The Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech has played football at this very site since 1905, in the shadows of a then somewhat paltry downtown Atlanta. In a grand gesture of school pride, the original concrete west stands were built by Tech students in 1913. Just a year later the facility was named Grant Field after a 1914 gift from John W. Grant, a member of the university's Board of Trustees.
Grant Field soon became synonymous with Tech football and was the lone name until April 1988, when the Georgia State Board of Regents voted to add the Bobby Dodd Stadium name as a way to honor the Hall of Fame coach who had given 57 years of service to Georgia Tech. Dodd Stadium was the majestic structure that looked over Tech football before the Atlanta skyline grew up in the distance and cast a watchful eye over the program.
Dodd-coached teams mustered a 165-64-8 record and earned 13 bowl bids during his tenure at Grant Field from 1945 to 1966. Dodd also served as the school's Director of Athletics from 1951 to 1976.
The facility that the students participated in building a century ago would hardly be recognizable today. The original seating capacity capped out at 5,600. Almost 10 times that amount now, the place sits 55,000. The largest game ever witnessed at Bobby Dodd Stadium took place in the 2006 season opener, when second-ranked Notre Dame traveled to Atlanta to play in front of 56,680 people.
The Ramblin' Wreck joined the much older Yellow Jackets tradition in 1961, when on Sept. 30 a restored 1930 Model A Ford Sport Coupe was unveiled to 43,501 fans and led the team out onto the field. The act has occurred at every home game since. The rig found its name in the early 1900s.
Born of an old folk ballad, the "Ramblin' Wreck" fight song appeared in print as early as 1908 and was established by lore in 1885, when most of the student body traveled to Athens to see Tech take on the Georgia Bulldogs.