Bobby Dodd Stadium – Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
The Jackets’ Historic Hive
Bobby Dodd Stadium is an anomaly, as it stands amongst an ever changing Atlanta skyline in a city where stadiums seem to have only 20 year existence. There is a reason why radio and TV announcers always use the word “historic” when referencing this stadium which was built in 1913. It is the oldest on-campus stadium in the NCAA Division I and it is the only one that can say its original construction was done by the student body (hey, as the fight song goes… they are helluva engineers!). Football has actually been played on this site since 1905, and the school has played the game since 1892.
During it’s more than a century of existence, Bobby Dodd Stadium has gone through a number of renovations, resulting in a very modern facility with a capacity of 55,000. It competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference, which has transformed from a “basketball conference” into a football powerhouse. Bobby Dodd Stadium has hosted Tech squads win 4 National Championships (1917, 1928, 1952, 1990) and go to 44 bowls, the 11th highest of all NCAA schools. It also has sent more than 250 players on to the NFL including such stars as Calvin Johnson, Dorsey Levins, Marco Coleman, Drew Hill, Lucious Sanford and Pat Swilling.
Food and Beverage 3
The concession offerings inside of Bobby Dodd Stadium are very average.
Concessions are sold via concession stands on the concourse or via vendors who circulate through the stands. The stands offer your bare basics of stadium fare: hot dogs ($5), nachos ($5), candy ($4), peanuts ($5), pretzels ($5), popcorn ($4) and Coca Cola brand sodas ($6) and bottled waters ($4) By the way, Bobby Dodd Stadium is located one block from the Coca Cola World Headquarters complex… so do not mention Pepsi!
The history and tradition found at Bobby Dodd Stadium creates a greatly above average atmosphere for Tech home games.
Georgia Tech is a team that is very competitive in a strong football conference, as it won an ACC Conference title as recently as 2009, and has upset many football powers including Florida State, Alabama, Notre Dame and Clemson. Occasionally it even defeats its in-state rival, the University of Georgia. In recent years, it has led the country in scoring due to its’ unique spread option offense.
The Yellow Jackets are a team that thrives in tradition, rather than following the latest fad. They enter the field before the game behind the Ramblin’ Wreck, a 1930 Model A Ford Sports Coupe to the strains of the school fight song “I’m a Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech”. The school has one of the most recognized mascots in the country… Buzz the Yellow Jacket, and the school’s physical plant blows a steam whistle after each Tech home win.
You cannot compete on tradition alone. Georgia Tech is continually upgrading its facilities to improve the fan experience and power recruitment. There are 30 luxury suites located in the West Stands, along with an enclosed luxury seating environment overlooking the South end zone. Ribbon boards line both the East and West sidelines and the HD scoreboard in the South end zone provides crystal clear images of replays and scores of other games from throughout the country.
Georgia Tech’s urban setting is different from most college stadiums and offers many activities that place its neighborhood setting higher than most.
Georgia Tech is in a decidedly urban area, as it is just across I-75/I-85 (also known as the Downtown Connector) from the Midtown and Downtown areas of Atlanta. This area is filled with several great restaurants including South City Kitchen. One longtime Tech tradition is visiting the Varsity, which is at the other end of the North Avenue bridge from the Georgia Tech campus. It is an 80 year old institution serving hotdogs, chili burgers, shakes and other fast foods. Your stomach will never forget it.
Hotels in the area include The Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center and the Crowne Plaza-Midtown. .
Bobby Dodd Stadium is also within walking distance of Centennial Olympic Park and its’ many attractions (World of Coca Cola and the College Football Hall of Fame) To reach these attractions, simply head out the south end of Bobby Dodd Stadium and continue down Techwood Drive.
Georgia Tech’s fanbase is amongst the strongest and most loyal in the country.
The tradition of Georgia Tech carries over into its fans, as where they sit in Dodd Stadium has stayed the same through the generations. The West Stands are for the Old Guard, the Alumni, and the most loyal of Yellow Jackets. Expect to see former Tech players, older couples proudly wearing the white and gold colors of the school, and the most likely to know the words to the alma mater when it is played before each game. The East Stands host the student section and the visiting team. Expect to see lots of ties and khaki’s and dresses in this section, as the Greek system is very strong at Georgia Tech, as it is at many southern schools. The visiting team section may be very small at some times, but may also outnumber the Tech faithful when a team like Clemson, Florida State or the University of Georgia is the opponent. In the South stands are the Jackets who did very well after graduation. The South end of the stadium actually features enclosed luxury seating, in stadium parking and all the perks of being a major donor. Georgia Tech boasts one of the highest percentages of CEO’s amongst technology companies in the country and is often referred to as the “Stanford of the East”. Last but not least we have the North Stands, home to the Swarm. The Swarm is made up of the loudest and most enthusiastic Tech students on campus. They paint their bodies gold, wear yellow/gold fuzzy wigs and other very distinctive attire, and become a sea of waving pom poms after a Tech score. Also residing in the North Stands is the Georgia Tech Band. This is an all- volunteer group, as Tech does not offer Music major. However you will never know it, as the band plays some extremely difficult pieces and can form some intricate formations on the field. This is a labor of love for the band members, as they have to schedule frequent practices, despite having one of the most demanding academic environments in the country.
Georgia Tech has a great pre-game experience for it’s’ fans despite its location in a very urban area. WreckFest gets underway three hours before a game and features music, games, inflatables and food from food trucks. Yellow Jacket Alley forms 2 ½ hours before a game as the team enters Bobby Dodd Stadium. This is followed by a pep rally featuring the Tech band and cheerleaders approximately 45 minutes before the game.
Due to its down location and land limited campus, access to parking and tailgating is just average.
As an urban campus, parking on the Georgia Tech campus is very limited, and usually is reserved for season ticket holders. Many of the large businesses in the Midtown/Downtown Atlanta open their parking garages for fans as they are not conducting business on Saturdays, and it is a two block walk from the stadium. By far, the easiest way to get to a Georgia Tech game is via the MARTA rail line. This public transit agency’s North Avenue Station offers easy entry to the stadium’s north and south ends and is only a two block walk. The far is only $2.50 each way and trains run very frequently on game days. Access into the stadium is excellent, as there are many entry gates. The concourses due tend to get backed up, one of the few problems that is difficult to remedy in a stadium that is more than 100 years old.
Return On Investment 4
In a neighborhood filled with competition from its professional team neighbors, Georgia Tech rates better than average on return on investment.
Compared to the ticket prices charged by Georgia Tech’s professional team neighbors, a game ticket is a relative bargain. Tickets are variably priced depending on the opponent (i.e. the Georgia, FSU and Clemson games are considered “premium games” Still, at an average price of $ 15-40 for a non-premium contest and $50-$70 for a premium matchup , Yellow Jacket games are reasonably priced. If you take MARTA to the game, it is a $5 round trip. The concession prices are fan- friendly. Also, a trip to the nearby Varsity for a pre or post – game meal will not empty your wallet
As a result of its stadium’s age, the student body’s specialized fields of study and it location near some of Atlanta’s top tourist attractions, Bobby Dodd Stadium comes in much above average for extras .
Georgia Tech is one of the few schools of higher education where the official name does not include the words “college” or “university”. Tech’s official name is The Georgia Institute of Technology.
Homecoming at Georgia Tech is very different than at most schools. Because of its’ extensive engineering programs, the week features the Ramblin’ Wreck races, where individually designed contraptions consisting of unusual items race against each other, as well as the homecoming displays in front of the fraternity houses. These are not the typical floats you see at most schools. They are sophisticated mechanical displays with moving parts that twist, spin and fly.
Georgia Tech holds the record for the highest scoring game in college history. A John Heisman coached team defeated Cumberland Academy 222-0 (Coach Heisman had been incensed when he felt the Cumberland baseball team had run up the score against Tech the previous spring.)
Bobby Dodd Stadium has been utilized for many other activities than Tech football over the years. It served as a practice facility for the athletes during the 1996 Olympics, as it was just across North Avenue from the Olympic Village. It has also hosted everything from a speech by FDR to a Rolling Stones Concert. Most recently it has served as the home pitch for the expansion MLS Atlanta United until their permanent home at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is completed.
At the end of the third quarter of all home games, the world’s largest sing-a-long occurs. Though it sounds very much like a very famous beer brand song, Tech officials insist the tune is called “When You Say Buzzweiser… You’ve said it All”. We will let you decide.
The tradition of Georgia Tech football has been part of the Atlanta psyche for generations. Prior to the arrival of the Falcons, Braves, Hawks and two hockey teams, a Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium (then known only as Grant Field) was the “only game in town”. A large portion of its fan base in those days had no college relationship with the school… they were simply Atlanta sports fans who enjoyed good football. For 21 of those years, the team was coached by the legendary Bobby Dodd, and as a result, his name has been added to the stadium in his honor.
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Latest Crowd Reviews
Georgia Tech isn&#039t like Florida State or Clemson with their stadium size but not Duke or Wake Forest either. The oldest Division 1 venue in college football doesn&#039t act like it. Over the years the renovations have made Georgia Tech one of the more underrated venues in college football. POSITIVES: You&#039re in the heart of downtown Atlanta and if you&#039re in the North End Zone, you can see the skyline, somewhat of an odd thing to have in college football, but it works here. The food selection is great if you go on the west sideline concourse and you get Mexican, BBQ, huge hamburgers, Chick-Fil-A, etc. And one of the stands is Twisted Taco. May be a bit pricey at 9 but it is worth it. There isn&#039t really a bad seat at Bobby Dodd Stadium and even for some of the major conference games, you can get in for relatively cheap. NEGATIVES: The only major problem I have with Bobby Dodd was the variety on the end zone concessions were very weak and very basic. You nearly have to spend 20 minutes to get down just to get to the good concession stands. Parking can be tricky if you don&#039t get a pass beforehand. Being in Atlanta it somewhat hinders the spots actually as you could get towed. Overall, Georgia Tech is a good value spot that gives you excellent sights, great traditions such as Buzz, the Wreck, and then singing the Budweiser song between the third and fourth quarters (yes, that is a tradition), and the fans are pretty good. However, they do have issues selling the place out a good bit, partly because Tech has struggled to get any consistency in the ACC.
The historic stadium’s legendary namesake served the university for 57 years as assistant coach, head coach and athletic director. Dodd most notably racked up 165 wins and a national championship during his coaching tenure from 1945-1966. The stadium was renamed for Dodd in 1988 and currently holds up to 55,000. But like the historical atmosphere, Georgia Tech’s football dominance seems like a long time ago. But recent years (2015 notwithstanding) have seen a bit of a renaissance under Paul Johnson’s unique option offense.