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Houchens Industries
L.T. Smith Stadium

Houchens Industries – L.T. Smith Stadium

  Venue Resources  
Address 1596-1798 Avenue of Champions
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Seating Weather
Newspaper
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  Calendar / Tickets  
Hotels, Dining & Deals in Bowling Green

  The Facility  
Date Opened 1968
Major Renovation 2008
Ownership
(Management)
Western Kentucky University
(Western Kentucky University)
Surface Grass
(1968-2001)
AstroPlay
(2002-2008)
FieldTurf
(2009-Present)
Cost of Construction $2.7 Million
Cost of Renovation $50 Million
Stadium Architect Ryan Associated Architects
Heery International &
Taylor-Whitney Architects (Renovation)
Capacity 22,000
Luxury Suites Unknown
Club Seats Unknown
  Other Facts  
Tenants Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
(NCAA) (1968-Present)
Population Base 120,000
On Site Parking Unknown
Nearest Airport Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport (BWG)


Sources: Mediaventures

Houchens Industries – L.T. Smith Stadium is home to the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers football team. The facility was expanded to a seating capacity of 22,000 in a project that was completed in 2008. This was planned to prepare for the Hilltoppers' move to the highest level of NCAA football competition, Division I FBS (formerly known as Division I-A), completed in 2009. However, the facility remains one of the smallest stadiums in the FBS.[1] When the stadium was built in 1968 it seated 19,250 fans. A 1989 renovation reduced the seating capacity to 17,500 seats. Lights were installed in 1987 and an Astroplay playing surface was installed in 2002.

Smith Stadium has been the site of marching band competitions, high school football games, the university's graduation ceremonies and the Special Olympics. Starting in 2009, it became the site of Kentucky's high school football championship games.

On July 19, 2007, WKU reported that Houchens Industries, a long-time corporate supporter of WKU, made a $5 million commitment to an expansion and renovation project for the school's football stadium. In honor of the gift, WKU added Houchens Industries to the name of L. T. Smith Stadium. Today, the stadium is now titled as Houchens Industries – L.T. Smith Stadium.

The renovation of Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium began in April 2006 and featured the construction of a new west side of the stadium while also including a significant renovation of the stadium's existing east side. The stadium's capacity now stands at 22,113. The first phase of the renovation to Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium involved improving the existing east side structure.

Construction began on the West grandstand prior to the start of the 2007 season. The new side of the stadium contains approximately 5,000 seats, including an 832-seat club level, along with new concession stands and restrooms. The building also houses new football offices and a new weight room (10,000 square feet), training room (8,500 square feet), locker room (10,000 square feet) and equipment area. A new berm has been built behind the North end zone, giving Topper fans an opportunity to enjoy the game from a different view. A new 48'x70' scoreboard, installed behind the berm, includes an 18'x31' video board.

Other improvements to the existing structure include locker rooms and offices for women's soccer, and men's and women's track along with the addition of a new academic advising center that includes office space for advisors, tutoring rooms, a large study hall room and a computer laboratory.

On September 20, 2008, the renovated stadium opened against Murray State University. The game drew 22,297 fans, an all-time record for a game at the stadium.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

Houchens Industries
L.T. Smith Stadium

Houchens Industries – L.T. Smith Stadium

1968-Present



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