Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field-The site of the largest football crowd in The state of Florida history. The Swamp has moved into the national spotlight in recent years as one of collegiate football's best stadiums, from a player and fan standpoint.
With the crowning jewel of Florida Field-the north endzone expansion project-completed just prior to the 1991 season, capacity now stands at 83,000 making Florida Field one of the eight largest on campus stadiums in the nation. With the addition of the 10,000 seats in 1991, Florida Field has been the site of the 20 largest crowds (collegiate, professional, bowl, and Super Bowl) in state of Florida history.
The Original Stadium, constructed in 1930, consisted of the lower half of the current stadium. Seating capacity was 21,769. The entire stadium was constructed below ground. In 1950, over 11,000 seats were added on the west side and another 7,000 were provided by bleachers on the east side. The addition brought seating capacity to 40,116. Additional bleacher seats were added during the 1950's, bringing capacity to 46,164 by 1960. In December of 1965, construction started again on further additions that added over 10,000 permanent seats on the east side and temporary bleachers moved from the east side to the south endzone, providing a total capacity of 62,800 (56,164 permanent seats). The south endzone expansion in '82 enclosed the south end of the stadium, and brought caqpacity to 72,000. The north endzone transformed the horseshoe int a bowl and raised capacity to 83,000.
Also new for the 1990 season was the all-natural grass playing surface which was installed during the summer, shortly after the arrival of head football coach Steve Spurrier. The natural grass surface replaced an artificial surface which had been in place since 1971.At The end of 1991 Season
Head Coach Steve Spurrier tags Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field "The Swamp"... Spurrier says, "The swamp is where Gators live. We feel comfortable there, but we hope our opponents feel tentative. A swamp is hot and sticky and can be dangerous". During the 1991 and 1992 seasons the stadium will be the site of the 12 largest crowds in state history.Prior to 1998 Season
Florida completed a $5 million renovation of the Ben Hill Griffin Training Complex in the south endzone, making the facility one of the nation's elite. Under Spurrier, Florida is 53-2 at home entering the 1999 season.
Florida football has over 90 years of tradition, however in the past 10 years Florida has truly ranked among the Nation's best. Since 1990 the Gators have won a National Championship and 6 SEC Championships. Unwavering fan loyalty and support has resulted in 20 seasons of sold out season tickets. On game day, Florida Field turns into one of the nation's great spectator stadiums, a true "SWAMP" of Orange and Blue.
"There is no better place than 'The Swamp'! That opening on the big screen with the alligator, it's the best ever. When the Gators run out of the tunnel, it is absolutely the moment of moments in college football."
- Lee Corso, ESPN College Football Analyst