Beyond the Game

Stadiums, Mascots, Bands and the Culture Surrounding Big Time College Football in Florida

From humble beginnings in the early 1900s, college football venues in Florida have changed as much as the game itself. The first college football game in Florida attracted just 2,000 fans, who paid 50 cents each to watch Stetson play FAC at the Jacksonville fairgrounds in November 1901. Today, both Doak Campbell and Ben Hill Griffin stadiums host more than 80,000 fans for home games. In-game entertainment, such as mascots, bands and half-time shows, have become integral to the culture and spectacle of college football in Florida. Colorful fans and entertainers contribute to the lively atmosphere at big time college football games in the Sunshine State.

Bobby Bowden with Charlie Ward's Heisman Trophy: Tallahassee, Florida (1993)

Bobby Bowden with Charlie Ward's Heisman Trophy: Tallahassee, Florida (1993)

Image Number: MF1109

Football stadium under construction at the University of Miami: Coral Gables, Florida (1925)

Football stadium under construction at the University of Miami: Coral Gables, Florida (1925)

Image Number: RC08875

Fans at a University of Miami football game: Miami, Florida (ca. 1920s)

Fans at a University of Miami football game: Miami, Florida (ca. 1920s)

Image Number: PHF011

Football stadium at the University of Florida: Gainesville, Florida (1948)

Football stadium at the University of Florida: Gainesville, Florida (1948)

Image Number: RC10950

University of Florida: Gainesville, Florida (1949)

University of Florida: Gainesville, Florida (1949)

Image Number: C011796

Site for the Doak Campbell Stadium: Tallahassee, Florida (1948)

Site for the Doak Campbell Stadium: Tallahassee, Florida (1948)

Image Number: N039557

General Note: The new stadium will be part of Florida State University.

Aerial view of Doak Campbell Stadium during the dedication game: Tallahassee, Florida (1950)

Aerial view of Doak Campbell Stadium during the dedication game: Tallahassee, Florida (1950)

Image Number: C014203

Municipal stadium filled for Stetson University's homecoming game: DeLand, Florida (ca. 1950s)

Municipal stadium filled for Stetson University's homecoming game: DeLand, Florida (ca. 1950s)

Image Number: PR13374

Aerial view of the Gator Bowl Stadium during show at the 1954 game between Auburn University and Baylor University: Jacksonville, Florida (1954)

Aerial view of the Gator Bowl Stadium during show at the 1954 game between Auburn University and Baylor University: Jacksonville, Florida (1954)

Image Number: RF00191

General Note: Auburn won the game 33-13.

"Fighting Gators," logo of the University of Florida: Gainesville, Florida (ca. 1960s – 70s)

"Fighting Gators," logo of the University of Florida: Gainesville, Florida (ca. 1960s – 70s)

Image Number: N045209

FAMU "Marching 100": Tallahassee, Florida (1974)

FAMU "Marching 100": Tallahassee, Florida (1974)

Image Number: Sl35576

FSU mascot "Chief Osceola" riding "Renegade": Tallahassee, Florida (1983)

FSU mascot "Chief Osceola" riding "Renegade": Tallahassee, Florida (1983)

Image Number: FFL2353

FAMU "Marching 100" perform for the crowd: Tallahassee, Florida (1984)

FAMU "Marching 100" perform for the crowd: Tallahassee, Florida (1984)

Image Number: FFL2454A

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at the University of Florida: Gainesville, Florida (1992)

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at the University of Florida: Gainesville, Florida (1992)

Image Number: K894251

General Note: Popularly known as "The Swamp," it was formerly called "Florida Field" (1930-1989).