BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHUP
Alabama Crimson Tide vs LSU Tigers
Jan. 9, 2012 | 8:30 p.m. ET | ESPN
Stadium Guide: BCS National Championship
Year Opened: 1924 | Field Surface: Natural Grass
Tiger Stadium, otherwise known as Death Valley to friend and foe, has undergone several refurbishments since it opened in 1924. Capacity has gone from 12,000 to nearly 93,000.
Tiger Stadium has been called by various coaches and writers the toughest place to play in America and home to the best college football experience. In the 1930s, Louisiana Gov. Huey P. Long helped to get the stadium expanded by more than 20,000 seats. The state budget did not allow money for stadium expansion but did for dormitories, so Long got around the legislation by ordering that dorms be built in the stadium and seats be built above the living quarters. The stadium had dormitories for 1,500 students for decades -- including the LSU football team in 1986 -- until the early 1990s.
The seventh-largest on-campus stadium in college football was expanded to include 70 skyboxes, called "Tiger Dens," in the late 1990s. The field at Tiger Stadium has unique yard lines numbered every 5 yards, as opposed to the traditional 10 yards of most stadiums, and the goalposts are an "H" style as opposed to most teams' "Y" style. The players run through the goalposts in the north end zone to enter the field.
Mike the Tiger is Louisiana State's live Bengal tiger mascot and lives in a 15,000-square-foot habitat with a waterfall and river near Tiger Stadium. Named after Mike Chambers, the athletic trainer and person most responsible for the care of the original Mike in 1936, Mike's wheeled cage is set outside the opposing team's locker room at Tiger Stadium. Players then must pass by Mike to reach their locker room. A statue of Mike the Tiger stands near his habitat.
Tailgating, Cajun food and night games are the stuff of legend here, and the stadium has made several lists as the noisiest in the country. Fans at Tiger Stadium had such a reaction to a winning touchdown pass in the final minute of a night game against Auburn that they caused what was equivalent to an earthquake to be registered on a seismograph on campus. Known as the "Earthquake Game," Tommy Hodson's TD pass to Eddie Fuller gave the Tigers a 7-6 victory over No. 4 Auburn on Oct. 8, 1988.
The LSU pregame march down the hill between Tiger Stadium and the Pete Maravich Assembly Center is one of the school's better-known traditions. Fans line up on both sides of the road as the players, coaches, Mike the Tiger, cheerleaders and the band march toward the stadium.
Source: Louisiana State University
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