Sanford Stadium

Sanford Stadium

Infobox Stadium
stadium_name = Sanford Stadium
nickname = "Between the Hedges"

location = Sanford Dr and Field St
Athens, GA 30602
broke_ground = 1928
opened = October 12, 1929
closed =
demolished =
owner = University of Georgia
operator = University of Georgia
surface = Natural Grass
architect = TC Atwood
construction_cost = $360,000 USD
former_names =
tenants = Georgia Bulldogs (NCAA) (1929-Present)
seating_capacity = 92,746

Sanford Stadium is the on-campus playing venue for football at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. The 92,746-seat stadium is the sixth largest on-campus stadium in the NCAA. Architecturally, the stadium is known for the fact that its numerous expansions over the years have been carefully planned to fit with the existing "look" of the stadium. Games played there are said to be played "Between the Hedges" due to the privet hedges, which have stood around the field since its opening day in 1929.


An early major force behind UGA's athletics, the stadium's namesake, Dr. Steadman Vincent Sanford, arrived at the university as an English instructor in 1903. He later became the faculty representative to the athletics committee and would eventually become of the University and Chancellor of the entire University System of Georgia. In 1911, he moved the university's football venue from its first location, Herty Field, to a location at the center of campus which was named Sanford Field in his honor.

In those early years of football, Georgia played a series of controversial games against in-state rival Georgia Tech. Tech's [Bobby Dodd Stadium|Grant Fieldtotal cost was $360,000.

Near the existing Sanford Field was a low area between the Old Campus (to the north) and the Ag Campus (to the south) with a small creek (Tanyard Creek) running through it, creating a clearly preferable choice for the location of the new stadium. This natural valley containing Tanyard Creek would result in reduced 30,000+ paid $3.00 per ticket to watch the Georgia Bulldogs, under coach Harry Mehre, beat Yale 15–0 in Sanford Stadium's dedication game. Yale donated its half of the game receipts to UGA to help pay off the construction loans, which would subsequently be completely repaid in just five years. Dr. Sanford also was at this game, and attended many Georgia games at the stadium named in his honor until his death on September 15, 1945.

Quote box
quote=I have played in many stadiums, but to me there are only two special stadiums - Yankee Stadium in New York and Sanford Stadium in Athens, and there is no comparison between the two. There is no place in the world precisely like the grass that grows between the hedges in Athens, Georgia
source=Fran Tarkentoncite book |last=Sharpe |first=Wilton |title= Bulldog Madness: Great Eras in Georgia Football |year=2005 |publisher=Cumberland House |location=Nashville, Tennessee |isbn=1-58182-447-5 |pages= p.209|chapter= Chapter 11] |

Sanford Stadium's famous hedges have encircled the field since the stadium's very first game against Yale in 1929. The idea to put hedges around the field came from the Business Manager of the UGA Athletic Department, Charlie Martin. Martin claimed to have received inspiration for the idea sinense" [] .

In addition to being a cosmetic touch, the hedges have proven to be an effective (though perhaps unintended) measure of crowd control, as well. Even though a major traffic path to exit the stadium from both stands runs directly alongside the hedges, fans have only stormed the field and torn down the goal-posts once in the entire history of Sanford Stadium.

tadium expansions

In 1940, field-level lights were added, and Georgia played its first night game against Kentucky to a 7–7 tie. Six thousand seats were also added to the south side of the stadium in 1949, bringing total capacity to 36,000

During the 1960s, many universities in the South were significantly expanding their stadiums, and Georgia was no different. Soon after the arrival of head coach Vince Dooley in 1964, UGA began updating Sanford Stadium, removing the field-level lighting (which obstructed views from the stands) and adding 7,621 temporary end-zone seats, which brought total capacity to 43,621. Architects Heery and Heery of Atlanta were then hired to plan a major expansion. This expansion planning was very tricky, since by that time the stadium was closely enclosed on both north and south sides by academic buildings. The plans went forward, however, and an "upper deck" of seats was added to each side of the stadium in 1967 without the need to demolish or alter any of the surrounding buildings. In addition to the new upper decks, this first major addition included a new pressbox and club seating. In total, 19,640 seats were added to the stadium (bringing total capacity to 59,000), at a cost of $3,000,000. The new addition was christened with a victory over Mississippi State in 1967.

In 1981, the east endzone stands were enclosed for a cost of $11.5 million, creating a "horseshoe-shaped" stadium and eliminating the free view enjoyed by the "Track People". This addition added 19,000 seats, bringing total stadium capacity to 82,122. The first game in the newly-expanded stadium was on September 5, 1981, against Tennessee, with Georgia delivering a 44–0 drubbing.

Lights were re-installed in the stadium in 1981. This time, the lights were not located at field level, but attached to the top of the upper level, thus not obscuring fans' views of the field. The first game under the "new lights" was a 13–7 victory against Clemson on September 6, 1982.

In 1991, a portion of the west endzone stands was enclosed, creating a "partial bowl" around the lower level of Sanford Stadium. The west stands could not be completely enclosed due to the proximity of Gillis Bridge (usually called "Sanford Bridge"), a major campus transportation artery, to the stadium. This expansion cost $3.7 million and added 4,205 new seats, bringing total capacity to 85,434.

Thirty luxury suites were added above the south stands in 1994, and were expanded to 50 suites in 2000. These expansions cost a total of $18 million, and raised total capacity to 86,520.

In 2003, another upper deck was added to the north side of the stadium. This added 5,500 new seats to the stadium at a cost of $25 million, bringing total stadium capacity to 92,058. Currently, most of these "upper-upper deck" seats are reserved for the fans of the visiting team.

In 2005, installation of a new video display on the West End zone was completed. Ribbon boards were also added along the sides of the stadium. These additions, constructed and maintained by Daktronics, establish Sanford Stadium as one of the most visually media intensive venues in the SEC.

The stadium reached its current capacity of 92,746 in 2004, when 27 SkySuites were added to the North side of the stadium at a cost of $8 million.

As of September 2008 Sanford Stadium could grow by more than 9,000 seats if a plan from University architects is approved. The seating expansion would wrap around the east side of the stadium and would bring the stadium's capacity to 101,766. University architect Danny Sniff said he considered filling in the endzone by the Sanford Drive bridge, but decided it was important to preserve the view of the Miller Learning Center and Tate Student Center. There are other proposed additions which include increasing the number of concession stands and restrooms, as well as installing a Jumbotron outside the east end of the stadium to provide for the viewing of the game from outside the stadium.

Notable Sanford Stadium games

*October 12, 1929: The first game played at Sanford Stadium - Georgia upset heavily-favored Yale 15–0.
*October 26, 1940: The first night game at Sanford Stadium - Georgia and Kentucky play to a 7–7 tie.
*September 9, 1965: The Bulldogs upset Bear Bryant's 1965 Alabama Crimson Tide team 18-17 on a last second, controversial flea-flicker play. Alabama would win the national championship that season, with a final record of 9–1–1.
*September 13, 1980: Georgia begins a streak of 24 consecutive home wins (a school record) by defeating Texas A&M 42–0. The Dawgs would go on to win the national title in the 1980 season. This was also the home debut for Herschel Walker.
*September 6, 1982: The first game under the "new lights" was a 13–7 victory against Clemson.
*September 22, 1984: Playing against second-ranked Clemson, the Dawgs won 26–23 on a last-second 60-yard field goal by Kevin Butler.
*November 10, 2007: After Coach Mark Richt asked fans to "blackout" Sanford Stadium against the Auburn Tigers, the Dawgs took the field in black for the first time in modern history. Georgia won the game 45–20 en route to a Sugar Bowl victory.

1996 Summer Olympics

The stadium played host to the Olympic medal competition of men's and women's Olympic football (soccer) at the 1996 Summer Olympics. Because the required dimensions of a soccer field are larger than for an American football field, the hedges surrounding the field needed to be removed. This proved to be a controversial measure, as it had not been general public knowledge that the hedges would have to be removed to accommodate the Olympic football competition. In preparation for this necessity, cuttings were taken from the original hedges and cultivated at a secret off-site location for three years prior to the Olympics. During the Olympics, Nigeria and the United States would win the men's and women's football gold medals, respectively, at the hedge-less stadium. Once the Olympics were over, the newly-grown hedges were transplanted from their off-site location to the stadium.

Unique Features

*Georgia's deceased mascots (UGAs I-VI, all descendants of the original white Bulldog) are actually buried or entombed in the southwest corner of the stadium.
*In lieu of a traditional or block-letter "G", Georgia's football-shaped "G" logo marks the goal line.
*Sanford Stadium is also one of the few college stadiums, and one of only two in the Southeastern Conference, in which the football field is oriented to face East–West as opposed to North-South (the other is Commonwealth Stadium; both stadiums are oriented in a general northwest-southeast direction). Many of UGA's opponents have found it difficult for players to see as the West Endzone is still open and the sun shines in the faces of the players, although both teams face the sun during the game.
*Up until the end of the era of rail travel, executives of the Central of Georgia Railway Co. would park the company president's luxury office rail car on the tracks overlooking the stadium's open east end zone for an excellent view of the spectacle. With food served on china by white-coated porters to the Central of Georgia executives and their guests, the rail car "Atlanta" could be considered Sanford Stadium's original luxury skybox.
*In the 1970s, a multitude of fans began watching Georgia games from the railroad tracks that overlooked the stadium's open east endzone. These "Track People," as they came to be known, were able to watch the game for free, and became a tradition. The 1981 expansion of the stadium, however, enclosed the east endzone stands, eliminating the view of the field from the railroad tracks and effectively ending the "Track People" tradition.
*Georgia's fans have only rushed the field and torn down the goal posts once in the stadium's history. This happened on October 7, 2000, after the Bulldogs beat rival Tennessee for the first time since 1988 with a fourth quarter touchdown. This statistic is usually credited to the fact that the hedges serve not only cosmetic purposes, but also help with crowd control. Aiding this cause is the fact that the hedges surround, and largely conceal, a low chainlink fence running through their branches around the circumference of the field.

ee also

*Georgia Bulldogs football


External links

* [ Official UGA Athletics page for Sanford Stadium]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sanford Stadium — Généralités Surnom Between the Hedges Adresse Sanford Dr and Field St, Athens, GA 30602 Coordonnées …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sanford Stadium — Between the Hedges Sanford Stadium in Athens Daten Ort …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sanford Stadium — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda 33°56′59″N 83°22′24″O / 33.94972, 83.37333 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sanford — may refer to:People* Adam G. Sanford {Chef}1980 present * Adam Sanford * Agnes Sanford * Arlene Sanford * Chance Sanford * Charles S. Sanford, Jr. * Curtis Sanford * Edmund Clark Sanford * Edward Terry Sanford * Fred Sanford (musician) * Garwin… …   Wikipedia

  • Sanford — bezeichnet: Sanford (Schreibprodukte), ein Hersteller von Schreibgeräten und Zeichenbedarf Sanford (Serie), eine TV Serie als Vorname u.a. folgende Personen: Sanford Clark (* 1935), US amerikanischer Rockabilly Musiker Sanford Dole (1844–1926),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sanford — Cet article possède des paronymes, voir : Stanford et Stamford. Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sanford peut désigner  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sanford Field — Infobox Stadium stadium name = Sanford Field| nickname = location = Lumpkin Street Athens, Georgia 30602 broke ground = opened = 1911 closed = demolished = owner = University of Georgia operator = University of Georgia surface = grass… …   Wikipedia

  • Sanford, Maine — Infobox Settlement official name = Sanford, Maine settlement type = Town nickname = motto = imagesize = image caption = image mapsize = 250x200px map caption = Location of town of Sanford in map of Maine mapsize1 = map caption1 = subdivision type …   Wikipedia

  • Steadman Vincent Sanford — (August 24, 1871 ndash; September 15, 1945), was President of the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens from 1932 until 1935. He subsequently served as Chancellor of the University System of Georgia from 1935 until 1945.Early life, education and… …   Wikipedia

  • Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium — Not to be confused with John F. Kennedy Stadium. Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium RFK Stadium …   Wikipedia