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Notre Dame Road Stadium Tour: Ross-Ade Stadium

Ross-Ade Stadium, at the open end of the horseshoe design.
Ross-Ade Stadium, at the open end of the horseshoe design.

Part two of the Notre Dame Road Stadium Tour kicks off with Ross-Ade Stadium, home of the Purdue Boilermakers.

In part one, we took a look at Heinz Field, the relatively new home for the Pittsburgh Panthers.

In case you didn't know, Ross-Ade Stadium is just a wee bit older than Heinz Field.

Notre Dame fans are quite familiar with the home of the Boilermakers because we play Purdue every year and there's been plenty of memorable matchups there.

After a dramatic victory in 2009, the Irish return this season to try and win back-to-back games at Ross-Ade for the first time since 1993 and 1995.*

*Ugh, really?

Location: West Lafayette, Indiana

Opened: 1924

Capacity: 62,500

Surface: Bermuda Grass

  • The stadium is named after David E. Ross (late President of the Board of Trustees) and George Ade (playwright and humorist). Both men purchased and presented the university with the 65-acre tract of land on which the stadium sits.
  • Purdue won their first game in the stadium with a 26-7 Homecoming victory over in-state rival Indiana on November 22, 1924.
  • The stadium uses Prescription Athletic Turf, a sophisticated drainage system that was invented by Purdue professors. It was installed in 1975 and is still in use today.
  • In 2006 the playing field was switched from Kentucky bluegrass to Bermuda grass. Purdue was the first Big Ten team to use Bermuda grass.
  • In 2001 the university began a $70 million renovation of the stadium and has completed the first of three phases. The last two will be additional upper deck seating.
  • The program is 262-158-13 (.620%) all-time at Ross-Ade.
  • The largest crowd in stadium history was 71,629 in 1980 against Indiana.
  • The most recent sellout was an over capacity crowd to finish the 2008 season, once again against bitter rival Indiana. 63,107 were on hand that day to see the Boilermakers crush the Hoosiers 62-10.
  • Purdue is 20-15 at home over the past five seasons.
  • The Fighting Irish have played 32 games inside Ross-Ade and currently sport a 20-12 record in West Lafayette.
  • Notre Dame won the first 6 games at Ross-Ade from 1947 to 1957.
  • Ara Parseghian lost his first three games on the road against Purdue as Notre Dame’s head coach. In the golden era of this rivalry, Parseghian lost in 1965 and 1967 by a combined 11 points, while coming into both contests as the No. 1 team in the country. He also lost the 1969 game by two touchdowns with the Irish ranked No. 9 in the nation. In all three losses, Purdue was also ranked (No. 6, No. 10, & No. 16 respectively).
  • Gerry Faust (1-2), Bob Davie (1-2), and Tyrone Willingham (0-1) all have losing records at Ross-Ade as Irish head coaches.
  • In addition to being a perfect 11-0 against Purdue over his career as Notre Dame head coach, Lou Holtz was 5-0 at Ross-Ade Stadium. The Irish were ranked in every single game (including in the top ten for four of them), and outscored the Boilermakers 182 to 75 in the contests of 1987, 89, 91, 93 and 95.
  • Charlie Weis was 2-1 on the road against the Boilermakers, although the loss during the disastrous 2007 season (14 points) was the worst at Ross-Ade since 1985 (18 points).
  • Notre Dame has come into the games at Ross-Ade ranked in the polls in 23 out of the rivalries 32 games, although the Irish have only been ranked once in the past five meetings at Purdue (2005 ranked No. 13). Notre Dame is 15-8 when ranked in those 23 games.
  • Purdue has come into these homes games against Notre Dame ranked only 8 times (Notre Dame is 2-6 in such meetings) since 1924, although the Boilers have done so in 3 out of the past 6 meetings.
  • The past two meetings at Ross-Ade have been with both programs unranked for the first time since 1961-63.
  • Notre Dame is only 3-4 against Purdue on the road since 1997.