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Joe Aillet Stadium
"The Joe"
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Location 1450 West Alabama Avenue
Ruston, LA 71272
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Opened September 28, 1968
Owner Louisiana Tech University
Operator Louisiana Tech University
Surface Grass (1968–2005)
FieldTurf (Artificial turf) (2006–present)
Former names Louisiana Tech Stadium (1968–1972)
Tenants Louisiana Tech Bulldogs football (NCAA college football) 1968–present
Lady Techster soccer team (2004–2009)
Capacity 23,000 (1968–1988)
30,600 (1989–present)

Joe Aillet Stadium (formerly Louisiana Tech Stadium) is a college football stadium in Ruston, Louisiana. It is the home field of the Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs football team.

Originally called Louisiana Tech Stadium, the facility opened in 1968 and was renamed for retired head football coach Joe Aillet in 1972.

HistoryEdit

The stadium, originally named Louisiana Tech Stadium, opened on September 28, 1968 when quarterback Terry Bradshaw led the Bulldogs to a 35-7 victory over the East Carolina University Pirates. It was renamed Joe Aillet Stadium on November 11, 1972 in honor of Joe Aillet, who had coached the football team at the school from 1940 to 1966. The 1997 season saw the largest crowd in school history of 28,714 for a 17-16 victory by the Bulldogs over the University of Louisiana at Monroe Warhawks. Future professional quarterback Tim Rattay was involved in the first-ever matchup of future pro quarterbacks at the stadium, facing off against UCF's Daunte Culpepper in 1998. The first nationally-televised game at the stadium came in 2002 against the Fresno State Bulldogs. In an October 2004 rematch, the team achieved an upset victory by defeating the 17th-ranked Bulldogs. In 2008, the team defeated the Mississippi State University Bulldogs 22-14 in its season opener. It was the first-ever visit by a school from a BCS conference to Joe Aillet Stadium.

FeaturesEdit

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Joe Aillet Stadium originally sat 23,000, but in 1985, the school added luxury boxes to the stadium's press box, and in 1989 the stadium's capacity was raised by 7,600 seats to its current capacity of 30,600. The stadium's FieldTurf playing surface was installed in 2008. The seating is made of the two large bowed grandstands on either side of the field, built into a natural bowl. The press box and skybox are on the west side. The facility also includes Spirit of '88, a bronze bulldog statue which commemorates the school's first season in Division I-A. During games, it is ceremonially guarded by the university's Air Force ROTC Valkyrie Honor Guard. A field house is located behind the south hill. There are scoreboards behind both end zone berms, and the stadium features eight banks of lights surrounding the field Script error above the playing surface. In 2009, the school's athletic department unveiled "Dawgzilla", a high definition video scoreboard which sits in the north end zone. It is the largest videoboard in the Western Athletic Conference. In the fall of 2010, the university announced a $20 million fundraising campaign to build a Script error facility at the southern end of the facility.[1] The stadium has already used some donations for a brick fence on the west side of the stadium, renovations to restrooms, new shrubs and plants in the stadium, and a tunnel leading from the player's locker rooms to the field.

Other usesEdit

The Louisiana Tech Lady Techster soccer team has used Joe Aillet Stadium as its home facility between the program's inception in 2004 to 2009. The first Lady Techster soccer game in the stadium was on August 28, 2005, a 2-0 win over the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils. Tech soccer moved into the stadium permanently beginning with the 2006 season, and has an overall record of 9-9-3 through the 2007 season in games played at the stadium. In 2009, the Lady Techsters soccer team moved to their new home field located across the street from the stadium.[2]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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