Lane Stadium

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Lane Stadium
Lane Stadium southwest corner from Beamer Way.jpg
Southwest corner in May 2015
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Lane Stadium
Location in Virginia
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Lane Stadium
Location in the United States
Location285 Beamer Way
Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.
Coordinates 37°13′12″N80°25′05″W / 37.22000°N 80.41806°W / 37.22000; -80.41806 Coordinates: 37°13′12″N80°25′05″W / 37.22000°N 80.41806°W / 37.22000; -80.41806
Owner Virginia Polytechnic Institute
and State University
Capacity 65,632 (total) [1]
1,200 (Club Seating)
240 (Luxury Seating – 15 Suites)
Surface'Latitude 36' Bermudagrass overseeded with Perennial Ryegrass in the fall
Construction
Broke groundApril 1, 1964 [2]
OpenedSeptember 24, 1965
54 years ago
Renovated1989, 1994, 1998, 2006, 2012, 2013
Expanded1980, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004
Construction cost $3.5 million
($27.8 million in 2018 [3] )
ArchitectCarneal and Johnston [4]
Smithey and Boynton [4]
General contractorDobyns, Inc. [4]
Tenants
Virginia Tech Hokies (NCAA) (1965–present)

Lane Stadium is a college football stadium in the eastern United States, located on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg, Virginia. The playing surface of the stadium is named Worsham Field. The home field of the Virginia Tech Hokies of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), it was rated the number one home field advantage in all of college football in 2005 by Rivals.com. [5] In 2007, it was ranked #2 on ESPN.com's "Top 10 Scariest Places To Play." [6] The stadium is named for Edward Hudson Lane, a former student, local businessman, and Virginia Tech booster, while the playing surface is named for Wes Worsham, a university donor and booster. [7]

Contents

From 1982 to 2014, Lane Stadium had the highest elevation of any Football Bowl Subdivision stadium in the eastern United States, at 2,057 feet (627 m) above sea level. [8] That distinction now belongs to Kidd Brewer Stadium of Appalachian State University, at 3,333 feet (1,016 m). (The highest field in FBS is at Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium, at 7,215 feet (2,199 m).)

History

Beginning

Lane Stadium under construction. Lane Stadium under construction.jpg
Lane Stadium under construction.

In 1963, school administrator Stuart K. Cassell, namesake of Cassell Coliseum, proposed building a larger stadium to replace the 17,000-seat Miles Stadium, and construction began on April 1, 1964. [2] It took a total of four years to complete construction, but its first game was played in 1965, when VT beat William & Mary 9–7. At the time, only the west stands and center section of the east bleachers were completed; construction was completed summer of 1968, with an official cost of $3.5 million. It seated 35,050 and featured a press box for guests, writers, stats crew-members, scouts, and coaches. The playing field has a conventional north-south alignment with the press box along the west sideline.

The stadium is named after Edward Hudson Lane (1891–1973), a VPI graduate and a 1960s member of the Board of Visitors. Lane founded the Lane Company Inc., of Altavista, known for their dominance of the cedar chest business, a business started in 1912 with the technical help of Lane's old shop class professor from Tech. In the 1960s, Lane headed an educational foundation project which raised over $3 million for the original construction, with his challenge gift of Lane Company stock comprising the lead gift. Like many stadiums built at the time, it consisted of two bowed sideline grandstands with free-standing bleachers behind the end zones. The stadium's original form was substantially similar to that of BB&T Field at Wake Forest and Memorial Stadium at Indiana University.

Expansion renovations and upgrades

View from the South endzone (2016) 2016 Lane Stadium Panoramic.jpg
View from the South endzone (2016)
Lane Stadium (2011) Lane Stadium.jpg
Lane Stadium (2011)

1980s and 1990s

Lane Stadium remained generally unchanged for 20 years, but in 1980 the east stands were expanded, increasing the stadium 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, a 21–14 win over their state rivals, the Virginia Cavaliers.

Prior to the 1989 season, the stadium added 16 flags and received a new paint job, including the maroon and orange stripes still inside the stadium.

On September 5, 1992, during the season opener against James Madison, Lane Stadium's playing surface was dedicated in honor of longtime supporters from Kilmarnock, Wes and Janet Worsham and renamed Worsham Field. The Worshams pledged $1 million to the university's Second Century Campaign, which 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 decreasing capacity to 50,000. 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.

North End Zone Expansion

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 increasing capacity to 53,130. In the summer of 2000, 3,000 more permanent bleacher seats were added to the north end zone increasing capacity to 56,272. That summer also saw the addition of a new scoreboard, known as Hokievision, 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. This move brought the capacity down to 53,662.

2000- present

South endzone expansion

Prior to the 2002 season, the stadium saw 11,120 seats added in the south end zone to effectively enclose that end of the stadium increasing capacity to 65,115. The double-deck structure is similar to that of the Cleveland Browns' "Dawg Pound" 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.

Spring Game in 2005 Lane Stadium 2005 construction.jpg
Spring Game in 2005
West Side press box expansion

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 press box, and club seating. The addition increased Lane Stadium's seating capacity to 66,233.

Hokie Stone was added to the walls of each end zone in 2005. New kicking nets were also installed in both end zones. A new, larger video screen, called 'HokieVision' was also added in the north endzone. Improved playing surface lighting was added as part of the renovation as well. 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.

Prior to the 2012 season, the West Side Outdoor Club seating area was completely renovated and new luxury chairback seats were installed. The entire seating structure was reconfigured, which decreased the number of seating rows, subsequently allowing for more legroom from row to row, and reduced capacity to 65,632. [9]

New Video Scoreboard

In time for the start of the 2013 season, a new "Hokie Vision" video scoreboard was installed. This board is completely LED and the screen itself would completely contain the size of the old scoreboard. There are four pylons holding up the board: the smaller, center two were used as the pylons for the old board and the outer two (both larger) are used in addition to the original pylons to hold up the new board. This new scoreboard ranks third largest college football scoreboard.[ citation needed ]

Bleacher Replacement

A portion of the East stands' bleachers were replaced in Sping/Summer of 2017.

Frank Beamer Statue

During the 2018 season, Virginia Tech unveiled a commissioned statue of former head coach Frank Beamer in front of Lane Stadium's main entrance. The statue was erected to pay tribute to Beamer who coached at his alma mater for 29 seasons, winning 238 games and guiding the Hokies to 23 straight bowl games. The former coach was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2018. [10]

Panorama of Lane Stadium during the "white out" Virginia Tech vs. Austin Peay football game, September 8, 2012. Lane Stadium Panorama.jpg
Panorama of Lane Stadium during the "white out" Virginia Tech vs. Austin Peay football game, September 8, 2012.

Lane Stadium - Quick Facts & Milestones

Lane Stadium - Quick Facts
Seasons in Use53rd Season [11]
Number of sold out games101 (as of Oct 24, 2017) [12]
Overall Record217–82–6 (.721), Games: 305
ACC Record36–17 (.679), Games: 53
vs. Non-Conference150–56–6 (.722), Games: 212
vs. Ranked Teams21–25 (.457) Games: 46
MilestoneDateOpponentScore
First Game/First Win at Lane StadiumOctober 2, 1965 William & Mary W 9–7
First Television Game (ABC)October 29, 1966 Florida State W 23–21
25th Win at Lane StadiumOctober 11, 1975 Florida State W 13–10
50th Win at Lane StadiumOctober 3, 1981 Memphis State W 17–13
First CBS GameSeptember 18, 1982 Miami (FL) L 8–14
First Night GameNovember 25, 1982 Virginia W 21–14
First TBS Game
First Thursday Night Game [11]
First Game Under Head Coach Frank Beamer September 12, 1987 Clemson L 10–22
First Win Under Head Coach Frank Beamer October 3, 1987 Navy W 31–11
75th Win at Lane Stadium
First ESPN GameNovember 24, 1990 Virginia W 38–13
First Big East GameSeptember 26, 1992 West Virginia L 7–16
First Big East WinOctober 16, 1993 Temple W 55–7
100th Win at Lane StadiumSeptember 22, 1994 West Virginia W 34–6
Program's 1,000th GameSeptember 4, 1999 James Madison W 47–0
125th Win at Lane StadiumSeptember 23, 1999 Clemson W 31–11
ESPN College GameDay - First AppearanceOctober 16, 1999 Syracuse W 62–0
ESPN College GameDay - Second AppearanceNovember 13, 1999 Miami (FL) W 43–10
ESPN College GameDay - Third Appearance / Lee Corso's car lightning strike [13] August 30, 2000 Georgia Tech Canceled
Frank Beamer's 100th Win at Virginia TechSeptember 1, 2001 Connecticut W 52–10
Virginia Tech's 600th win overallSeptember 6, 2003 James Madison W 43–0
150th Win at Lane StadiumNovember 1, 2003 Miami (FL) W 31–7
First ACC Game and WinSeptember 18, 2004 Duke W 41–17
ESPN College GameDay - Fourth AppearanceSeptember 24, 2005 Georgia Tech W 51–7
ESPN College GameDay - Fifth AppearanceNovember 5, 2005 Miami (FL) L 7–27
ESPN College GameDay - Sixth AppearanceSeptember 1, 2007 East Carolina W 17–7
Frank Beamer's 200th overall winSeptember 15, 2007 Ohio W 28–7
Frank Beamer's First win vs. Bobby Bowden & Florida State SeminolesNovember 10, 2007 Florida State W 40–21
250th game at Lane StadiumNovember 6, 2008 Maryland W 23–13
First overtime gameSeptember 3, 2012 Georgia Tech W 20–17
200th Win at Lane StadiumOctober 13, 2012 Duke W 41–20
Consecutive home game sellout streakNov.1998 - Sep.2013 W. Carolina W 45–3
50th Anniversary of Lane Stadium [14] August 30, 2014 William & Mary W 34–9
ESPN College GameDay - Seventh AppearanceSeptember 7, 2015 Ohio State L 24–42
First Game under Head Coach Justin Fuente September 3, 2016 Liberty W 36–13
50th ACC home gameSeptember 17, 2016 Boston College W 49–0
300th Game at Lane Stadium & 100th ACC gameOctober 20, 2016 Miami (FL) W 37–16
ESPN College Gameday - Eighth AppearanceSeptember 30, 2017 Clemson [15] L 31–17
100th Sold out game at Lane Stadium [12]

Traditions

Skipper in the south end zone during pregame Virginia tech canon skipper.JPG
Skipper in the south end zone during pregame
the Hokie Bird bench presses a Virginia Tech score Hokiebirdbenchpress.jpg
the Hokie Bird bench presses a Virginia Tech score
The Marching Virginians sousaphone section performs the Hokie Pokie in the north end zone Hokie Pokie.jpg
The Marching Virginians sousaphone section performs the Hokie Pokie in the north end zone

Corps of Cadets

Pre-game

Team entrance

In-game

Scoring plays

  • Student Toss: Groups of students, most of whom are seated in the student section in the north end zone, lift up a student (usually female) to toss in the air for every point scored.
  • Bench Press: The school mascot, the Hokie Bird does one bench press for every point the Hokies score on a weight bench in the end zone.
  • Push-Ups: Freshman cadets complete push-ups on the shoulders of their cadets seated in front of them, completing one push-up for every point scored by the Hokies.
  • Flags: Following every touchdown, members of the cheer squad run onto the field carrying six large flags, each with a single letter, spelling: "H-O-K-I-E-S"
  • Tech Triumph: After a scoring play, the Marching Virginians will play the fight song, Tech Triumph. During a touchdown, the band will reduce their sound while the team attempts the extra point, returning to normal following the kick.
  • Skipper: During the game, Skipper, the cannon is fired behind the north end zone stands of Lane Stadium after every score by Virginia Tech.
  • Fireworks: Fireworks are set-off on scoring plays at night games.

See also

Related Research Articles

Virginia Tech public research university with main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, commonly known as Virginia Tech and by the initials VT and VPI, is a public, land-grant, research university with its main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. It also has educational facilities in six regions statewide and a study-abroad site in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. Through its Corps of Cadets ROTC program, Virginia Tech is also designated as one of six senior military colleges in the United States.

Virginia–Virginia Tech football rivalry Collegiate American football rivalry between Virginia and Virginia Tech.

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HokieBird Virginia Tech mascot

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The Virginia Tech Regimental Band, also known as the Highty Tighties, VPI Cadet Band, or Band Company was established in 1893 as a military marching band unit in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Virginia Tech also has had since 1974 a non-military marching band, The Marching Virginians.

Virginia Tech Hokies intercollegiate sports teams of Virginia Tech

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Miles Stadium

Miles Stadium was a college football stadium in the eastern United States, on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. It was the home field of Virginia Tech's football team from 1926 to 1964, until the new Lane Stadium opened in 1965.

Tech Talk Live is a weekly radio show, hosted by Hokies play-by-play announcer Bill Roth, dedicated to discussion of Virginia Tech Hokies football and men's basketball. The show airs every Monday night at 7pm during the school year.

Virginia Tech Hokies football College Football Bowl Subdivision team; member of Atlantic Coast Conference

The Virginia Tech Hokies football team represents Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the sport of American football. The Hokies compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference. They previously competed in the Big East. Their home games are played at Lane Stadium, located in Blacksburg, Virginia with a seating capacity of over 65,000 fans. Lane Stadium was considered to be one of the loudest stadiums in the country, being voted number one in ESPN's "Top 20 Scariest Places to Play". Also, it was recognized in 2005 by Rivals.com as having the best home-field advantage in the country. It is currently the 31st largest stadium in college football.

The 1993 Independence Bowl was a post-season American college football bowl game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Indiana Hoosiers at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana on December 31, 1993. The 18th edition of the Independence Bowl was the final contest of the 1993 NCAA Division I-A football season for both teams, and ended in a 45–20 victory for Virginia Tech. The game was the first bowl victory for Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer and began a record streak of 23 consecutive bowl appearances for Virginia Tech.

1968 Liberty Bowl annual NCAA football game

The 1968 Liberty Bowl was a post-season American college football bowl game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Ole Miss Rebels from the University of Mississippi at Memphis Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee on December 14, 1968. The game was the final contest of the 1968 college football season for both teams, and ended in a 34-17 victory for Mississippi.

The 1986 Peach Bowl was a post-season American college football bowl game at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the North Carolina State Wolfpack from on December 31, 1986. The game was the final contest of the 1986 NCAA Division I-A football season for both teams, and ended in a 25–24 victory for Virginia Tech, the first bowl victory in school history.

2010 Virginia Tech Hokies football team

The 2010 Virginia Tech Hokies football team represented Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the 2010 NCAA Division I FBS college football season. The Hokies were led by 24th-year head coach Frank Beamer and played their home games at Lane Stadium. They were champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference after winning the Coastal Division and defeating Florida State 44–33 in the 2010 ACC Championship Game.

2013 Virginia Tech Hokies football team

The 2013 Virginia Tech Hokies football team represented the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the 2013 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Hokies were led by 27th-year head coach Frank Beamer and played their home games at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia. They were members of the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference. They finished the season 8–5, 5–3 in ACC play to finish in a three way tie for second place in the Coastal Division. They were invited to the Sun Bowl where they lost to UCLA. The team's 93 game consecutive sellout streak ended on September 7, 2013 against Western Carolina with an announced attendance of 61,335.

The Marching Virginians Virginia Tech marching band

The Marching Virginians are one of two collegiate marching bands at Virginia Tech. Because the Marching Virginians draw from the general student body, they are considerably larger than the Highty Tighties and have about 330 members. Despite offering no scholarships to band members, The Marching Virginians consist of students from every college and virtually every major within the university, as well as several graduate students.

2017 Virginia Tech Hokies football team

The 2017 Virginia Tech Hokies football team represented Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University during the 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Hokies were led by second-year head coach Justin Fuente and played their home games at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia. Virginia Tech competed as members of the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference. They finished the season 9–4, 5–3 in ACC play to finish in second place in the Coastal Division. They were invited to the Camping World Bowl where they lost to Oklahoma State.

Skipper (cannon)

"Skipper" is the name of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets' cannon that is sounded at home football games and other events. The cannon was created by a group of cadets in 1963 for the rivalry game against the Virginia Military Institute, held annually on Thanksgiving Day in Roanoke, Virginia.

References

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  5. Lavender, David (August 21, 2005). "No Place Like Home". Rivals.com. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
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  8. "NCAA Division 1-A universities with football stadiums that are highest in elevation". Sporcle. December 8, 2010.
  9. "Virginia Tech Football Club Seats Still Available". Virginia Tech Athletics. June 27, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
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  12. 1 2 Stewart, Will (October 18, 2017). "Virginia Tech Announces UNC Game Sold Out" . Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  13. "Lightning Strikes Corso's Rental Car". ESPN. Associated Press. August 28, 2000. Retrieved March 10, 2009.
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  15. "College GameDay on Twitter". Twitter.[ non-primary source needed ]
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