Jordan–Hare Stadium is the playing venue for Auburn University’s football team located on campus in Auburn, Alabama, USA. The stadium is named for Ralph “Shug” Jordan, the University’s winningest football coach, and Cliff Hare, a member of Auburn’s first football team as well as Dean of the Auburn University School of Chemistry and President of the Southern Conference. On November 19, 2005, the playing field at the stadium was named Pat Dye Field in honor of former Auburn coach and athletic director Pat Dye. The stadium reached its current seating capacity of 87,451 with the 2004 expansion and is the twelfth largest stadium in the NCAA. By the end of the 2006 season, it was estimated that 19,308,753 spectators had attended a football game in Jordan–Hare. Jordan–Hare Stadium regularly makes lists of the best gameday atmospheres and most intimidating places to play.
The stadium, then known as Auburn Stadium with 7,290 seats, hosted its first game on November 10, 1939, between the Auburn and Georgia Tech freshmen teams. About one month later, the stadium was dedicated and the first college football game was played against the University of Florida on November 30, 1939. By the time the stadium was renamed Cliff Hare Stadium in 1949, it had grown to a capacity of 21,500. Shug Jordan became head coach of the Tigers in 1951, and he was still coaching when the stadium was renamed to honor him in 1973, making it the first stadium in the United States to be named for an active coach.
Throughout its history, Auburn played games against their traditional rivals at neutral sites rather than Jordan–Hare Stadium. This occurred due to the difficulty in traveling to Auburn during the first half of the 20th century and the capacity of other stadiums. These games included Alabama (played at Legion Field in Birmingham), Tennessee (played at Legion Field in Birmingham or Knoxville), Georgia Tech (played in Birmingham or Atlanta), and Georgia (played at Memorial Stadium in Columbus). As Auburn became more accessible and the stadium expanded in capacity, more games were moved to Jordan–Hare Stadium. The most notable of these matchups occurred on December 2, 1989, when Auburn defeated #2 Alabama in the first Iron Bowl played at Jordan–Hare.
With the addition of the west upper deck in 1980 and the east upper deck in 1987, the stadium became the largest in the state of Alabama until the 2006 and 2010 expansion of Bryant-Denny Stadium (capacity 101,821) at the University of Alabama. The 2004 stadium expansion extended the east upper deck by an additional section on each end, adding more luxury suites and additional general seating to reach the current capacity of 87,451.
In 1998, artist Michael Taylor was commissioned to paint ten large murals on the east-side exterior of the stadium. The paintings depicted the greatest players, teams, and moments from Auburn’s football history to that date. In 2006, Auburn updated these murals, including images that recognized great moments in Auburn football history up to 2006.
Before the 2007 season, a new, $2.9 million, 30-foot (9.1 m) high by 74-foot (23 m) wide high definition Daktronics LED video display was installed in the south end-zone of Jordan–Hare Stadium. Auburn is the first SEC school to install an HD video display and the second in the NCAA (after Texas’ Godzillatron).
References: Wikipedia.org (Jordan–Hare Stadium)