Bulldog Stadium
Bulldog Stadium at Jim Sweeney Field is an outdoor football stadium on the campus of California State University, Fresno in Fresno, California. It is the home field of the Fresno State Bulldogs of the Western Athletic Conference. The stadium opened in 1980 with a capacity of 30,000 and has a current seating capacity of 41,031. It hosted the California Bowl from 1981-91 and friendly matches prior to the 1994 FIFA World Cup. The playing field is natural grass and sits at an elevation of 335 feet (102 m) above sea level. For Fresno State football games, both endzones are designed in a red and white checkerboard pattern in a style similar to the endzones in The University of Tennessee's Neyland Stadium. Fresno State's Bulldog mascot is depicted at midfield in an enlarged style. The field was also notable for having numerical markers every five yards (similar to the field at Louisiana State University's Tiger Stadium) rather than every ten yards, as is typical. The field went back to the normal 10 yard markings in 2009. Bulldog Stadium enjoys a reputation of having one of the premiere home football environments among universities outside of the so-called "power conferences". Tailgate parties in the adjoining parking lots and athletic fields are an enormously popular pastime for Bulldog supporters and the fans are notable for their enthusiastic support within the stadium's environment. For several decades, supporters of Fresno State football have been nicknamed "The Red Wave" as a tribute to their swell of support and their tendency to be clad entirely in red clothing for home contests. For most of Fresno State's history, Bulldog Stadium is at its loudest when Fresno State plays their traditional arch-rival, the San Jose State University Spartans. However, in recent years, Fresno State's most bitterly contested games have been pitted against the Boise State University Broncos, whose success in the Western Athletic Conference generally and against Fresno State in particular has contributed to a fierce and energetic modern rivalry. Bulldog Stadium is constructed in a modern version of the sunken "bowl" style, with seats situated unusually close to the game action and at a steeper slope compared to bowled stadia of the early 20th century. This intimate atmosphere contributes to a louder, more intense gametime experience. Current Fresno State coach Pat Hill has on several occasions argued for the merits of stadium expansion; however, at the outset of the 2009 season no plans are in the works for such an expansion.