Bulldog Stadium capacity only went over the 40,000 mark, when they eliminated
the grass berms and filled them with metal bleacher seats to close off the
"corner" and "semi-endzone" areas. This was done in anticipation of FSU joining
the WAC. The financing was done by selling "red seats" or PSL's for the 35 to 35
yard line areas. On one side of the field (East) the lower levels (first 20 rows
or so) were left without chairbacks (red seats) and remain student seats.
In 1994 Bulldog Stadium began hosting international soccer matches (Mexico,
Brazil, El Salvador, Sweden) and others have played there to crowds of over 25,000.
The stadium is in the middle of a neighborhood though, so I don't think there
have ever been any rock or country concerts there.
Courtesy of Ed Bove Fresno State Alum
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 25th 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 nosiest 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 University of 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.
Fresno State defeated 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 1981-1991. 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.
The Pride of the Valley
Thanks to generous contributions from the community, the Valley Growers Practice Field rivals any NFL facility. With two lighted fields and a spacious covered outdoor weight room, the Bulldogs have the premier college practice facility on the West Coast.