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Veterans Memorial Stadium (Troy University)

Veterans Memorial Stadium, Larry Blakeney Field
Former names Veterans Memorial Stadium (1950–2002, 2010)
Larry Blakeney Field (2011)
Richard M. Scrushy Field (playing surface only, 1998–2003)
Movie Gallery Stadium (2003-2010)
Location George C. Wallace Dr, Troy, AL 36081
Coordinates
Owner Troy University
Operator Troy University
Capacity 30,000
Record attendance 29,013 September 15, 2012 vs Mississippi State
Surface ProGrass
Construction
Broke ground 1950
Opened September 16, 1950
Expanded 1998, 2003
Construction cost $65,000 (Original)
Architect HOK Sport (2003 renovation)
Tenants
Troy Trojans (NCAA) (1950–present)
Charles Henderson High School

Veterans Memorial Stadium is a stadium in Troy,Alabama. It is primarily used for American football, and is the home field of the Troy University Trojans. The seating capacity is 30,000. The stadium was originally built in 1950, and has regularly been expanded, renovated and improved since then. The stadium features a six-story pressbox that houses 27 sky-boxes, a state-of-the-art media hosting facility, a unique Trojan Stadium Club area that houses more than 1,000 guests, and floors dedicated to sports medicine, academics, strength and conditioning, and media relations. A large-screen endzone replay board was installed in 2003 in the North end zone, along with a state-of-the-art Danley sound system. In 2014 Daktonics installed a 1,250sq video board in the south end zone. 1,800sq of Video Ribbon boards were also installed on both upper decks from end zone to end zone, with updated sound systems.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Attendance Records 2
  • Gameday Traditions 3
  • Blue-Gray Football Classic 4
  • References 5

History

Veterans Memorial Stadium was originally dedicated to the Troy State Teachers College students and Pike County residents who had died in World War II. The stadium solely consisted of a small, 5,000-seat grandstand on the west side of the running track, and was built into the natural slope of the ground. It was expanded several times, including the addition of upper deck in 1998 that brought capacity up to 17,500. The most recent renovation was carried out for completion in 2003, the season which saw the Trojans make the move to Division I-A (FBS). The old press box area, which had cut into the 1998 upper deck, was filled in with chair-back seats and a larger press box and luxury box area was added behind the now-completed upper deck. The track was removed and the field was lowered, and permanent seating was placed over the old berm area behind the south grandstand. The now-30,000 seat stadium is a flattened "U" shape, with the north end still open. The natural grass surface was replaced with AstroPlay synthetic grass. Troy was one of the first schools to feature the synthetic grass on a football field. The AstroPlay surface was then replaced by the ProGrass synthetic turf system in 2012.

Costs for the 1998 expansion of the stadium were financed in part by a substantial donation from HealthSouth founder Richard M. Scrushy. The playing field (but not the stadium) was renamed for Scrushy, but this became a public relations problem for Troy when Scrushy was forced out of his position due to alleged financial misdeeds at HealthSouth, for which he was later tried, but acquitted. (Scrushy was later convicted of other unrelated crimes, along with former Alabama governor Don Siegelman; those convictions are currently under appeal.)

Movie Gallery Stadium 2005 & The Sound of the South

Construction costs for the latest expansions were financed in part by the sale of naming rights to the video rental chain Movie Gallery. Because of this, Scrushy's name is no longer on the field. Movie Gallery's name was removed after the company filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations in 2010,[1] at which point the venue reverted to its original name.

Attendance Records

The largest crowd to see a Troy football game in Veterans Memorial Stadium was 29,013 on September 15, 2012, when the Trojans hosted Mississippi State University.

Rank Date Attendance Opponent Result
1 September 15, 2012 29,013 Mississippi State L, 24-30
2 September 9, 2004 26,574 #17 Missouri W, 24-14
3 September 2, 2006 26,265 Alabama State W, 38-0
4 September 27, 2003 26,000 Marshall W, 33-24
5 November 10, 2012 24,321 Navy W, 41-31
6 September 14, 2007 24,102 Oklahoma State W, 41-23

Gameday Traditions

One of the main traditions leading up to a Troy football game is the Trojan Walk. The Trojan Walk begins at The Shackelford Quad on campus with the football team leading the Sound of the South and the Troy University cheerleaders as they march toward Tailgate Terrace. Fans generally line up along University Avenue as the players, band, and cheerleaders march by.

Another tradition is the pregame "Fanfare" played by the Sound of the South.


Blue-Gray Football Classic

The stadium hosted the last Blue-Gray Football Classic in 2003 after moving from Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama, where the game had been played for nearly 62 straight years. The annual college football all-star game was cancelled by the Lions Club of Montgomery, Alabama due to the lack of a title sponsor.

References

  1. ^ [2]
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