Bryant-Denny Stadium


Bryant-Denny Stadium

Infobox_Stadium
stadium_name = Bryant-Denny Stadium
nickname =


location = 100 Bryant Dr
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
broke_ground = September 28 1929
opened = October 5 1929
closed =
demolished =
owner = University of Alabama
operator = University of Alabama
surface = Natural Grass
construction_cost =
architect = Davis Architects
former_names = Denny Stadium (1929–1975)
tenants = Alabama Crimson Tide (1929–present)
seating_capacity = 92,138

Bryant-Denny Stadium, located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is the home stadium for the University of Alabama football team. The stadium opened in 1929, and was originally named Denny Stadium, in honor of former Alabama president George Hutchenson Denny. However, the stadium's name was amended to Bryant-Denny Stadium in 1975 after the Alabama legislature chose to honor famed Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant as a partial namesake. It currently has a seating capacity of 92,138, and is the fourth largest stadium in the SEC, the seventh largest on-campus stadium in the nation and the 18th largest stadium by seating in the world. Since their 1988 season, the stadium has sold out every home game. [ [http://www.rolltide.com/facilities/bryant-denny.html Bryant-Denny Stadium] , Rolltide.com Access 10 October 2008.]

Construction

Denny Stadium opened on September 28, 1929 and was officially dedicated the following week at Homecoming ceremonies against the Ole Miss Rebels, a game the Tide would go on to win 22-7. Originally, the stadium had a capacity of 12,000 people. In 1937, the first expansion of the stadium took place as 6,000 seats were added on the east side and capacity was raised to 18,000. In 1950, further expansions raised capacity to 25,000. In 1961, the grandstands reached sixty-one rows and capacity was boosted to 43,000, before being boosted to 60,000 in 1966 as a result of further upgrades. For the 1988 season, an upper deck was added to the west side of the stadium, boosting capacity to 70,123. During construction of the west side upper deck, the Tide was forced to play its entire 1987 home schedule at Legion Field, convert|56|mi|km from campus in Birmingham.

In 1998, an upper deck was added to the east side of the stadium, raising capacity to 83,818. The new upper deck provided 10,000 additional bleacher seats and eighty-one skyboxes on two levels—sixty-three 16-seat and eighteen 24-seat capacity boxes. In 1999, four additional skyboxes were built to bring total skybox capacity to 85. Also, a scoreboard with video display capabilities was erected in the south endzone, as well as new light towers for the east side of the stadium. A new east side entrance tower a brick facade and reception areas for the Scholarship and A-Club level patrons was also added during the 1998 expansion.

North endzone expansion (2006)

Following the 2004 football season, the university spent approximately $47 million on an expansion to the North endzone, which was completed days before the 2006 season opener against Hawaii. The expansion added a new upper deck to the North endzone area, complete with three different levels of skyboxes, which collectively are known as "The Zone." Two large video screens made by Daktronics were placed in each corner of the North endzone, and convert|3.5|ft|m high and convert|422|ft|m long LCD ribbon screens were placed along the East and West upper deck facades.

Additions were made to the exterior of the stadium with the Walk of Champions. Included in the Walk of Champions are four bronze statues, one for each Alabama football coach who has led the Tide to a national championship. Each statue has a wall behind it bearing the coach's name and the year(s) he led the team to a national championship. There is an empty space with a blank wall next to the four statues, presumably reserved for the next coach to lead Alabama to a national title. In addition, there are stones laid in the immediate pathway leading to the stadium recognizing all of Alabama's SEC and national championship teams throughout the years. Finally, there are also two bronze statues of Alabama football players at the entrance to the North endzone, and the two statues are holding a large Alabama flag. The player on the left is wearing the number 18, and the player on the right is wearing the number 92. These statues honor the entire Alabama football program, which began in 1892.

The north endzone was opened for the 2006 season opener versus Hawaii, which set a new record attendance of 92,138. The Crimson Tide were victorious, 25–17. [cite web| url=http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=262450333| title=Late defensive stand helps Tide hold off game Hawaii| publisher=Associated Press| date=2006-09-02| accessdate=2008-10-07]

Panorama




fullwidth = 1500
fullheight = 466
caption = The interior of Bryant-Denny Stadium (north endzone, left) during an Alabama football game in 2008.
height = 300

Future expansion

The University of Alabama Board of Trustees approved a study of further expansion of Bryant-Denny on September 19, 2008. [ [http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/20080919/WVUA01/809190297 "UA Trustees approve initial study for Bryant-Denny stadium expansion"] , Tuscaloosanews.com, September 19, 2008.]

Football lore

Throughout its history, the Crimson Tide owns a 187–32–3 all-time record at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Bear Bryant accumulated a 72–2 record while head coach of Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Despite its success at Bryant-Denny, much of Alabama "home" football history occurred at Birmingham's Legion Field. Up until the late 1990s, Legion Field, and not Bryant-Denny, hosted the more important games. Usually, Bryant-Denny hosted about three to four games per season. However, in 1998, when Bryant-Denny was expanded to a capacity exceeding Legion Field, home games started to move to Bryant-Denny. From 1998 to 2003, Bryant-Denny hosted the more important games while Legion Field hosted two or three minor games; during this time, Legion Field became increasingly more dilapidated. Finally, in 2003, Alabama played its final game at Legion Field against the South Florida Bulls, and now Bryant-Denny is the sole home of Alabama football.

However, despite most big games being played at Legion Field, Bryant-Denny Stadium has hosted many memorable games, such as the 1994 shootout between Alabama's Jay Barker and Georgia's Eric Zeier, Marvin Constant's goal line stop against LSU quarterback Josh Booty as time expired in 1999, Tyrone Prothro's reception over the back of Southern Miss defensive back Jasper Faulk in 2005, a 31–3 victory over Florida in 2005, and the Roman Harper forced fumble against Tennessee in 2005 that helped the Tide to victory when defeat seemed to be a certainty in that game.

Field design

Traditionally speaking, the field design of Bryant-Denny Stadium was much like the field designs of most football stadiums, which generally involved only the necessary field markings required for play. However, as more and more stadiums began to add other designs to the field aside from those required for play, such as logos, Bryant-Denny Stadium chose to remain traditional, having very few field markings. In fact, even on into the 2002 season, Bryant-Denny had no logo at midfield and no logos at the twenty-five yard lines, which are commonplace in many stadiums. The endzones were simply designed as such that the name "ALABAMA" was spelled out in a white, block style font. During the 2002 season, however, a rather large white script A was added to midfield.

The field design underwent full scale changes beginning with the 2004 season. At midfield, the large white script A was replaced with the script A logo, which is encircled by a crimson ring which has "Alabama Crimson Tide" written around it. The endzone designs, too, were changed to a crimson, block style font (though different than the block style font used in the earlier design) that was outlined in white. This field design is still used in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

For the 2006 season, two identical logos commemorating the 175th anniversary of the founding of the University of Alabama were also added to the field on the twenty-five yard lines. One was added on the south end of the stadium, on the west side of the playing field, while the other was on the north end of the stadium, on the east side of the playing field.

For the 2007 season, two identical logos commemorating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Southeastern Conference were added to home field of every Southeastern Conference team. These were in the same places as the 175th logos were during the 2006 season.

For the 2008 season, two identical Southeastern Conference logos were added to the home field of every Southeastern Conference team. These are in the same places as the previous logos.

References

External links

* [http://www.rolltide.com/facilities/bryant-denny.html Bryant-Denny Stadium page on RollTide.com]
* [http://www.rolltide.com/fls/8000/files/football/gameday/stadiuminformationguide.pdf?DB_OEM_ID=8000 Bryant-Denny Stadium Information Guide]
* [http://www.rolltide.com/PhotoAlbum.dbml?&&PALBID=7367&DB_OEM_ID=8000&FLASH=YES Photo Gallery of Bryant-Denny Stadium]


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