the new Senior Bowl moved from Jacksonville to Mobile, where it has been played in Ladd–Peebles ever since.

Beginning in 1974, it began hosting the Gulf Coast Classic, an Alabama State University Homecoming game against a fellow Southwestern Athletic Conference opponent.

In 1988, the stadium hosted the first-ever Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, an annual football event that features the best senior high school players and top collegiate prospects from Mississippi against the best from Alabama. The event has since been moved to Montgomery and is now played in December.[4]

In 1997, Ladd–Peebles Stadium underwent a $8.1 million renovation that resulted in a new press box featuring a 120-seat club level and luxury suites, new scoreboards, new PA and lighting systems, new locker rooms, new restrooms, an expansion of the concourse areas, and new concession stands, as well as the stadium offices.[5]

In 1999, the stadium hosted the inaugural Mobile Bowl, which continues today as the GoDaddy Bowl. Formerly matching teams from the Mid-American Conference and Conference USA, the bowl announced a new agreement in 2009 to annually feature teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Mid-American Conference beginning with the 2010 game.[1] The agreement, however, was canceled after one year and the bowl's matchup now consists of the Mid-American Conference facing the Sun Belt Conference.

In 2004, the stadium selected and installed FieldTurf as its new playing surface.[6]

On December 6, 2008, the Board of Trustees at the University of South Alabama approved adding football to its intercollegiate athletics program. The move came with the announcement that the team would call Ladd–Peebles Stadium home for at least seven years.[7]

The stadium underwent a $2.2 million facelift which also includes the construction of 11 luxury sky boxes on the stadium's west side. The project was finished at the beginning of the 2009 season.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
First stadium
Home of the
GoDaddy.com Bowl

1999 – present
Succeeded by
Current