Ross-Ade Stadium has provided a significant home-field advantage for the Boilermakers. From 1997 to 2007, the Boilermakers have posted a 52-18 record - a .743 winning percentage - at Ross-Ade while the average attendance has risen from 45,306 in 1996 (the year before Tiller arrived in West Lafayette) to 65,319 in 2000 (the sixth-largest in school history).
From 2001 to 2003, Ross-Ade underwent a $70 million renovation that has made it one of the most attractive and fan-friendly facilities in all of college football.
A unique alignment of conditions - blistering heat and an aging irrigation system - resulted in the playing surface literally coming up in pieces in the fall of 2005. At the conclusion of the season, a team of experts led by Athletics Director Morgan J. Burke and Tiller set out to chart a long-term solution for the field. Although typically thought of as a turf better suited to well south of the Mason-Dixon Line, the Purdue turf team scouted sites in Maryland and Virginia and came away convinced a cold-tolerant strain of Bermuda grass was the best permanent fix. Sod was laid in June of 2006, and Ross-Ade became the first Big Ten stadium with a Bermuda surface.
During the summer of 2007, a new 31-foot by 68-foot Daktronics video board, priced at $1.7 million, was installed at the south end of Ross-Ade that significantly enhanced replay and other entertainment possibilities.
Ross-Ade was dedicated Nov. 22, 1924, in a game against intrastate rival Indiana (the Boilermakers won 26-7). The stadium is named for its two principal benefactors, alumni David E. Ross, late president of the Board of Trustees, and the late George Ade, playwright and humorist. It was Ross who conceived the idea for the stadium and selected the site. He and Ade purchased and presented to the university the 65-acre tract on which the stadium is located.
The stadium's original seating capacity was 13,500 (with standing room for an additional 5,000). Six expansions, plus end zone bleacher seating, eventually raised it to 69,200 in 1970. Capacity presently is 62,500.
Purdue has an all-time record in Ross-Ade of 252-147-13, a .627 winning percentage.
Ross-Ade features the Prescription Athletic Turf (PAT) system. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, when most collegiate stadiums were being converted to artificial turf, two Purdue staffers, William H. Daniel and Melvin Robey, developed PAT, installing it in the stadium in the spring of 1975 at a cost of approximately $125,000.
Known as the perfect compromise between natural grass and artificial turf, PAT can keep the field playable and virtually divot-proof, even during a storm dumping one inch of rain per hour. A network of pipes connected to pumps capable of extracting water from the turf or watering it makes the system work. The pipes are located 16 inches below the surface and covered with a mixture of sand and fill.
Milestones In Ross-Ade Stadium History
Sept. 6, 1922 - At a welcome reception and dinner for President Edward Elliott, alumni David Ross and George Ade announce that they have purchased a 65-acre dairy farm on the outskirts of West Lafayette to be used as a site for a football stadium and other intercollegiate athletics facilities. Ross chose the site because a valley at the southern end of the property afforded easy completion as a stadium.
June 2, 1924 - Work begins on construction of Ross-Ade Stadium under the direction of A.E. Kemmer, Class of 1902, as general contractor. George Spitzer, member of the Class of 1889 and a Purdue professor, and his wife donate three city lots at the south end of the 65-acre tract to serve as an entry to the stadium. The lots are now the site of Cary Quadrangle; the courtyard within the Quad, Spitzer Court, honors the gift.
Nov. 22, 1924 - Purdue dedicates Ross-Ade Stadium, which debuts with 13,500 seating capacity and standing room for an additional 5,000 in the north end of the stadium. The Boilermakers win the Homecoming matchup over Indiana 26-7.
1930 - Concrete is poured in the north bend of the stadium, where the earth had been terraced for standing room since 1924. The playing field is moved 15 yards farther north. The new capacity is 23,074, although temporary seating and standing room are available at the upper edge of the seating bowl. A new press box is constructed on the east side of the stadium. The original press box had been on the west side.
1949 - Temporary bleachers that had been perched at the top of the original seating area are removed and permanent steel grandstands are built on the west side of the stadium. From the time of the completion of the north end in 1930 to the late 1940s, temporary stands had been installed around the top of the original bowl. The new capacity is 51,295.
1950 - A new press box is added on the west side of the stadium.
1955 - Permanent steel stands are erected on the east side, replacing temporary stands. The new capacity is 55,500.
1957 - The cinder track that was part of the 1924 construction is removed, and a fence is erected between the playing field and seating area.
1964 - The playing field is lowered by seven feet and 13 rows of seats added. The new seating capacity is 60,000. Sloping, semicircular sidewalks are built to connect the locker rooms to the playing field, and a walkway is provided at the base of the seating area.
1969 - The last of the temporary bleachers at the top of the original seating area in the north end are replaced with permanent seating, bringing capacity to 68,000. A new scoreboard is built south of the playing field. An additional level is added to the press box.
1970 - Larger bleachers south of the playing field are installed, adding an additional 1,200 seats. The largest crowd in Ross-Ade history, 69,357, views the Nov. 21 game against Indiana. Subsequent additions of handicapped-accessible seating and other seating changes reduce capacity to 67,332.
1975 - Prescription Athletic Turf is developed by Purdue staffers W. H. Daniel and Melvin Robey and installed at a cost of approximately $125,000. The PAT system features a network of pipes connected to pumps capable of keeping the field playable, even during a storm dumping one inch of rain per hour.
1985 - The home team locker room beneath the east stands is renovated, and a visiting team locker room is built in the southwest corner of the stadium.
1990 - A $1 million electronic scoreboard and message center are built at the south end of the stadium. An auxiliary board is installed in the north end.
1994 - The fence around the playing field is removed, and the adjoining walkways are replaced with sod.
1997 - The south scoreboard message center is replaced with a $3 million Sony JumboTron, which provides live coverage and instant replays.
2001 - Work begins on the $70 million first phase of a massive renovation of the home of the Boilermakers. Capacity for the 2002 season is 66,295.
2003 - Renovation is completed, and capacity is 62,500.
2006 - The field is resodded, with a deep-rooting and cold-tolerant strain of Bermuda grass. Ross-Ade becomes the first Big Ten stadium with a Bermuda surface.
2007 - A new 31-foot by 68-foot Daktronics video board, priced at $1.7 million, is installed at the south end of Ross-Ade that will significantly enhance replay and other entertainment possibilities.
Accessible Seating: Fans requiring special assistance are urged to make all ticketing arrangements through the ticket office well in advance. Call 765/494-3194 or 800/49-SPORT.
Concessions: Concession stands, managed by V/Gladieux Enterprises, Inc., offer a wide selection of food and drinks. Stands outside the stadium open three hours prior to kickoff. In-stadium stands open one and a half hours before kickoff. Local Mountain Coffee at Ross-Ade is located at the northeast corner of the stadium and serves fresh-brewed coffee, fresh pastries, full espresso menu, Italian soda, gelato, sorbetto and much more in the perfect stadium atmosphere. Free Wi-Fi is available.
First Aid: First aid stations are located on the concourse at Sections 111 and 119.
Game-Day Emergencies: Ticket holders should give caregivers or family members the section, row and seat number of their tickets. In case of an emergency, caregivers should contact the Purdue Police at 765/494-8221. Officers will go to your seat and inform you of the emergency. Paging over the public address system is not allowed.
Groups: Group tickets are available for all home games, subject to availability. To quality for discount ticket prices, a minimum of 25 tickets must be purchased. For more information, call 765/494-9476 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org,
Lost and Found: Report or claim articles on the concourse of Section 115 or behind the Family FanZone bleachers. Articles not claimed during or immediately after the game are turned over to the Athletic Ticket Office (765/494-3194).
Private Use: The Ross-Ade Stadium Pavilion and optional catering services are available for private functions and meetings. For rates and information, call 765/496-2534.
Restrooms: Restrooms are located under the stadium grandstands. Additional facilities on the north and south concourses are available outside the stadium prior to kickoff.
Souvenirs: Purdue merchandise is available from the Purdue Pride team store, located at the northeast corner of the stadium, or from stands located throughout the concourse. Shop before or after the game online at purduesports.com. Request a merchandise catalog at 800/760-7041.
Tickets: To pick up will-call tickets, purchase tickets or if you lose your ticket, go to the Athletic Ticket Office located in Holloway Gymnasium across North University Street from the stadium. On game day, the ticket office opens four hours prior to kickoff or 8 a.m., whichever is later, and remains open until the end of the third quarter. Game-day tickets, if available, also can be purchased at Ross-Ade Gates A and N beginning one and a half hours prior to kickoff. Purdue player guest will-call is at Gate J, recruit will-call is at Gate K and the visitor's pass gate is located near Gate N. Photo identification is required for pickup of will-call tickets.
You: You, our guests, are the focus of everything we do. The Purdue athletics staff is here to make your Ross-Ade Stadium experience a special and memorable one. Enjoy the game, have a great day - and BOILER UP!
Take I-65 South to SR 43 (exit 178). Follow SR 43 (North River Road) south to Soldiers Home Road; turn right. Turn right at Kalberer Road (350 North). Turn left at Yeager Road. Turn left at second light (Northwestern Avenue). Ross-Ade Stadium is located off Northwestern Avenue between Cherry Lane and Stadium Avenue.
Take I-65 North to SR 25 (exit 175). Go west at light on SR 25. Proceed to the next light (Sagamore Parkway/US 52). Turn right and follow across the Wabash River. Turn left at third light (Yeager Road). Turn left at next light (Northwestern Avenue/US 231). Ross-Ade Stadium is located off Northwestern Avenue between Cherry Lane and Stadium Avenue.
Ross-Ade Stadium carries the distinction of being the only stadium in the Big Ten Conference to have always featured "real grass". What many observers have described as the playing surface of the future, Prescription Athletic Turf (P.A.T.) gives Ross-Ade Stadium the most sophisticated gridiron available.
In the late 1960's and early 1970's, when most collegiate stadiums were being converted to "articficial turf," two Purdue staffers, Dr. W.H. Daniel and Melvin Robey, developed P.A.T. installing it in the stadium in the spring of 1975 at a cost of approximately $125,000. It since has been resodded four times, most recently in May of 1990.
Erected 1924: Seating Capacity 13,500 (with SRO for an additional 5,000)
Expanded 1949: over 51,000
Expanded Five times since to raise capacity to 69,200
Without temporary seats, capacity is 67,861.
The largest scoreboard in the nation was installed in 1990 at a cost of $1 million.
June 19, 1997
Purdue Adds Sony Jumbotron Video
Screen to Ross-Ade Stadium
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University announced today that an agreement has been reached with Gameday Sports Network to add a Sony Jumbotron to Ross-Ade Stadium. The installation work will begin immediately and should be ready for the home opener against Notre Dame on September 13, 1997
Purdue is the first Big Ten Conference school to announce the addition of a Jumbotron. In 1996, only six on-campus college football facilities featured a large screen video display: Brigham Young, Kansas State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M.
The Jumbotron video screen will be retrofitted into the main scoreboard and will replace the existing message center. It will provide television shots and replays in the stadium. Fans will have the excitement of replays while still enjoying the live atmosphere of a game.
"This technology is a natural next step to support our continued efforts to make Ross-Ade Stadium the place to be on Saturday afternoon in the fall," says Athletic Director Morgan Burke.
Purdue will likely start telecasting 60 minutes before kickoff and include video tap of activities in and around Ross-Ade Stadium. Clips of national and Big Ten games in progress may also be shown. In addition, postgame coverage may include coaches' press conferences. Other possible features include memorable plays and players from the past, a team progress report, scores and highlights from around the conference, an update on top-20 action, key plays and statistics from the game, and an overview of next week's opponent.
Purdue's partnership with Gameday Sports Network makes this multi-million dollar facility improvement possible at no cost to Purdue.
The addition of the Jumbotron will also be an educational tool for several Purdue students. On game days, students will be involved in all aspects of production.
"We are looking forward to working with people from the Gameday Sports Network to utilize this technology," adds Burke. "It's our hope that over time we can use Purdue's reputation for applying technology to enhance the experience of being a part of college football in the stands.
Construction: Steel and Concrete
Number of Rows: 73 (55 on south end bleachers)
Color Scheme: A fiberglass type of seat covering was added to all permanent seats in 1964 to give the stadium an alternating scheme of gold and black with the word PURDUE appearing in the north end zone seats.
Press Box: The Robert C. Memorial Press Box.
11/22/80 Purdue 24, Indiana 23 (71,629)
9/22/79 Purdue 28, Notre Dame 22 (70,567)
9/26/81 Purdue 15, Notre Dame 14 (70,007)
9/12/81 Purdue 27, Stanford 19 (69,958)
10/31/81 Ohio State 45, Purdue 33 (69,927)
The stadium is named for its two principal benefactors. David E. Ross, late president of the Board of Trustees, and the late George Ade, writer, humorist, and Purdue alumnus. It was Ross who conceived the idea for the stadiun and selected the present site. He and Ade purchased and presented to the University the 65 acre tract on which the stadium is erected.
Courtesy of Ryan Phipps
Source: Purdue University Sports Information Office
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
October 16, 2004 - When you think of the elite teams and venues in the Big 10, Purdue probably doesn't immediately pop into your head. But that might be a big mistake, for the Boilermakers have recently put together a great football program to vault them into the national rankings and certainly among the top teams in their conference. And for this, our first visit to West Lafayette, Indiana, we could not have picked a more significant occasion - two undefeated teams playing for Big 10 supremacy and a chance to advance their cause for the National Championship.
Let's clarify a little bit about college athletics in the State of Indiana. Bobby Knight, the Hoosiers sort of symbolize the state. Or maybe Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish and Touchdown Jesus. But not here in Lafayette and West Lafayette. Purdue stands alone and proud as an enclave away from some of their more famous competitors, so much so that we aptly dubbed this region "The West Berlin of Indiana". And Purdue University is certainly the academic and economic engine of this city. Unlike some institutions of higher learning, this campus has a decidedly conservative feel to it, almost a place where Dick and Lynne Cheney would be happy to send their grandkids to. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing we'll let you decide.
Ross Ade Stadium is one of the classic, stately old college football venues, built in the 20s and renovated and expanded several times over the decades. But its most recent facelift, costing nearly $70MM, has given this venue a definitive modern feel, from its fresh new concourses, to its brick facades and ornate iron fences, to a sparkling enclosed club and suite concourse and premium seating area. Despite the enhancements, the nearly 65,000 seat seating bowl retains its old look and feel, a one level horseshoe configuration complete with bench seating, a small dot matrix scoreboard in one end zone, and in deference to modernity, a new video board in the open end zone. Right next door is Mackey Arena, home of the Boilermakers proud men's and women's basketball programs (the ladies won the NCAA championship just a few seasons ago).
Prior to the kickoff, the onfield presentation includes not only the national anthem, but a stirring rendition of an ode which concludes with the phrase "I am an American!" which everyone calls out in unison. The Boilermaker train theme is very much the thing here - "Boiler Up!" with players coming into the stadium via a path which looks like train tracks, lead by a replica train engine.
Fans here herald each first town with a chant started by the band, and culminates with
" 1-2-3-4, FIRST DOWN", again, all done in unison. The electricity and enthusiasm generated by their cadre of loyal fans holds up with any college program we have seen thus far.
A number of factors combined to make this visit a truly extraordinary one - to begin with, ESPN College Gameday was in town, and that meant that personalities Lee Corso, Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit would be hosting their renowned show live from Purdue, with Boilermaker fans showing their antics in the background. Next, we were given the VIP invitation of our very own from the Purdue front office, as well as an appearance on the Purdue Sports Network halftime show. Media credentials provided and that gave us a chance to enjoy and tour this venue from the press perspective. Finally, the coolest Purdue fans, "The Knuckleheads", invited us to their tailgate party and the chance to experience the tailgate scene firsthand.
We so wanted to deliver the USRT Karma to the home team, but it was not meant to be. Purdue lead Wisconsin 17-7 with eight minutes to go, but the Badgers roared back with 2 touchdowns of their own. Kyle Orton and the Boilermakers had one last chance to tie or win the game, but the drive stalled and kicker Ben Jones' field goal sailed wide as time expired. The home town fans were crushed and broken hearted, and we were sad along with the rest of 'em.
Thanks go out to Tom Schott, Sports Information Director for Purdue, for setting up our visit to West Lafayette. Former Western New Yorker Tim Newton of the Purdue Sports Network also paved the way for our visit, and "Knucklehead" Ray Young was a perfect host. Thanks to everyone we met and talked to for making our trip to Purdue a special and memorable one. We hope to come back someday again (umm.. Mackey Arena?? Basketball? No need to twist our arms!)