LaVell Edwards Stadium

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LaVell Edwards Stadium
BYU Football Stadium.jpg
Looking east in March 2015
Former names Cougar Stadium
(1964–2000)
Location 1700 N Canyon Rd
Provo, Utah, U.S.
Coordinates 40°15′29″N 111°39′18″W / 40.258°N 111.655°W / 40.258; -111.655Coordinates: 40°15′29″N 111°39′18″W / 40.258°N 111.655°W / 40.258; -111.655
Owner Brigham Young University
Operator Brigham Young University
Capacity 63,470 (2011–present)
63,725 (2010)
64,045 (2003–2009)
65,000 (1982–2002)
35,000 (1968–1981)
28,812 (1964–1967)
Record attendance 66,247 (1993)
(vs. Notre Dame)
Surface Natural grass
Construction
Broke ground October 1963
Opened October 2, 1964
53 years ago
Architect Fred L. Markham
Tenants
BYU Cougars (NCAA) (1964–present)
Provo is located in USA West
Provo
Provo
Location in the western United States

LaVell Edwards Stadium is an outdoor athletic stadium in Provo, Utah, on the campus of Brigham Young University (BYU). Primarily used for college football, it is the home field of the BYU Cougars, an independent in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Opened as "Cougar Stadium" in 1964, its seating capacity is 63,470.

The natural grass playing field is conventionally aligned north–south at an elevation of 4,649 feet (1,417 m) above sea level, with the press box along the west sideline.

History and seating[edit]

On the north end of campus, the stadium opened 53 years ago in 1964 as Cougar Stadium, replacing a much smaller 5,000-seat venue of the same name.[1] The first game on Friday night, October 2, was attended by 33,610, a state record.[2] The seating capacity of the facility was just under 30,000 with stands on both sides of the playing field. Seating was soon added to make room for 35,000, and temporary bleachers in the end zones raised the capacity to 45,000.

The stadium was expanded in 1982 to accommodate more than 65,000; permanent concrete stands in the end zones, separated by entryways from the east and west grandstands, were put in place of the temporary bleachers. The playing field was lowered eight feet (2.4 m), and the running track was removed to make room for six additional rows.[3]

LaVell Edwards (1930–2016) was the head coach at BYU for 29 seasons, preceded by ten years as an assistant. He retired after the 2000 season and the stadium was soon renamed in his honor.

"BYU" seats of east grandstand and Y Mountain
Looking southeast in 2004
West exterior in 2007
Lavell Edwards Stadium BYU

Renovations[edit]

The stadium was renovated in 2003 to provide additional luxury seating, which reduced the capacity to 64,045. The luxury seating was a noticeable addition because the arrangement of blue and white seats in this section spells out BYU in block letters. In 2008, BYU unveiled a new video board on the north end zone on August 30, allowing fans seated in the south end zone to see the instant replays and graphics which previously were shown only on the south board.

During the summer of 2010, the capacity of the stadium was further reduced due to some renovations that allowed for more wheelchair accessibility. As of 2016, 63,470 is considered a sellout.

The stadium underwent some upgrades prior to the 2012 season: new HD LED videoboards face the north and south end zones, replacing the outdated and smaller video screens, and they are flanked by video ribbons that stretch along the top of the north and south stands. The elevator shafts have been freshly coated to reflect the new BYU "blue" color scheme, each has the oval Y painted on it, and in 2013 the student section was unified into one area to seat the BYU student section instead of being scattered throughout the stadium.

Track and field[edit]

Prior to the 1982 expansion, it was the home venue for BYU's outdoor track and field teams and hosted the NCAA championships in 1967 and 1975.[4] A new track facility was built just south of the stadium and later named for Clarence F. Robison, the Cougars' legendary track coach.

Jurassic fossils under the stadium[edit]

Part of the largest collection of Jurassic period fossils in North America, housed at BYU, was stored underneath the east bleachers of the stadium until 2005. The fossils have since been prepared and are on display in the BYU Museum of Paleontology's collection room.[5][6][7]

Security[edit]

Due to installation of new features in the stadium, the grounds crew and BYU Police have installed a number of security features to prevent students from entering the stadium after hours, including infrared security cameras and motion detectors. Anyone found entering the stadium after hours may be charged with trespassing and receive a fine up to $500.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Chipman, Dee (October 2, 1964). "New era: Cougars meet New Mexico". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. C1. 
  2. ^ Miller, Hack (October 3, 1964). "Lobos outlast BYU Cats". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. A7. 
  3. ^ "stadium information". StadiumDB.com. Retrieved October 17, 2015. 
  4. ^ BYUCougars.com - LaVell Edwards Stadium
  5. ^ "BYU Earth Science Museum". byu.edu. October 24, 2007. Retrieved October 24, 2007. 
  6. ^ "BYU is home to North America's largest collection of Jurassic era fossils". BYU Magazine, August 1993, 7-8. August 1993. Retrieved December 28, 2006. 
  7. ^ "Museum Information". byu.edu. Archived from the original on August 15, 2007. Retrieved October 26, 2008. 

External links[edit]