Jones AT&T Stadium
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Year Opened: 1947 | Field Surface: Artificial Turf
"The Jones," as it is affectionately known, doesn't just exist; it seems to breathe life into the easygoing West Texas town of Lubbock. The venue has had three names -- Jones Stadium, Jones SBC Stadium and Jones AT&T Stadium -- and seen some renovations through its years but has always had Jones at its root. Former Texas Tech president Clifford B. Jones and his wife, Aubrey, had the stadium named and dedicated in their honor at its opening in 1947.
Jones AT&T Stadium seats more than 60,000 fans, many of whom ready for each football season "guns up" and jonesing for Texas Tech victories.
The first game in this picturesque house of Red Raiders took place Nov. 29, 1947. The field was natural grass at the time. In 1970 Texas Tech began playing on artificial turf and would never look back, evolving into the epitome of what turf teams are thought of -- fast.
There is little more intimidating than a masked man stoically riding into town, ready to take charge at a moment's notice upon creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion.
With that image in mind, the spouse of the coach in 1925 suggested the team be called the Matadors. Students selected scarlet and black as the colors and donned them during a March 15, 1926, convocation. The Texas Tech faithful later became known as "Red Raiders," thanks to the label introduced by the sports editor of the Lubbock Morning Avalanche in 1936, the same year the fabled Masked Rider made his first ride.
A 1937 graduate of Texas Tech, George Tate shocked the team's followers when he suited up in the Masked Rider garb and led the team out onto the field on the back of a palomino swiped from the university barn. The Masked Rider appeared a couple of more times that season, but not again until 1954.
Upon playing in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, 1954, Texas Tech and coach DeWitt Weaver held a 10-1 record. Weaver was feverishly lobbying to get the team accepted into the new Southwest Conference and thought the lack of a mascot may be holding them back. He approached student Joe Kirk Fulton and convinced him to ride as the Masked Rider and lead the team onto the field that New Year's Day. Fulton agreed and stunned the Gator Bowl crowd, which soon erupted as the Masked Rider appeared. Since that moment the Masked Rider has been a part of game-day traditions in the West Texas town of Lubbock.
Source: Texas Tech
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