WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Ohio State has "The Horse Shoe" and the Florida Gators have "The Swamp," but Ross-Ade stadium has no nickname. That all changed when Purdue Head Football Coach Darrell Hazell came to town.
"I think Coach Hazell's looking for a new nickname for Ross-Ade Stadium, and he proposed 'The Furnace,'" said Purdue Associate Athletics Director Tom Schott.
"I think 'The Furnace' is a cool nickname, it goes along with the Boilermakers," said Purdue student Steven Parker.
"I think it would maybe bring more power to the stadium," said Purdue student Megan Grider.
"It's a little weird," said Purdue student Alex VanZuilen.
While students' opinions around campus may vary, Schott said the message for opposing teams will always be the same.
"Opponents are going to be thrown into the fire when they come play the Boilermakers," said Schott.
Now that Ross-Ade stadium has a hot new nickname, some even hotter changes are coming along with it.
Schott said that includes completely renovating the south end zone of Ross-Ade.
"Perhaps it's a party zone," said Schott. "Maybe it's a student-only area. Everything is kind of out on the table at this point. Maybe it's a new video board, maybe it's a combination of all those things."
Schott said complaints from fans sitting in the south end zone include too much noise and uncomfortable seats. However, he said, that's not the main reason for the changes.
"Just see if there's a better use of that space," said Schott. "The south end zone has stayed the same for decades. To make a better fan experience is probably the number one goal."
Schott said part of enhancing that experience could mean removing seats from the south end zone.
Schott said having a stadium with a lower capacity could actually result in more fan interaction.
"I think you're finding across the country a lot of stadiums are looking to get a little smaller, a little more intimate, bring the fans closer to the action," said Schott. "Those south end zone seats are pretty far away from the action, so you might see them closer to the field, you know, make it a unique fan experience."
Schott said while nothing has yet to be set in stone, many architects and students have already started sketching ideas.
Yet, Schott warns fans shouldn't get too riled up right now. He said the changes won't be coming to "The Furnace" until at least 2015.
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