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Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, USA

August 26th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

Bulldog Stadium is a stadium in Fresno, California. It is primarily used for American football, and is the home field of the Fresno State Bulldogs. The stadium opened in 1980 and holds 41,031 people. It hosted the California Bowl from 1981 to 1991. In 1994, it hosted international soccer matches

One of the most complete and aesthetically pleasing stadiums in the Western Athletic Conference, Bulldog Stadium has served as the home of Fresno State football since the 1980 season. Entering its 26th season of hosting the Bulldogs, the facility has established itself as one of the most difficult places to win for visiting teams.

Fresno State has gone 122-30-2 at Bulldog Stadium since 1980, good for a winning percentage of nearly 80 percent. Even more impressive is the team's success since 1999, during which time the Bulldogs have gone 30-4. Included in that record are victories over Oregon State (twice), Colorado State and California. Since Pat Hill took over as head coach in 1997, Fresno State is 38-7 (.844) at home.

Much of that success stems from an environment considered the noisiest in the WAC. Featuring a capacity of 41,031, the stadium has been filled at near 100 percent capacity ever since record crowds began to pour into the facility in 2001. No other conference team has experienced the consistently high attendance as have the Bulldogs.

The large crowds and loyal fan support is one reason why CBSSportsline.com has voted the nation's 23rd-best college football facility.

"The atmosphere and fans give the Bulldogs a huge advantage at home," wrote Dennis Dodd, who ranked Bulldog Stadium above such stadiums as those at Florida State, Ohio State and Miami (Fla.).

Featuring a natural grass playing surface and a tree-lined concourse, Bulldog Stadium underwent a two-phase expansion project in 1991 which included the addition of more than 10,000 seats -- increasing the stadium's capacity from 30,000 to 41,031 -- and the construction of 22 sky suites. Other improvements included additional restrooms and concession facilities.

The first phase entailed filling in the panels beyond the north and south end zones with bench seating and the reconfiguration of the seating on the stadium's east side. The second phase, completed prior to the '92 season, featured the addition of 22 sky suites, each of which includes seating for 20, among other amenities.

The stadium expansion was a result of the overwhelming fan support the Bulldogs have enjoyed since the early 1980s. In the years just prior to expansion, Fresno State played before crowds well in excess of the official 30,000-seat capacity in 36 of 37 possible home dates. In 1993, one year after expansion was completed, the Bulldogs averaged 39,536 fans during their six home dates.

Original construction of Bulldog Stadium began in June of 1979 following what was then the most successful capital fundraising project ever undertaken in the San Joaquin Valley. Local residents raised in excess of $7 million for the project. No state tax dollars or student fees were used to build the stadium.

Built partially below ground level with the playing field 37 feet below grade, the bowl features a low profile appearance. A unique cantilevered lighting system extends toward the field and is directed downward to concentrate lighting on the playing surface.

Chair seating for more than 5,000 spectators is located on the west side of the stadium between the 18-yard lines to accommodate the contributors of the $7 million.

The remaining seating, with the exception of the recent addition of 3,240 chairback seats on the east side, is on aluminum benches.

In addition to the scoreboard located at the south end of the stadium, the constuction of a new video board located at the north end of the stadium began in August 2006. When completed in September the new video board will be larger than the previous portable video screen (16' x 22') that was located in the northeast corner of the stadium and will be one of the largest video screens in a collegiate venue on the west coast.

Fresno State defeated Montana State 21-14 on Nov. 15, 1980, in the first game played in the stadium. In 2000, the Bulldogs set a new single-season attendance record when they averaged 42,410 fans, the 22nd-best mark in the nation. The following season, in which Fresno State achieved a program-record national ranking of No. 8, was even better. The Bulldogs set a new record by averaging 42,802 fans, including stadium single-game records of 42,881 in each of the last five contests of that year.

Bulldog Stadium was also home to the California Raisin Bowl from 1981-91. Fresno State played in the game five times, winning the title on four occasions.

Growing into the Future Fresno State offers the finest in medical care. The recently renovated Duncan Training Room has state-of-the-art equipment and has a complete private doctor's evaluation office.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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