Ross-Ade Stadium – Purdue Boilermaker Football Stadium
Nestled on the northern edge of thePurdueUniversitycampus, Ross-Ade Stadium is the home of Boilermaker Football.
From 2001 to 2003, Ross-Ade underwent a $70 million renovation that has made it one of the most attractive and fan-friendly facilities in all of college football.
A unique alignment of conditions – blistering heat and an aging irrigation system – resulted in the playing surface literally coming up in pieces in the fall of 2005. At the conclusion of the season, a team of experts led by athletics director Morgan J. Burke and former head coach Joe Tiller set out to chart a long-term solution for the field. Although typically thought of as a turf better suited to well south of the Mason-Dixon Line, the Purdue turf team scouted sites inMarylandandVirginiaand came away convinced a cold-tolerant strain of Bermuda grass was the best permanent fix. Sod was laid in June of 2006, and Ross-Ade became the first Big Ten stadium with aBermudasurface.
During the summer of 2007, a new 31-foot by 68-foot Daktronics video board, priced at $1.7 million, was installed at the south end of Ross-Ade that significantly enhanced replay and other entertainment possibilities.
Ross-Ade was dedicated Nov. 22, 1924, in a game against intrastate rival Indiana (the Boilermakers won 26-7). The stadium is named for its two principal benefactors, alumni David E. Ross, late president of the Board of Trustees, and the late George Ade, playwright and humorist. It was Ross who conceived the idea for the stadium and selected the site. He and Ade purchased and presented to the university the 65-acre tract on which the stadium is located.
The stadium’s original seating capacity was 13,500 (with standing room for an additional 5,000). Six expansions, plus end zone bleacher seating, eventually raised it to 69,200 in 1970. Capacity presently is 62,500.
Through the 2011 season, Purdue has an all-time record in Ross-Ade of 267-160-13, a .622 winning percentage.
Ross-Ade features the Prescription Athletic Turf (PAT) system. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, when most collegiate stadiums were being converted to artificial turf, two Purdue staffers, William H. Daniel and Melvin Robey, developed PAT, installing it in the stadium in the spring of 1975 at a cost of approximately $125,000.
Known as the perfect compromise between natural grass and artificial turf, PAT can keep the field playable and virtually divot-proof, even during a storm dumping one inch of rain per hour. A network of pipes connected to pumps capable of extracting water from the turf or watering it makes the system work. The pipes are located 16 inches below the surface and covered with a mixture of sand and fill.
The largest crowd ever to see a game in Ross-Ade is 71,629 againstIndianaon Nov. 22, 1980.
Purdue Home Fields
|1889-1891||Lafayette YMCA park||5-0|
Ross-Ade Stadium Milestone Wins
|1||11/22/1924||Purdue 26, Indiana 7|
|100||9/18/1965||Purdue 38,Miami(Ohio) 0|
Milestones In Ross-Ade Stadium History
Sept. 6, 1922 – At a welcome reception and dinner for President Edward Elliott, alumni David Ross and George Ade announce that they have purchased a 65-acre dairy farm on the outskirts ofWest Lafayette to be used as a site for a football stadium and other intercollegiate athletics facilities. Ross chose the site because a valley at the southern end of the property afforded easy completion as a stadium.
June 2, 1924 – Work begins on construction of Ross-Ade Stadium under the direction of A.E. Kemmer, Class of 1902, as general contractor. George Spitzer, member of the Class of 1889 and a Purdue professor, and his wife donate three city lots at the south end of the 65-acre tract to serve as an entry to the stadium. The lots are now the site of Cary Quadrangle; the courtyard within the Quad,Spitzer Court, honors the gift.
Nov. 22, 1924 – Purdue dedicates Ross-Ade Stadium, which debuts with 13,500 seating capacity and standing room for an additional 5,000 in the north end of the stadium. The Boilermakers win the Homecoming matchup overIndiana 26-7.
1930 - Concrete is poured in the north bend of the stadium, where the earth had been terraced for standing room since 1924. The playing field is moved 15 yards farther north. The new capacity is 23,074, although temporary seating and standing room are available at the upper edge of the seating bowl. A new press box is constructed on the east side of the stadium. The original press box had been on the west side.
1949 – Temporary bleachers that had been perched at the top of the original seating area are removed and permanent steel grandstands are built on the west side of the stadium. From the time of the completion of the north end in 1930 to the late 1940s, temporary stands had been installed around the top of the original bowl. The new capacity is 51,295.
1950 – A new press box is added on the west side of the stadium.
1955 – Permanent steel stands are erected on the east side, replacing temporary stands. The new capacity is 55,500.
1957 – The cinder track that was part of the 1924 construction is removed, and a fence is erected between the playing field and seating area.
1964 – The playing field is lowered by seven feet and 13 rows of seats added. The new seating capacity is 60,000. Sloping, semicircular sidewalks are built to connect the locker rooms to the playing field, and a walkway is provided at the base of the seating area.
1969 – The last of the temporary bleachers at the top of the original seating area in the north end are replaced with permanent seating, bringing capacity to 68,000. A new scoreboard is built south of the playing field. An additional level is added to the press box.
1970 – Larger bleachers south of the playing field are installed, adding an additional 1,200 seats. The largest crowd in Ross-Ade history, 69,357, views the Nov. 21 game againstIndiana. Subsequent additions of handicapped-accessible seating and other seating changes reduce capacity to 67,332.
1975 – Prescription Athletic Turf is developed by Purdue staffers W. H. Daniel and Melvin Robey and installed at a cost of approximately $125,000. The PAT system features a network of pipes connected to pumps capable of keeping the field playable, even during a storm dumping one inch of rain per hour.
1985 – The home team locker room beneath the east stands is renovated, and a visiting team locker room is built in the southwest corner of the stadium.
1990 – A $1 million electronic scoreboard and message center are built at the south end of the stadium. An auxiliary board is installed in the north end.
1994 – The fence around the playing field is removed, and the adjoining walkways are replaced with sod.
1997 – The south scoreboard message center is replaced with a $3 million Sony JumboTron, which provides live coverage and instant replays.
2001 – Work begins on the $70 million first phase of a massive renovation of the home of the Boilermakers. Capacity for the 2002 season is 66,295.
2003 – Renovation is completed, and capacity is 62,500.
2006 – The field is resodded, with a deep-rooting and cold-tolerant strain of Bermuda grass. Ross-Ade becomes the first Big Ten stadium with aBermuda surface.
2007 – A new 31-foot by 68-foot Daktronics video board, priced at $1.7 million, is installed at the south end of Ross-Ade that will significantly enhance replay and other entertainment possibilities.
Ross Aide Stadium
900 John R Wooden Drive,West Lafayette,IN,United States