Tubby Raymond Field at Delaware Stadium
Delaware Stadium (Tubby Raymond Field), one of the finest football facilities in the country at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision level and home of the 2003 National Champion Blue Hen football team, begins its 59th season of action in 2010.
Erected in 1952 and enlarged prior to the 1964, 1970, 1972 and the 1975 seasons, the 22,000-seat stadium is the largest in the Colonial Athletic Association and one of the largest in the nation in FCS football.
Delaware Stadium also underwent extensive renovations in 1992-1993. The stadium’s grass surface received a new drainage/irrigation system and new bleachers were installed in the East and West grandstands and the North End Zone. The grass surface was replaced in the spring of 2007.
In December, 2009, the grass was removed and a synthetic FieldTurf was installed by Clark Companies of New Delhi, N.Y., one of the nation’s leaders in turf installation. The Blue Hen men’s lacrosse team played its home games this spring on the new turf, and both UD lacrosse squads will play at Delaware Stadium in 2011.
Delaware celebrated the 50th anniversary of the facility in 2002, producing a poster and recognizing players from the first Blue Hen teams (1952-55) to play in Delaware Stadium as part of an Oct. 5 ceremony.
Another highlight of the 2002 campaign came in the season-opening win over Georgia Southern Aug. 29 when the Delaware Stadium playing surface was dedicated as Tubby Raymond Field, recognizing Delaware’s College Football Hall of Fame head coach who retired following the 2001 season after compiling 300 victories in 36 seasons. Raymond was on hand to pass the football off to new head coach K.C. Keeler prior to the game. Most of the team captains from Raymond’s 36 teams were also in attendance to celebrate the evening.
The 22,000-seat stadium received a new look prior to the 2000 season as eight poles of permanent broadcast-quality lights were installed by Musco Lighting. In addition, the South End Zone bleachers were also replaced.
As part of the new bleachers, the Blue Hen football team now enters Delaware Stadium from a brick runway underneath the stands directly behind the goalposts on gameday. The team’s smoke-filled exit from the tunnel on to Raymond Field through a gauntlet of Blue Hen Marching Band members lining the field is one of the highlights of football Saturdays at Delaware Stadium.
A plaque which lists the accomplishments of past Blue Hen football teams along with a football hangs from the runway. A new tradition was started in 2000 as Delaware players jump up to touch the plaque before entering the field.
The largest Delaware Stadium crowd was the 23,619 spectators that watched the Blue Hens host Temple, Oct. 27, 1973. Temple won that game 31-8.
Since the stadium opened, Delaware has drawn 22,000 or more fans 55 times, including a season-high 22,075 fans Sept. 9, 2000 vs. The Citadel in the first night game under the new lights.
Delaware Stadium attendance records have consistently been broken over the last several years as the Blue Hens drew an average of 22,280 fans during the 2004 regular season, breaking the previous mark of 21,163 set in 2003. Delaware’s home attendance average of 20,750 during the 2009 season ranked fourth among all NCAA FCS institutions.
Delaware is the only school at the NCAA FCS level to average over 20,000 fans for regular season games each of the last 11 seasons, posting marks of 20,750 in 2009, 21,609 in 2008, 21,510 in 2007, 21,825 in 2006, 22,176 in 2005, 22,280 in 2004, 21,163 in 2003, 20,257 in 2002, 20,504 in 2001, 21,154 in 2000, and 20,372 in 1999.
Delaware Stadium had drawn at least 20,000 fans in 44 straight regular season games prior to the 2009 home finale against Hofstra. Delaware Stadium opened November 15, 1952, with the Blue Hens edging past Lafayette, 13-12, on two touchdowns by halfback Kenny Reith on a cold and rainy afternoon.
Entering the 2010 season, the Blue Hens have played 360 games in Delaware Stadium – posting a record of 270-86-4, a winning percentage of .756 over 58 seasons.
The Blue Hens are 17-5 in 22 NCAA playoff games played at Delaware Stadium, including a 2-1 mark during the 1997 and 2000 seasons and a perfect 3-0 mark in 2003 when the Hens easily downed Southern Illinois, Northern Iowa, and Wofford on the way to the national championship game. In 2004 Delaware defeated Lafayette, 28-14, in the first round of the NCAA I-AA playoffs, while in 2007 the Blue Hens defeated Delaware State, 44-7, in the first ever matchup between the state’s two FCS teams.
The stadium is at the center of the David M. Nelson Athletic Complex that includes the $20.5 million Bob Carpenter Center, a 5,000-seat multi-purpose facility south of the stadium that opened in August, 1992, and the $3.3 million Fred P. Rullo Jr. Stadium, a 2,000-seat lighted ActionTurf field which opened in September, 1998.
The Blue Hen field hockey team plays its home games at Rullo Stadium, which played host to the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association North-South Senior Men’s Lacrosse All-Star Game in June, 2000 as well as the U.S. Men’s Lacrosse Team tryouts in 2001. In addition, local high schools play field hockey and lacrosse games at Rullo Stadium as do several area colleges.
The Carpenter facility, named in honor of UD’s longtime trustee and supporter, houses the Blue Hen football and basketball programs as well as offices, the Chuck Hall Memorial Weight Room, athletic training facilities for the football program, and a VIP center with a view to Delaware Stadium.
The Nelson athletic complex is named in honor of David M. Nelson, Delaware’s longtime football coach, athletic director, and dean who passed away in 1992.
The BCC served as home to the NBA Philadelphia 76ers basketball club pre-season training camp in the fall of 1995 and 1996.
The University of Delaware athletic complex also includes 360-by-180-foot Delaware Field House, eight athletic fields - including 2,000-seat Bob Hannah Stadium, the Delaware Softball Field, the $4.5 million Ice Skating Science Development Center featuring two full-sized ice rinks, and an outdoor swimming pool.
The Delaware Mini-Stadium, located just east of Delaware Stadium, includes a grass field for soccer and a quarter-mile all-weather track. The new track was installed in 2000 along with permanent lights.
Two lighted football practice fields as well as the Delaware Field House Tennis Courts are part of the complex. New lights were installed on the practice field prior to the 2001 season.
Delaware Stadium's outstanding facilities earned its selection as the host site for the 1984 and 1986 Division I NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship games and for two NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament first round games in May, 2002.
Other events held in the stadium include the annual Blue-Gold Delaware High School Football All-Star game and University of Delaware graduation ceremonies. Delaware Stadium has been the site of the Blue-Gold All-Star game every year since the game was instituted in the 1950’s.
The last 15 Delaware Blue-Gold High School All-Star games, held annually in late June and featuring the top players in the state, have been played at night.
Delaware Stadium hosted its first collegiate night game (using portable lights) Aug. 31, 1991 when the Hens defeated rival West Chester 28-0 in the Texaco Star Classic. Delaware has hosted 20 night games all-time, posting an impressive record of 17-3.
Delaware Stadium will host two night games in 2010, including the season opener September 2 vs. West Chester.
Delaware Stadium Attendance Records (entering 2010 season)
- Temple - Oct. 27, 1973 - 23,619
- Navy - Sept. 9, 1985 - 23,110
- Navy - Nov. 14, 1987 - 23,100
- William & Mary - Oct. 18, 1986 - 23,045
- Colgate - Nov. 19, 1977 - 23,019
- Connecticut - Nov. 7, 1992 - 22,911
- Maine - Oct. 28, 1989 - 22,805
- Lehigh - Oct. 3, 1981- 22,784
- Towson - Sept. 11, 2004 - 22,782
- New Hampshire - Sept. 2, 2004 - 22,727
- Villanova - Nov. 1, 1980 - 22,680
- Bucknell - Nov. 18, 1972 - 22,648
- Maine - Nov. 2, 1991 - 22,601
- Temple - Oct. 30, 1971 - 22,582
- Northern Michigan - Oct. 18, 1980 - 22,555
- Lehigh - Sept. 10, 2005 - 22,537
- West Chester Sept. 8, 2007 22,495
- Temple - Sept. 19, 1981 - 22,379
- West Chester - Sept. 17, 2005 - 22,331
- West Chester - Sept. 9, 2006 - 22,329
- New Hampshire - Oct. 5, 1991 - 22,304
- Massachusetts - Oct. 22, 1988 - 22,301
- Maine - Oct. 28, 1995 - 22,293
- James Madison - Oct. 26, 1996 - 22,291
- West Chester - Sept. 20, 1986 - 22,221
Sports at this Facility
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