|Where Great Teams Go to Die|
Looking north in October 2007
|Location||2727 Leo Harris Parkway
Eugene, Oregon, U.S.
|Owner||University of Oregon|
|Operator||University of Oregon|
|Capacity||54,000, standing room to 59,000(2002-present)
|Surface||FieldTurf – (2002–present)
NeXturf – (2001)
OmniTurf – (1984–2000)
AstroTurf – (1969–1983)
Natural grass – (1967–1968)
|Opened||September 23, 1967|
|Construction cost||$2.3 million
$80 million (2002 renovation)
|Architect||Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Ellerbe Becket (2002 renovation)
|General contractor||Gale M. Roberts Co. (1967)|
|University of Oregon Ducks – (NCAA)
Autzen Stadium is an outdoor football stadium in the northwest United States, in Eugene, Oregon. Located north of the University of Oregon campus, it is the home field of the Oregon Ducks of the Pac-12 Conference. Opened 49 years ago in 1967, the stadium has undergone several expansions. The official capacity is 54,000, although attendance is routinely around 59,000 and has exceeded capacity for every game since the most recent expansion in 2002.
Prior to 1967, the Ducks' on-campus stadium was Hayward Field, which they shared with the track and field team. However, by the 1960s, it had become apparent that the 22,500-seat stadium was no longer suitable for the football team. The Ducks only played three home games per year on campus in most years; with the exception of the Civil War, the annual rivalry game with Oregon State, games that were likely to draw big crowds (against schools like Washington and USC) were played 110 miles (180 km) north in Portland at the larger Multnomah Stadium. With the recognition that the football team had outgrown the campus facility and with popular support to play the entire home schedule in Eugene, Oregon athletic director Leo Harris led a campaign to build a new stadium on 90 acres (0.36 km2) that the school had acquired for the purpose in the 1950s on his recommendation.
The stadium, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, was built within an artificial landfill (over the refuse) to eliminate the need for multilevel ramps. As a result, construction took just nine months and cost approximately $2.3 million. Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars was contributed by the Autzen Foundation, headed by Thomas E. Autzen, son of Portland lumberman and philanthropist Thomas J. Autzen (1888–1958), for whom the stadium was named. Ironically, Autzen was an alumnus of archrival Oregon State University. The foundation's donation was linked to his son, a UO alumnus from the class of 1943.
In 1967, Oregon hosted Colorado in the first game played at Autzen Stadium, a 17–13 loss before 27,500 on September 23. Four weeks later on October 21, 16,000 saw Oregon win their first game in the new facility; the 31–6 victory over Idaho was the Ducks' only home win of the season.
The stadium alternates with Oregon State's Reser Stadium as host of the Civil War game.
Opened with natural grass in 1967, the field was switched to AstroTurf and lights were added for its third season in 1969. After seven years, it was replaced with new AstroTurf in 1976. Sand-based OmniTurf was installed in 1984 and 1991, and infilled NeXturf in 2001. The NeXturf was found to be overly slick when wet and lasted only one season, and was transferred to an intramural field. FieldTurf made its debut in Autzen in 2002, and was replaced in 2010.
With up to eight feet (2.4 m) of gravel fill underneath the field, the original crown of the natural grass field was moderate, with the center of the field approximately one foot (0.30 m) higher than the sidelines. The crown was removed in 2010, and the surface is now flat.
In 1982, a $650,000 meeting room complex, the Donald Barker Stadium Club, was opened on the east rim above the end zone. It gave the stadium its first meeting facilities, and was dedicated at the home opener in September.
A proposal to enclose the stadium within a dome was given serious consideration in 1985. New tax laws on contributions altered the feasibility, and the overall project was scaled back. In 1988, a $2.3 million renovation built a new press box on the south side of the stadium and converted the original north side press box to luxury suites. The renovation was designed by architecture firm Ellerbe Becket.
In 1995, the field was named Rich Brooks Field, after the Ducks' coach from 1977 to 1994. Brooks led Oregon to its first outright Pac-10 championship, and its first Rose Bowl appearance in 37 years, in his last season. Brooks left Oregon after the 1994 season to become head coach of the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League.
In 2002, a $90 million facelift and expansion added seating and luxury boxes to the south sideline, bringing the stadium seating capacity up to its current level.
In 2007, the large yellow "O" was added onto the south end of the stadium exterior when ESPN's College GameDay was on location. That season, "Gameday" originated two of its Saturday shows from Eugene.
In 2008, a new, 33-by-85-foot (10 by 26 m) high-definition LED scoreboard and replay screen—known as DuckVision or "Duckvision 2.0"—was installed; it replaced the original video screen installed prior to the 1998–1999 football season. It is the 32nd largest video screen in the NCAA.
In 2010, the field was replaced with new FieldTurf that featured the new Pac-12 logo (even before the logo was officially revealed to the public). During the process, the crown was removed to make the field flat. In addition, new paneling was added to the walls surrounding the field.
In 2014, the east end-zone scoreboard was updated to include a digital screen, the addition of 150 flat screen monitors throughout the concessions areas, additional culinary options in the form of food trucks on the north side of the stadium, increased cell phone repeaters and an upgrade to the sound system. Additionally the sideline wall graphics were updated from the new panels installed in the 2010 season.
The Ducks have a current streak of 101 straight sellouts at Autzen Stadium, dating back to the 1999 season. The highest attendance at Autzen was 60,055 on October 15, 2011, when the Ducks beat Arizona State, 41-27. This stands as the largest crowd for a sporting event in the state of Oregon.
From 1997 to 2001, the Ducks had a 23-game home winning streak at Autzen Stadium, which ended with a 49–42 loss to Stanford. In 2011, the USC Trojans defeated the Ducks 38-35, ending a 21-game home winning streak as the Trojans handed Chip Kelly his first loss at Autzen as head coach.
|1||#18 Arizona State||60,055||9||October 15, 2011||W 41–27||ESPN College Gameday|||
|2||Washington||60,017||1||November 6, 2010||W 53–16||Oregon–Washington Rivalry|||
|3||#21 Arizona||59,990||1||November 26, 2010||W 48–29|||
|4||#18 USC||59,933||4||November 19, 2011||L 35–38|||
|5||#9 Stanford||59,818||4||October 2, 2010||W 52–31||ESPN College Gameday|||
|6||#13 Oregon State||59,597||7||December 3, 2009||W 37–33||Civil War rivalry|||
|7||#4 USC||59,592||10||October 31, 2009||W 47–20||ESPN College Gameday|||
|8||#7 Michigan State||59,456||3||September 6, 2014||W 46–27||ESPN College Gameday|||
|9||#6 Arizona State||59,379||4||November 3, 2007||W 35–23||ESPN College Gameday|||
|10||UCLA||59,277||1||October 21, 2010||W 60–13|||
|#9 USC||59,277||5||October 27, 2007||W 24–17|||
|Year||Head Coach||Capacity||Game 1||Game 2||Game 3||Game 4||Game 5||Game 6||Game 7||Game 8||Average||% of Capacity|
|2007||Mike Bellotti||54,000||57,662 HOU 48–27||58,525 FRES 52–21||59,273 CAL 24–31||58,749 WSU 53–7||59,277 USC 24–17||59,379 ASU 35–23||59,050 OSU 31–382OT||58,845||108.97%|
|2008||Mike Bellotti||54,000||58,778 WASH 44–10||58,060 USU 66–24||58,713 BSU 32–37||58,728 UCLA 31–24||58,013 STAN 35–28||58,369 ARI 55–45||58,443||108.23%|
|2009||Chip Kelly||54,000||57,772 PUR 38–36||58,017 UTAH 31–24||58,975 CAL 42–3||57,378 WSU 52–6||59,592 USC 47–20||58,475 ASU 44–21||59,5971 OSU 37–33||58,543||108.41%|
|2010||Chip Kelly||54,000||59,104 UNM 72–0||58,086 PRST 69–0||59,818 STAN 52–31||59,3721 UCLA 60–13||60,017 WASH 53–16||59,9902 #20 ARI 48–29||59,397||110.00%|
|2011||Chip Kelly||54,000||58,818 NEV 69–20||58,874 MOSU 56–7||58,7961 CAL 43–15||60,055 ASU 41–27||59,126 WSU 43–28||59,933 USC 35–38||59,802 OSU 49–21||59,3762 UCLA 49–31||59,344||109.90%|
|2012||Chip Kelly||54,000||56,144 AKST 57–34||55,755 FSU 42–25||57,091 TNTC 63–14||58,334 ARI 49–0||58,792 WASH 52–21||57,521 COLO 70–14||58,792 STAN 14–17OT||57,490||106.46%|
|2013||Mark Helfrich||54,000||57,769 NICH 66–3||57,895 TENN 59–14||56,987 CAL 55–16||56,949 WSU 62–38||59,206 UCLA 42–14||56,481 UTAH 44–21||58,3302 OSU 36–35||57,659||106.78%|
|2014||Mark Helfrich||54,000||57,388 SDU 62–13||59,456 MSU 46–27||56,533 WYO 48–14||56,0321 ARI 24–31||57,858 WASH 45–20||58,974 STAN 45–16||55,898 COLO 44–10||57,488||106.46%|
|2015||Mark Helfrich||54,000||58,128 EWU 62–42||56,859 GSU 61–28||56,533 UTAH 20–62||57,775 WSU 38–452OT||CAL||USC||OSU||57,324||106.16%|
Sellout Conference Championship Game Attendance Record 1 - Thursday Night Game 2 - Friday Night Game
Location and configuration
The stadium is located just north of the Willamette River, next to Alton Baker Park. Students typically walk to the stadium from the University of Oregon campus over the Autzen Footbridge, which passes over the Willamette, then through Alton Baker Park. The FieldTurf playing field is at an elevation of 420 feet (130 m) above sea level and is laid out in a non-traditional east-west orientation, slightly skewed so that players will not have the sun shining in their eyes in late fall.
Autzen is known for its crowd noise. Due to the stadium's relatively small footprint, the fans are very close to the action, and the field is sunken. These factors contribute to the loudness of the stadium even though it is smaller than other 'noise comparable' stadiums. According to many in the Pac-12, it was actually even louder prior to the most recent expansion because the noise reverberated all the way up the stadium and bounced back down to the field—the so-called "Autzen bounce." Oregon officials say that any future expansions will trap more noise.
On October 27, 2007, during a 24–17 victory against the USC Trojans, a then-record crowd of 59,277 fans was recorded at 127.2 decibels. A similarly loud 31–27 upset of third-ranked Michigan in 2003 prompted a Michigan Daily columnist to write
|“||Autzen's 59,000 strong make the Big House collectively sound like a pathetic whimper. It’s louder than any place I’ve ever been, and that includes The Swamp at Florida, The Shoe in Columbus, and Death Valley at Louisiana State. Autzen Stadium is where great teams go to die.||”|
Jahvid Best, a former starting running back for the Detroit Lions, visited Autzen while playing for the California Golden Bears in 2007. He later said, "The biggest thing I remember about that game is the crowd. The crowd noise is crazy up there. Honestly, any other away game I don't really even hear the crowd. Oregon was the only place where it really got on my nerves."
Following the September 6, 2014 game against the Michigan State Spartans, Michigan sports reporter Mike Griffin of MLive.com accused Oregon of piping in artificial noise that contributed to the Ducks' victory over the Spartans.
Since 1990, Don Essig, the stadium's PA announcer since 1968, has declared that "It never rains at Autzen Stadium" before each home game as the crowd chants along in unison. He often prefaces it with the local weather forecast, which quite often includes some chance of showers, but reminds fans that "we know the real forecast..." or "let's tell our friends from (visiting team name) the real forecast..." If rain is actually falling before the game, Essig will often dismiss it as "a light drizzle," or "liquid sunshine" but not actual rain by Oregon standards. Also, because of the use of Autzen Stadium and the University of Oregon campus in National Lampoon's Animal House, the toga party scene of the movie featuring the song "Shout" is played at the end of the third quarter, with the crowd dancing to the song.
Prior to the football team taking the field, a highlight video of previous games is shown on the jumbotron, nicknamed "Duckvision". The last highlight on the clip is almost always Kenny Wheaton's game-clinching 97-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Washington Huskies in 1994. "The Pick" is often seen as the turning point for Oregon football, which went on to the Rose Bowl that year and have enjoyed success for the most part ever since after years of losing records.
After the video, the team takes the field behind a motorcycle with the Oregon Duck riding on back to the strains of Mighty Oregon. This is followed by the north side of the stadium chanting "GO" with the south side chanting "DUCKS!".
After every Duck score and win, a foghorn blares. In addition, the Oregon Duck mascot does as many pushups as Oregon has points at that time.
ESPN College Gameday
ESPN's College GameDay program has come to Eugene for games played in Autzen Stadium six straight years, from 2009 through 2014, the most of any other school. Overall, Gameday has made nine visits to Oregon, and the Ducks have been a part of 19 Gameday broadcasts either at Autzen or as a visiting team.
Autzen Stadium is the largest sports arena in the state of Oregon. State high school football championship games were played at Autzen Stadium until 2006. It also hosts football camps, coaches' clinics, marching band competitions, and musical concerts.
The Grateful Dead used the stadium as a tour stop ten times between 1978 and 1994, including a 1987 show with Bob Dylan during which a portion of their collaborative live album entitled Dylan & the Dead was recorded.
It was also used as the location for the fictional Faber College football stadium in the 1978 movie, National Lampoon's Animal House. There is a well-known geographical error made during a scene set inside the stadium when Pacific-10 conference banners can clearly be seen in the background, even though the fictional Faber College is supposed to be located in New England.
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- http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=312882483. Retrieved 2011-08-16
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- Ducks, You Need To Read These « OneClickSportsBlog
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Autzen Stadium.|
- Sports-Venue.com – Autzen Stadium – Info and Photos
- Goducks.com – Official Autzen Stadium Information
- Building Oregon: Architecture of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest includes images and documentation for University of Oregon buildings