Ben Hill Griffin Stadium started as Florida Field in 1930 and became universally known as "The Swamp" after the 1991 season, when then-coach Steve Spurrier said, "The Swamp is where Gators live. We feel comfortable there, but we hope our opponents feel tentative. ... Only Gators get out alive."
Florida Field was renamed Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field during dedication ceremonies on Sept. 9, 1989, in honor of Ben Hill Griffin Jr., a lifelong Gators supporter and generous benefactor to the University of Florida. Now the stadium is the largest in Florida and the ninth largest in the country.
The Ring of Honor on the north end zone facade honors former Gators Spurrier, Emmitt Smith, Wilber Marshall, Danny Wuerffel and Jack Youngblood.
The Chomp is the most recognized tradition at UF ... and its most reviled by opponents. It is led by the band playing the theme song from "Jaws" and acted out by Gators fans. In 1957, Albert the Alligator made his debut at Florida, and -- unlike today's costumed Albert -- was a live alligator. Several live alligators, and even a robotic one, took turns as the team's mascot until the school introduced a costumed version in 1970. Alberta, Albert's female sidekick, was introduced in 1986.
The Gator Walk is a tradition started by Urban Meyer that has the Gators getting off buses on University Avenue and walking through the crowd of fans on their way to the stadium. At the end of the third quarter, fans sing "We are the Boys from Old Florida" as they wrap their arms around their neighbor and sway left to right. The statue of a gator head outside the UF locker room is a symbol of "true Gators," as former quarterback Chris Leak reportedly once said. Players touch it before games for good luck. Meyer removed the gator head in his first season because his players were not living the right lifestyle. He made them earn the right to touch the gator head.
Longtime fan George Edmondson Jr., also known as "Mr. Two Bits," has "retired" but is remembered for his trademark orange-and-blue tie and yellow shirt to lead fans in a round of the "Two Bits" cheer that started in 1949. Mr. Two Bits silences the crowd by blowing a whistle and holding up a sign which reads, "2 Bits." Once the crowd goes quiet, Mr. Two Bits swings his arms and the fans begin to cheer: "Two bits! Four bits! Six bits! A dollar! All for the Gators stand up and holler!"
Life-size statues of Heisman Trophy winners Spurrier (1966), Wuerffel (1996) and Tim Tebow (2007), each weighing from 1,700 pounds and 2,000 pounds, pay tribute to the former Gators on the west side of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, near the entrance to the skyboxes.