The Grand Valley State football team enjoys the friendly confines of Arend D. Lubbers Stadium, one of the top Division II facilities in the nation. Gameday at Lubbers Stadium brings a buzz of excitement and pride to the Laker football program. The surroundings of Lubbers Stadium have changed almost yearly and add to the overall festivities that are a part of a Laker football Saturday during the fall. 2013 will bring much of the same. The Lakers led the nation in attendance for the second consecutive year, averaging 12,034 fans per game in 2012.
The field was lowered eight feet and the track surrounding the field was removed prior to the 2012 campaign. Four rows of seats were installed and wrap around the field to accentuate the horseshoe that added about 2,000 seats. A grass slope was also installed on the north side of the field underneath the video board, which will move the band to the southeast corner of the stadium. The finished project, which includes the installation of an artificial turf playing surface, will bring the capacity up to about 10,444.
For the 2011 season, the stadium saw a renovated student section with a permanent bathroom and concession building located behind. In addition, the home sideline stands have been wrapped in blue acrylic for a more comfortable experience, while a new stadium sound system has been installed on top of the scoreboard. A Daktronics scoreboard with a ProStar video display board was added for the 2005 season. Two seating sections were added to each end of the west side stands to accomodate the overflow crowds that have been a part of Lubbers Stadium since 2001.
The Lakers moved all of their football operations into the GVSU Football Center and the Rob Odejewski Weight Room in 2002. The Football Center includes a state-of-the-art locker room, equipment room, the Todd Jager training room and meeting rooms. The design doubled the size of the former building in the north end zone by adding over 4,000 square feet (2,000 square feet on each side). Permanent lighting, a new playing surface, and six executive suites located on each side of the press box are additions added in the last seven years.
The student seating area, which moved to the south endzone in 1998, has created unmatched excitement among the student body. The seating section has increased in capacity to 3,300 with the new bleachers, and is routinely filled to capacity with the overflow moving into every open area available.
The Lakers set a Lubbers Stadium and GLIAC single-game on-campus record in 2009 as 16,467 fans watched Grand Valley State claim a 38-7 victory over Saginaw Valley State. GVSU set a GLIAC single-season attendance record in 2008 as 64,511 fans watched five Laker home games at Lubbers Stadium for an average of 12,902 per game. The Lakers ranked second in total attendance (73,639) and regular season average (12,902) among DII schools for the season. Three of the Lakers’ top 10 all-time single-game crowds and four of the top 16 came during the 2008 regular season. GVSU played before crowds of 14,612 (Ferris State), 14,161 (Hillsdale), 13,302 (Indianapolis), 12,405 (Michigan Tech) and 10,132 (Ashland) in five regular season dates.
Grand Valley State has recorded sellouts in 41-of-the-last-46 regular season games since 2004 and 52-of-57 since 2002.
Designed with the future in mind, the stadium can have permanent seating added when needed, with ultimate expansion to 20,000 seats.
The stadium and track complex was dedicated on September 15, 1979, and named in honor of former Grand Valley State president, Arend D. Lubbers. Lubbers was instrumental in raising more than $700,000 toward the $1,050,000 project. The majority of the cost was offset by gifts from GVSU football fans and private donors.
The original Lubbers Stadium was built around the existing football field of Prescription Athletic Turf (PAT). The field, which is drained and heated by more than seven miles of tubing and electric coils, was installed in 1972, and opened in 1973.
The Lubbers Stadium press box was designed to accomodate both print and electronic media representatives. It’s spacious features include a television booth, two radio booths and an open air television and film platform on the second deck.
Grand Valley’s football team has been very successful in games at Lubbers Stadium. The Lakers have an all-time record of 163-35-1 (.822) since the stadium was completed in 1979 and GVSU is 78-5 at home since 2001.