Officially named Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium/Horace Jones Field in 1968. 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 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 football was the catalyst for the most recent 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 a few 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.
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 27,568 fans. The attendance helped push Middle Tennessee over the top for its I-A qualifying attendance of 17,000 per game.
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 will enhance 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During the summer of 2006, a new synthetic surface was installed to replace the outdated artificial turf.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 is 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 72-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.
1998: $25 million renovation expands seating capacity to 30,788 and the old press box gave way to a five tower 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.
Located on the northwest section of campus, the stadium was originally known as Jones Field when it opened on October 14, 1933 with a scoreless tie against Jacksonville State University. Originally built as two sideline grandstands on either side of a track, it was enlarged in 1950, 1960, 1968 and most recently in 1997-98 to bring it to its current configuration as an octagonal bowl with an expanded west (home) side, and a second deck along the north, northeast and east sides. No second deck was built on the west stands due to it being immediately adjacent to the Murphy Athletic Center and other facilities. The field is artificial, most recently replaced in 2006 with Sportexe PowerBlade turf, whereas until 1970 it used natural grass. The stadium obtained its current name on November 3, 1979 to honor Johnny Floyd, a longtime football coach at the school.
It also serves as the stadium for the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association's (TSSAA) State High School Football Championships. It previously served as the home stadium for Riverdale and Oakland high schools, for a long period when those schools did not have stadiums. It later was the home stadium for Siegel High for a short period, when construction as a stadium was delayed. Floyd Stadium opened in 1933 and seats 31,000 people.
Source: Middle Tennessee State Athletics