Vanderbilt Stadium was known as Dudley Field from 1922 to 1981, before the entire stadium was demolished and rebuilt in less than a year on the same site as part of a $10.1 million project. Dudley Field, named after Dr. William Dudley, the Dean of the school's Medical College and a huge football booster, was the first stadium in the south built specifically for football, according to the university. Dudley Field remains the name of the playing surface and the stadium is still referred to as Dudley Field by some.
Vanderbilt Stadium had a capacity of 41,000 before the removal of wooden bleachers dropped seating to 39,790. Vanderbilt Stadium served as home to the NFL's Oilers in 1998 after they moved to Nashville from Houston.
Vandyville, opened eight years ago right outside Vanderbilt Stadium, has become a popular pregame attraction for fans of the 'Dores. Vandyville typically opens three hours before kickoff and in addition to tailgating, fans can experience action on big screen TVs, interactive games, inflatables, food booths and live entertainment. Several fans reserve tailgate tents for the season. Vandyville also is expanding to include more children's activities and live music.
An hour before kickoff, Vanderbilt players and coaches conduct the "Star Walk", going from McGugin Center to the stadium and are encouraged by fans and cheerleaders as they enter the south end zone. Whenever Vanderbilt scores, "Touchdown Foghorn" is sounded, which resembles the long, low blast from a U.S. Navy battleship horn. The Victory Flag also is raised over Dudley Field after home wins.
In recent years, students have adopted the chant, "Who ya wit?" with one student yelling toward the crowd. The crowd answers, "V! U!" and collectively raises the V-U hand sign, formed by extending the thumb, index and middle finger of the hand.