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Johnny

February 9, 2012 ·

Officially named Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium/Horace Jones Field in 1968, Floyd Stadium will host its 78th season of Blue Raider football with the 2013 campaign. Set on the northwest end of campus, Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium has undergone a multimillion dollar renovation over the past few years to make it one of the premier facilities in the region and the Sun Belt Conference.

The Blue Raiders are 269-113-13 all-time at Floyd Stadium.

The stadium opened its doors on October 14, 1933, with a scoreless tie against Jacksonville State.

Originally built as two sideline grandstands on either side of an outdoor track, it was enlarged in 1940, 1960, 1968, and most recently in 1998 to bring it to its current configuration as an octagonal bowl.

The move to NCAA Division I-A (FBS) football was the catalyst for the 1998 renovation to Floyd Stadium. On August 24, 1995, the University announced plans for a $25 million renovation, which was approved by the State Building Commission. After a lengthy bid process, ground was officially broken for the stadium in January of 1997 with Turner Construction handling the project.

Upon completion, the stadium featured 30,788 seats with only the east side grandstands remaining from the original structure. The old press box gave way to a five-story tower including luxury suites on the third level, a large press area and suites on the fourth level, and a camera deck on the fifth level. The renovation also included the addition of more chair-back seats as well as a club level.

The stadium is also equipped with 16 indoor suites and 38 outdoor boxes.

In addition to the spectator facilities, the stadium complex includes a team meeting room, position meeting rooms, a 10,000 square foot weight room for all Middle Tennessee teams, an academic center for Blue Raider student-athletes, and access to Murphy Athletic Center from the stadium via a walkway. The stadium also allows for further expansion that would provide an increase of approximately 40,000 seats, putting capacity over the 70,000 mark.

The first game in the renovated stadium took place on Sept. 5, 1998. The game, in which Middle Tennessee hosted local rival Tennessee State, drew a school record at the time 27,568 fans. The attendance helped push Middle Tennessee over the top for its I-A qualifying attendance of 17,000 per game.

The Blue Raiders recently set a new stadium attendance record with 30,502 seeing the home team face Georgia Tech on Sept. 10, 2011.

The most recent upgrade came during the summer of 2007 when a new state-of-the-art video board was installed. The 18'x32' Daktronics display board enhances the overall atmosphere and bring fans even closer to the action.

During the summer of 2006, a new synthetic surface was installed to replace the outdated artificial turf. The surface is by Sportexe and the brand used is PowerBlade, which is a special monofilament polyethylene infilled system designed to maximize player speed and performance and provide superior shock absorbency. Middle Tennessee was the first school in the country to use this top-of-the-line surface.

The following is a rundown of the other facelifts that have been added during the 77-year history of Floyd Stadium: 1948: Permanent concrete stands added to Horace Jones Field to bring capacity to 6,200.

1960: Horace Jones Field expanded to 10,000 seats and a press area was added.

1968: Facility officially becomes Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium/Horace Jones Field.

1968: Seating capacity expanded to 14,000. In addition, a larger press box was added.

1971: Artificial turf was installed and natural grass became a thing of the past. First game on the new turf was Oct. 2, 1971, against Chattanooga.

1979: On Nov. 3, stadium is officially dedicated and press box sign unveiled.

1998: $25 million renovation expands seating capacity to 30,788 and the old press box gave way to a five-story facility with a club level, suites, press floor, and a camera deck.

2006: A new synthetic surface was installed to give the Blue Raiders one of the top surfaces in the country.

2007: A new state-of-the-art video board with an 18'x32' display was installed.

2011: A new fence was installed around the perimeter of the stadium.

2012: The Jeff Hendrix Stadium Club debuted on the west side of the stadium.

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