BB&T Field – Wake Forrest Demon Deacon Football Stadium
Originally built in 1968,WakeForest’s BB&T Field is the home of the Demon Deacon football team. With a bleacher capacity of 31,500 plus several thousand more behind the endzones, BB&T Field offers an intimate setting with fans right on top of the action.
Considered one of the most beautiful stadiums of its size in the nation, BB&T Field has undergone significant renovations in recent years.
BB&T Field Quick Facts
|Year Opened||1968 asGrovesStadium|
|Renamed||2007 as BB&T Field|
|Original Cost||$4 million|
Prior to the 2005 season, the facade along the sidelines and south endzone were re-faced with approximately 89,000 bricks, specifically created for this project by Pine Hall Brick Company. The bricks are in the same style of those that adorn the buildings onWakeForest’s Reynolda Campus, less than a mile away.
In 2006, a state-of-the-art, “next generation” FieldTurf surface was installed to give the Deacons a top-notch and beautiful playing field year round.
In January 2007, construction began onDeaconTower, a massive seven-story pressbox that is situated on the west side of the stadium. Deacon Tower, which was built at a cost of $48 million, houses luxury suites, club seats, boxes for the University President, home and visiting athletic directors and print and electronic media.
Construction onDeaconTowerwas completed in August 2008, and the facility has since served as the centerpiece of the football stadium complex.
Also in 2008, several new seating options became available to fans. Chairback seating was installed in a portion of both sides of the stadium, and temporary bleachers were added behind the north endzone, offering unique group seating opportunities to Deacon fans.
Prior to the 2009 season, the east side concourse was completely remodeled with new bathrooms and concession stands.
Behind the north endzone sits Bridger Field House, which serves a number of purposes for theWakeForestathletic department. Built in 1998, Bridger Field House houses the home and visiting team locker rooms, postgame interview room, specific areas for equipment and sports medicine staff and the Deacon Shop on the first floor. The offices of the Wake Forest Development, Sports Marketing and Ticket Operations are also housed in Bridger.
Dedicated as Groves Stadium on September 14, 1968, in a 10-6 loss to rival NC State, BB&T Field represents an extensive fund-raising effort undertaken by the college during the mid-1960s which, for all practical purposes, made possibleWakeForest’s continued membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The stadium, which has 31,500 permanent seats, is located between Reynolds and Deacon Boulevards, one mile from theWakeForestcampus. It also is part of the athletic hub ofWinston-Salem, which includes the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, home of the Demon Deacon basketball teams and located across the street from BB&T Field, as well asWakeForestBaseballPark, home of Deacon baseball and adjacent to the football facility.
The history of BB&T Field can be traced back to the original home of the university in the easternNorth CarolinavillageofWakeForest. When the school announced its planned move toWinston-Salemin 1948, theGrovesfamily, led by Henry (the original stadium’s primary benefactor) and his brother Earl, made an additional financial commitment to insure that their family name would remain on whatever new facility that the football program would construct.
The new stadium, however, remained only a dream for nearly two decades. The actual cost of the campus’ relocation toWinston-Salemwas much greater than first anticipated, and more pressing physical needs in academic areas took precedence.
The Deacons had scheduled frequent dates in Winston-Salem’s Bowman Gray Stadium in the years preceding the college’s move and made that 16,000-seat facility their permanent home in 1956.Winston-Salemphilanthropist Charles H. Babcock donated a 77-acre plot of land for the building of a new stadium, but each time that the project seemed on the verge of becoming a reality, other needs would emerge.
Finally in 1966, a fund-raising campaign was initiated. And while the $1.5 million raised was less than half of the total price tag, construction began the following year.
After dropping its opening contest at BB&T Field to NC State, the Demon Deacons played Clemson to a 20-20 tie the following Saturday, September 21, 1968. That contest also marked the first televised football game inWakeForesthistory, as ABC broadcast the game as part of its regional package.
WakeForest’s first victory in the facility had to wait until after three-straight road dates, when on October 26, 1968, Wake defeatedNorth Carolina, 48-31.
The Deacons have turned in two undefeated home seasons in BB&T Field history.WakeForestwas 4-0 at home during its ACC Championship season of 1970. The 1979 squad improved that figure by one win to a 5-0 mark on its way to a Tangerine Bowl bid. One of the most dramatic BB&T Field victories also occurred during the 1979 season when the Deacons rallied from a 38-20 halftime deficit to defeatAuburn, 42-38. That game marked the first time that two nationally-ranked teams met at BB&T Field.
In 1990, a BB&T Field milestone of sorts was reached when theUniversityofVirginiabecame the first (and still the only) No. 1-ranked team to appear there.
WakeForestbroke its single-game attendance record at BB&T Field in 2004 when temporary bleachers were installed for theNorth Carolinagame, attracting a crowd of 37,623. The Deacons have recently been among the national leaders in attendance as based on percentage of capacity.WakeForestaveraged better than 100 percent of capacity each year from 2006 through 2009.