Looking east in March 2015
|Former names||Cougar Stadium|
|Location||1700 N Canyon Rd|
Provo, Utah, U.S.
|Operator||Brigham Young University|
|Record attendance||66,247 (1993)|
(vs. Notre Dame)
|Broke ground||October 1963|
|Opened||October 2, 1964|
56 years ago
|Architect||Fred L. Markham|
|BYU Cougars (NCAA) (1964-present)|
LaVell Edwards Stadium is an outdoor athletic stadium in Provo, Utah, on the campus of Brigham Young University (BYU). Primarily used for college football, it is the home field of the BYU Cougars, an independent in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Opened as "Cougar Stadium" in 1964, its seating capacity is 63,470.
On the north end of campus, the stadium opened 56 years ago in 1964 as Cougar Stadium, replacing a much smaller 5,000-seat venue of the same name. The first game on Friday night, October 2, was attended by 33,610, a state record. The original stadium, corresponding to the lower half of the current facility's grandstand seats, had a seating capacity was just over 28,800. Seating was soon added to make room for 35,000, and temporary bleachers in the end zones raised the capacity to 45,000.
The stadium was expanded in 1982 to accommodate more than 65,000; permanent concrete stands in the end zones, separated by entryways from the east and west grandstands, were put in place of the temporary bleachers. The playing field was lowered 8 feet (2.4 m), and the running track was removed to make room for six additional rows.
LaVell Edwards (1930-2016) was the head coach at BYU for 29 seasons, preceded by ten years as an assistant. He retired after the 2000 season and the stadium was soon renamed in his honor. During the 2002 Olympics, the stadium's parking lot was used as a park and ride lot for guests attending events at the Peaks Ice Arena and Soldier Hollow.
The stadium was renovated in 2003 to provide additional luxury seating, which reduced the capacity to 64,045. The luxury seating was a noticeable addition because the arrangement of blue and white seats in this section spells out BYU in block letters. In 2008, BYU unveiled a new video board on the north end zone on August 30, allowing fans seated in the south end zone to see the instant replays and graphics which previously were shown only on the south board. In addition, a brand-new addition to the stadium was the Cougar Marching Band Hall, which included a large rehearsal room, uniform storage space, band offices, instrument lockers, and video screens that assist in rehearsals.
The stadium underwent some upgrades before the 2012 season: new HD LED videoboards face the north and south end zones, replacing the outdated and smaller video screens, and they are flanked by video ribbons that stretch along the top of the north and south stands. The elevator shafts have been freshly coated to reflect the new BYU "blue" color scheme, each has the oval Y painted on it, and in 2013 the student section was unified into one area to seat the BYU student section instead of being scattered throughout the stadium.
Prior to the 1982 expansion, it was the home venue for BYU's outdoor track and field teams and hosted the NCAA championships in 1967 and 1975. A new track facility was built just south of the stadium and later named for Clarence F. Robison, the Cougars' legendary track coach.
Part of the largest collection of Jurassic period fossils in North America, housed at BYU, was stored underneath the east bleachers of the stadium until 2005. The fossils have since been prepared and are on display in the BYU Museum of Paleontology's collection room.
Due to installation of new features in the stadium, the grounds crew and BYU Police have installed a number of security features to prevent students from entering the stadium after hours, including infrared security cameras and motion detectors. Anyone found entering the stadium after hours may be charged with trespassing and receive a fine up to $500.