BB&T Field sounds like the kind of gleaming new modern stadium a professional franchise would call home. Instead, the field and Groves Stadium are the home of Wake Forest football.
The change in name came as part of a ten-year naming agreement that began in 2007. The money will go to help fund various projects including current as well as future upgrades to the facility that shares a unique heritage with two other college football stadiums including the one in Blacksburg.
Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Indiana all share the same basic shell of a football stadium. All three facilities were constructed at various points throughout the 1960s.
Indiana's Memorial Stadium
Memorial Stadium - Bloomington, Indiana pic.twitter.com/OOCy1WGlay— Sports Stadiums (@StadiumHeaven) October 22, 2014
Wake Forest's BB&T Field
The crowd at BB&T Field at the coin toss for Wake Forest vs. Presbyterian is very #goacc. #GoDeacs pic.twitter.com/8cbNBMhT3y— Patrick Southern (@patricksouthern) August 29, 2013
Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium
A lot of love for the Hokies today! Look out below Lane Stadium! #HokieNation #VirginiaTech #LaneStadium @VT_Football pic.twitter.com/8XN5OqGmuh— MetLife Blimp (@MetLifeBlimp) August 5, 2014
While it was difficult to find pictures from the same exact angle, these give you some idea of the basic structural consistencies.
You can see the same main concept of two large bowed grandstands complete with the distinctive graduated bottom of the stands so familiar to patrons of Lane. All three were originally topped off with small press boxes that lacked the modern luxury fan seating and other amenities now standard in any stadium project.
The three facilities evolved at different rates over the years and in different ways. Indiana built first, opening Memorial Stadium in 1960. IU later chose to close off one end of the stadium to form a "horseshoe" in true Big Ten style. The University expanded the stadium several times, most recently in 2009. It currently holds 52,929.
Virginia Tech opened Lane Stadium in 1965 and has stuck to a timeline similar to Indiana's, undergoing major renovations in 1980, 1999, 2000 and 2004. Tech first expanded the East stands—the difference in concrete color pre and post expansion is clearly visible on either end of those stands.
The North and South end zones were enclosed during the Michael Vick era and finally Tech replaced the press box and luxury seating among other support facilities with the massive renovation to the West side in 2004. Lane Stadium holds 65,632.
Groves Stadium opened in 1968 and Wake didn't do much to it until the program's modern success in the Jim Grobe era during the 2000s. The school fairly recently built a field house that's home to a number of facilities in one end zone and rebuilt the press box and luxury seating areas much like Tech and Indiana have. BB&T Field holds 31,500.
Three very different programs and now very different stadiums are represented here. Despite being built from the same concrete beginning, each stadium now has its own charm and character developed over the years of add-ons and renovations unique to each facility.
It's fitting that Wake Forest's BB&T Field is the closest ACC football stadium to Blacksburg. They've never been very far apart.