Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field
Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field is the football stadium at the Georgia Institute of Technology (aka Ga Tech), Georgia. The stadium was the site for Atlanta's Drums Across America DCI show for many years, as well as hosting the DCI South championships several times in the 1980's and even the DCI World Championships in 1984. BDS@HGF holds the distinction of being the oldest on-campus division 1-A football stadium still in use (originally built in 1913), and it has been renovated most recently in 2003 by the addition of 30 luxury suites and a huge upper deck in the north endzone, raising it's capacity to 55,000.
Georgia Tech's football facility was known as Grant Field until April of 1988, when the Georgia State Board of Regents voted to add the name Bobby Dodd Stadium in honor of the legendary coach who guided the Rambling Wreck to its most illustrious football era. A member of the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame, Dodd compiled a 165-64-8 record from 1945-66, and tutored 21 all-Americas as he led Tech to 13 bowl trips during his 22-year stay as head coach.
Dodd served as Tech's director of athletics from 1951-76 and then worked as a consultant for the alumni association until his death in 1988 for a 57-year association with the Institute.
The name change was the first for the facility since it was named Hugh Inman Grant Field in 1914 after a gift from John W. Grant, a member of the Tech Board of Trustees and a well-known Atlanta merchant.
The Grant family did not give the land on which Grant Field is built. However, they did give the initial $15,000 used in 1913 to build the first permanent concrete stands on the west side of the field. In gratitude for the gift, the Board of Trustees named the field Hugh Inman Grant Field in memory of Grant's deceased son.
The original concrete West Stands were largely built by Tech students and seated 5,600. The concrete East Stands were completed in time for the 1924 season. A year later, the South Stands were finished, bringing the seating capacity to approximately 30,000.
Growth of the stadium has been steady through the years. In 1947, the West Stands were rebuilt, which raised the capacity to 40,000, and a new press box, then the largest in the South, was constructed. The all-steel North Stands were erected in 1958 to bring the seating to 44,105.
A second deck was added to the East side in 1962, increasing the stadium capacity to 53,300. The facility was expanded again in 1967, when the West Stands were doubledecked to bring capacity to its high of 58,121. That project also included new press and photo levels, including an elevator. New scoreboards were added prior to the 1982 season.
Following the 1985 season, the historic South Stands, which formed the familiar U-shape on North Avenue, were razed. In their place is the William C. Wardlaw Center, a multi-purpose facility for Georgia Tech's athletic and academic departments that was opened for the 1988 season. Seating capacity was reduced to 46,000.
A major renovation of the stadium was completed prior to the 1992 season with the construction of the Bill Moore Student Success Center behind the West Stands, as well as the addition of 32 executive suites and the renovation of the President's Box and press level.
This project also included the Roy Richards Festival under the West Stands, a concession and concourse area modeled after the design of Underground Atlanta. The Georgia Tech Letterwinners Club was housed on the Terrace Level of the Richards Festival before moving in 2003 to the North end zone.
Natural grass returned to Grant Field in 1995 after 24 seasons with artificial turf. The field was originally surfaced with Astroturf in 1971 and resurfaced in 1979, and then new artificial All-Pro Turf was installed in 1988.
Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field is located at the heart of the Georgia Tech campus on Techwood Drive, bordered by North Avenue on the south and Bobby Dodd Way on the north. Tech has hosted numerous crowds which have exceeded capacity, the largest of which was the 60,316 spectators for the Georgia game in 1973.