|Owner||California State University, Fresno|
|Operator||California State University, Fresno|
Natural grass (1980–2010)
|Broke ground||June 1979|
|Opened||November 25, 1980, 40 years ago|
|Construction cost||$7 million|
|Architect||Stevens and Associates|
|Fresno State Bulldogs (NCAA) (1980–present)|
California Bowl (NCAA) (1981–1991)
Bulldog Stadium, also known as Jim Sweeney Field at Bulldog Stadium, is an outdoor football stadium in the western United States, located on the campus of California State University, Fresno in Fresno, California. It is the home field of the Fresno State Bulldogs of the Mountain West Conference.
Bulldog Stadium opened in 1980 and now has a current seating capacity of 40,727, expanded from an original capacity of 30,000. It hosted the California Bowl from 1981 to 1991 and friendly soccer matches prior to the 1994 FIFA World Cup. The playing field was natural grass until 2011 when FieldTurf was installed; it is named for longtime head coach Jim Sweeney (1929–2013). The field has a conventional north-south alignment and the street level elevation is approximately 330 feet (100 m) above sea level.
For Fresno State football games, both end zones are designed in a red-and-white checkerboard pattern, similar to the University of Tennessee's orange-and-white at Neyland Stadium. Fresno State's Bulldog mascot is depicted at midfield in an enlarged style. The field was also notable for having numerical markers every five yards (similar to the field at Louisiana State's Tiger Stadium) rather than every ten yards, as is typical. The field went back to the conventional ten-yard markings in 2009.
Bulldog Stadium enjoys a reputation of having one of the premiere home football environments among universities outside of the so-called "power conferences". Tailgate parties in the adjoining parking lots and athletic fields are an enormously popular pastime for Bulldog supporters and the fans are notable for their enthusiastic support within the stadium's environment. For several decades, supporters of Fresno State football have been nicknamed "The Red Wave" as a tribute to their swell of support and their tendency to be clad entirely in red clothing for home contests. For most of Fresno State's history, Bulldog Stadium is at its loudest when Fresno State plays their traditional arch-rival, the San Jose State Spartans. However, in recent years, Fresno State's most bitterly contested games have been pitted against the Boise State Broncos, whose success in the Western Athletic Conference generally and against Fresno State in particular has contributed to a fierce and energetic modern rivalry.
Bulldog Stadium is constructed in a modern version of the sunken "bowl" style, with seats situated unusually close to the game action and at a steeper slope compared to bowled stadia of the early 20th century. This intimate atmosphere contributes to a louder, more intense gametime experience.
The athletic department is currently in the process of fundraising for stadium renovations to be concluded prior to the 2019 season which will include:
- Renovation of the seating area
- Cross aisle with tunnels in the northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest sections to improve access to the seating areas
- Increased number of concessions point of sale
- Improved restroom facilities
- Addition of a tower and upgraded suites, plus additional seating
- A new football operations building in the south end zone to include offices, meeting rooms, a home-team locker room, and outdoor lounge area
Conversion to FieldTurf
Currently Bulldog Stadium ranks 110th on the List of American football stadiums by capacity.
- "2018 Fresno State Football Media Guide" (PDF). California State University, Fresno Department of Athletics. August 22, 2018. p. 6. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
- "Bulldog Stadium Gets Makeover". California State University, Fresno Department of Athletics. June 3, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- "Bulldogs Football Stadium Gets FieldTurf". The Fresno Bee. July 19, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- "Fresno State Rolls Out New Turf". KFSN. Fresno. July 19, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- "Bulldog Stadium". California State University, Fresno Department of Athletics. 2010. Archived from the original on February 1, 2009. Retrieved August 13, 2010.