Bulldog Stadium is a stadium in Fresno, California, USA. It is primarily used for American
football, and is the home field of the Fresno State Bulldogs. The stadium opened in 1980
and holds 41,031 people. It hosted the California Bowl from 1981 to 1991 and in 1994, it
hosted preliminary rounds of the 1994 FIFA World Cup. One of the most complete and
aesthetically pleasing stadiums in the Western Athletic Conference, Bulldog Stadium has
served as the home of Fresno State football since the 1980 season. Entering its 26th
season of hosting the Bulldogs, the facility has established itself as one of the most difficult
places for a visiting team to win.
Fresno State has gone 130-32-2 at Bulldog Stadium since 1980, for a winning percentage
of over 80 percent. Even more impressive is the success of the team since 1999, during
which time the Bulldogs have gone 43-8. Included in that record are victories over Oregon
State (twice), Colorado State and California. Since Pat Hill took over as head coach in
1997, Fresno State is 51-11 (.823) at home.
Much of that success stems from an environment considered the noisiest in the Western
Athletic Conference. With a capacity of 41,031, the stadium has been filled at near 100
percent capacity ever since record crowds began to pour into the facility in 2001.
Featuring a natural grass playing surface and a tree-lined concourse, Bulldog Stadium
underwent a two-phase expansion project in 1991 which included the addition of more
than 10,000 seats -- increasing the stadium's capacity from 30,000 to 41,031 -- and the
construction of 22 sky suites. Additional restrooms and concession facilities were also
The first phase entailed filling in the panels beyond the north and south end zones with
bench seating and the reconfiguration of seating on the stadium's east side. The second
phase, completed prior to the 1892 season, featured the addition of 22 sky suites, each of
which includes seating for 20, among other amenities.
The stadium expansion was a result of the overwhelming fan support the Bulldogs have
enjoyed since the early 1980s. In the years just prior to expansion, Fresno State played
before crowds well in excess of the official 30,000-seat capacity in 36 of 37 possible home
dates. In 1993, one year after expansion was completed, the Bulldogs averaged 39,536
fans during their six home dates.
Original construction of Bulldog Stadium began in June of 1979 following what was then
the most successful capital fundraising project ever undertaken in the San Joaquin Valley.
Local residents raised in excess of $7 million for the project. No state tax dollars or student
fees were used to build the stadium.
Built partially below ground level with the playing field 37 feet below grade, the bowl has a
low profile appearance. A unique cantilevered lighting system extends toward the field and
is directed downward to concentrate lighting on the playing surface.
Chair seating for more than 5,000 spectators is located on the west side of the stadium
between the 18-yard lines to accommodate contributors of the $7 million.
The remaining seating, with the exception of the recent addition of 3,240 chairback seats
on the east side, is on aluminum benches.
The construction of a new video board located at the north end of the stadium began in
August 2006. There is an existing scoreboard located at the south end of the stadium.
Completed in September 2006 the new video board is one of the largest video screens in
a collegiate venue on the West Coast at 24' x 32'.
Fresno State defeated Montana State 21-14 on Nov. 15, 1980, in the first game played in the stadium. In 2000, the Bulldogs set a new
single-season attendance record when they averaged 42,410 fans, the 22nd-best mark in the nation. The following season, in which Fresno State
achieved a program-record national ranking of eight, was even better. The Bulldogs set a new record by averaging 42,802 fans, including
stadium single-game records of 42,881 in each of the last five contests of that year.
Bulldog Stadium was also home to the California Raisin Bowl from 1981-91. Fresno State played in the game five times, winning the title on four