Lane Stadium


Lane Stadium

Infobox_Stadium
stadium_name = Lane Stadium
nickname = "Home of the Hokie Nation"
location = Stadium & Spring Road
Blacksburg, VA 24060
broke_ground = April 1964
opened = 1965
closed =
demolished =
owner = Virginia Tech
operator = Virginia Tech
surface = Natural Grass
construction_cost = $3 million USD
architect =
former_names =
tenants = Virginia Tech Hokies (NCAA) (1965-Present)
seating_capacity = 66,233 (Total for Lane Stadium) • 1,200 (Club Seating) • 240 (Luxury Seating - 15 Suites)

Lane Stadium/Worsham Field is a stadium located in Blacksburg, Virginia. It is the home field of the Virginia Tech Hokies, a college football team. It was rated as the number one home field advantage in all of college football in 2005 by Rivals.com [cite web
last = Lavender
first =David
title = No place like home
url = http://www.rivals.com/content.asp?SID=1014&CID=444097
date = August 21, 2005
publisher = Rivals.com
accessdate = 2008-01-30
] . It is also #2 on the "Top 10 Scariest Places To Play" list on espn.com only falling behind LSU's Tiger Stadium. [cite web
last = Feldman
first = Bruce
title = Death Valley tops list of scary venues for opposing teams
url = http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=feldman_bruce&id=3044646
publisher = espn.com
date = October 1, 2007
accessdate = 2008-01-30
]

History

Beginning

In 1963, Stuart K. Cassell, namesake of Cassell Coliseum and a former school administrator, proposed building a larger stadium to replace Miles Stadium, a 17,000-seat stadium. Construction of Lane Stadium began in April 1964. It took a total of four years to complete construction. However, the first game in the new stadium was played in 1965, when VT beat William & Mary 9–7. At the game, only the west stands and center section of the east bleachers were completed. It wasn't until the summer of 1968 that construction was completed on Lane Stadium, with an official cost of $3.5 million. This brand new stadium seated 35,050 which featured a press box for guests, writers, stats crew-members, scouts and coaches.

The stadium is named after Edward H. Lane, a graduate of the university and a former member of the Board of Visitors. Lane headed an educational foundation project which raised over $3 million for the original construction. Like many stadiums built at the time, the original stadium consisted of two bowed sideline grandstands and endzone bleachers.

Expansion

Lane Stadium saw a calm first 20 years, but in the Eighties the stadium started expanding and updating technology that has lasted until 2005. The year 1980 saw the expansion of the east stands to increase the capacity to 52,500. Two years later, the Stadium installed a brand-new lighting system that would help the team get its first nationally broadcast game on WTBS. The game was a 21-14 win over state rival University of Virginia.

Before the 1989 season began, the Stadium received 16 flags to adorn the stadium. It also got a new paint job, which included the maroon and orange stripes inside the stadium.

On September 5, 1992, Worsham Field was dedicated in honor of Wes and Janet Worsham, longtime Hokie supporters from Kilmarnock, Virginia. The Worshams pledged $1 million to the university's Second Century Campaign. The Campaign raised over $18.6 million — $1.7 million more than the original goal.

In the spring of 1994, renovations were completed on seven lower sections of the east stands. Renovations also included replacing concrete risers and the addition of wheelchair seating. Also, before the 1994 season, plaques bearing retired numbers of Tech heroes Bruce Smith, Carroll Dale, Jim Pyne, and Frank Loria were added to the wall in the north end zone. However, with the later addition of the north end zone seats, the four retired numbers now fly on flag poles above those stands.

Before the start of the 1998 season, the oldest bleachers were replaced with new locust wood and the stands were waterproofed. On the east side, the roof on the old visitors' locker room was replaced along with the bleachers above the dressing room.

Before the 1999 season, the university started work on the north end zone. The summer of 1999 saw the addition of roughly 2,100 seats to the north end zone. In the summer of 2000, 3,000 more permanent bleacher seats were added to the north end zone. That summer also saw the addition of a new scoreboard, Hokievision. It was installed behind the north end zone. The summer of 2001 saw the latest round of additions to north end zone bleachers — 600 seats for The Marching Virginians. In total, these moves made the capacity to 53,662.

" section. It has bleacher, bench-back and club seats. The structure is enclosed, but has gaps between the older structures and itself. This is the result of building codes and a desire to get fans even closer to the field.

Perhaps the biggest addition to Lane Stadium was completed prior to the 2006 season. After the 2004 season, the old press box was removed and construction began on this west-side expansion, filling in to match what was built up during the 2004 season. The new boxes include a new press area, on the side toward the south end zone, with a dining area and improved facilities. Also, the fencing that surrounds the stadium was removed, and the area on the west side exterior of the stadium landscaped with walkways and a weekday parking lot for ticket patrons and Hall of Fame and Hokie Club visitors. New luxury suites, President's area, four private club seating areas, concession stands, ticket office, athletic fund offices, an Athletics Hall of Fame and student academic services area were also included in this latest project. A two tier grandstand featuring 11,000 seats, 15 luxury suites, and a new visitor’s locker room was completed. The $52.5 million expansion includes 23 luxury suites, a new pressbox, and club seating. The addition increased Lane Stadium's seating capacity to 66,233.

The 2005 season also sees new addition to playing field. Hokie Stone now adorns the walls of each end zone. This goes with the outside of most of the university's buildings. New kicking nets have also been installed in both end zones. A new video screen — ⅓ larger — has replaced the old one. New lights that will double the amount of light and reduce shadows on the field were added as part of the renovation too. The traditional "Home of the Fighting Gobblers" sign was also removed from the West Stands during this renovation (the sign is currently located above the HokieShop in the West Stands concourse). In an article in "The Roanoke Times" newspaper, it stated that Tech was not going to even think about renovating Lane Stadium again until about 2013, and it also stated that when Tech renovates Lane Stadium, the university will most likely tear down the student's section and replace it with new concrete bleachers and increase that area's capacity, and also add suites on top of it. And possibly connect the south side with the east and west sides.

Lane Stadium Milestones

Traditions

* The Highty Tighties, Virginia Tech’s Regimental Band, leads the football team to the stadium during the pre-game walk.
* Virginia Tech’s Corps of Cadets march into Lane Stadium and stand in formation on the field during the National Anthem and Rendering of Colors.
* Cadets fire Skipper, the world’s largest game cannon after the anthem and after every score. VT was left without any game cannons after donating them for scrap during WWII. Skipper was built in secret in the early 1960’s to silence VMI’s “Where’s your cannon” chant. During, the pre-game ceremonies, Skipper is fired by Cadets on the Fottball field itself. During the game the cannon is fired from the practice field behind Lane Stadium. Planning and construction was conducted by a group of cadets led by Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys and October Sky.
* The cheerleaders start a back and forth call of "Let's Go" and "Hokies" with the east and west stands before the game.
* Metallica's Enter Sandman is played before the football team enters the stadium, and VT’s civilian marching band, the Marching Virginians leads the crowd in the “Blacksburg Bounce”.
* The Hokies run out of a tunnel, reaching up to slap a slab of Hokie Stone on the way out and then run between two phalanxes consisting of the Highty Tighties and freshman cadets. On "Senior Day," the last home game of the season, senior cadets take the place of freshmen.
* A turkey gobble is periodically played over the PA system to rile up the crowd. This gobble is done in memory of Floyde “Hard Times” Meade, a local boy who was adopted by the corps and became the school’s first mascot in the late 1800’s. He later brought trained turkeys to games to walk the sidelines during games and gobble on command.
* On a third down on defense, fans use their keys as noisemakers to signify a "Key Play."
* Fans chant "Block that Kick" and make a blocking motion with their arms when the other team is punting or attempting to kick a field goal.
* Freshman VTCC cadets do push-ups on the shoulders of their classmates equal to the point total after each score. In similar fashion, the Hokie Bird does a bench press for every point the team scores.
* After the third quarter, the Tuba section of The Marching Virginians lines up to play and dance the Hokie Pokie. Occasionally band members will “kidnap” tuba players from the visiting band and force them to play it with them.
* Since 2002, the students have designated one Orange Effect game where all fans are asked to wear orange. The Orange Effect game is always played against a team that does not use orange as a team color (for example, opponents such as Syracuse, Miami, UVA, or Clemson would never be designated as Orange Effect games).
* In 2005, a Maroon Effect game was added. The Maroon Effect game is always played against a team that does not use maroon/crimson as a team color (The maroon effect would not be used against Boston College or Florida State). Though not permanently added to the schedule until 2005, the first Maroon Effect game was actually in 2002 against the University of Virginia.
* In recent years, the Highty-Tighties perform the pre-game fieldshow while the Marching Virginians perform the half-time fieldshow at every game, once a season (twice, in 2005 and 2006, when Virginia Tech is featured by ESPN's Thursday Night College GameDay), the two bands switch.
* Once a year, the Marching Virginians perform their Pre-Game Show, which begins with the band forming the shape of the Commonwealth of Virginia and features the MV's forming several recognizable shapes such as spelling out "VT", "HOKIES", and the spelling of the word "TECH".

ee also

* Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
* Virginia Tech campus
* Virginia Tech Hokies

External links

* [http://www.hokiesports.com/ Hokie Sports]
* [http://www.hokiesports.com/football/lanestadium.html Lane Stadium Official Website]
* [http://www.hokietickets.com/lane.html Lane Stadium Seating Chart]

References


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