Doak S. Campbell Stadium: Then and Now

By Vivian El-Salawy on August 28, 2016
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October 7th, 1950 – the Florida State Seminoles won their first game ever played in Doak S. Campbell Stadium against the Randolph-Macon College Yellowjackets with a score of 40-7.  Named after FSU President Doak Campbell, the stadium initially had a seating capacity of approximately 15,000.

Image via Florida Memory

According to the Atlanta Seminole Club, Doak grew from having a maximum capacity of 15,000 in 1953 to a record crowd of 84,409 in 2013 against Miami, reflecting strongly off of the growth of the athletic program at Florida State.  College Gridirons reported several expansions in 1954, 1961, 1970, 1982, and in the 1990’s – making it the twentieth largest stadium in the NCAA and the largest stadium in the ACC.  Doak S. Campbell is also the largest continuous brick structure in the United States, and second largest in the world (the first being the Great Wall of China).  Its prestigious, historic, and traditional qualities greatly contribute to the experience of Florida State Seminole football game and cannot be replicated in any other stadium.

Image via Mobile Sports Report

While Florida State’s football program is young in comparison to other universities, there is no tradition as unique as the one found at Florida State’s football games in Doak Campbell Stadium.  The athletic department holds a great deal of pride in their Seminole traditions, which include but are not limited to: their school colors, the War Chant, the Sod Cemetery, the Sportsmanship Statue, Chief Osceola and Renegade, the World-Renowned Marching Chiefs, and the Unconquered Statue.

Image via Yelp

In addition to the already huge stamp that Doak S. Campbell has imprinted on not only Florida State’s athletic department, but the campus life as well is the introduction of the Champions Campaign.  Florida State Seminoles Champions Campaign is a movement towards improving all aspects of athletics at Florida State University.  In 2015, the Champions Campaign took its first step forward with an $85 million project in effort to completely renovate Doak S. Campbell Stadium.  According to the Tallahassee Democrat, this is merely part of the bigger $250 million budget invested in the Champions Campaign.  However, the stadiums renovations included some cleaning (removing bleachers, sandblasting, adjusting rust issues), upgraded lockers, a player’s lounge, and an area for premium ticket holders.

Image via Champions Campaign

The Tallahassee Democrat also touched on the Champions Club – the new club seat section.  This section is an exclusive 6,000 seat-club in over 70,000 square feet of air conditioned club space, 34,000 square feet of covered rooftop terraces, and two high-speed elevators.  The Champions Club is one of the largest conference centers in the area and the revenues generated with help fund additional renovations in Doak S. Campbell.

In case that was not enough, Doak is currently the host of the second-largest scoreboard in college football history.  The Tallahassee Democrat reports that the screen has a square footage of over 9,368 and with its instillation, the overall resolution has increased by 250 percent.

Image via Tallahassee.com

All in all, Florida State’s athletic department takes great pride in the traditions they have built over the course of the past sixty or so years.  They have proven to both the Seminole fans and community and to those outside of it that they do not need all of these cool perks to win a National Championship or to pull in record attendance to an athletic event.  However, their prideful spirit and success has transformed their environment into what is almost a literal football kingdom.

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Vivian El-Salawy is a third year student at Florida State University. She is currently pursuing a degree in Editing, Writing, and Media with minors in Slavic (Russian) Studies and Communications. Alongside writing for FSView & Florida Flambeau, WVFS Tallahassee 87.9 FM, and the Good Life Community magazine, she is a member of the World-Renowned Marching Chiefs and Seminole Sound.

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