"Building a stadium bigger than Tech"
In 1927, Georgia's football team was enjoying an undefeated season heading into its final game of the season again Georgia Tech. At the time Georgia did not have a football field that was able to accommodate a large number of spectators. For this reason, the annual match up between the two teams was almost always played at Georgia Tech's Grant Field in Atlanta. Georgia would lose to Tech, 12-0, and lost its perfect season. Allegations were brought that Georgia Tech had watered the field the entire night before the game, rendering Georgia's faster running game inept. This proved to be the final straw for Steadman Sanford. Sanford began a campaign asking Georgia alumni and friends to support the "building a stadium bigger than Tech" and he successfully raised $150,000. Construction soon began on the new stadium on area of campus above Tanyard Creek with a target opening for the 1929 season.
"All the while the sun was bearing down, and the Yale players, in their dark blue woolen jerseys and long blue socks, began looking for the water boy." - John Stegeman and Robert Willingham, Touchdown
The man responsible for planting infant hedges around the field prior to the first game against Yale was Athletic Department Business Manager Charlie Martin. Martin had visited the Rose Bowl and had liked the rose bushes that circled the field. Because of the weather in Athens, privet hedges were used instead and remain a fixture in Sanford Stadium to this day.
1980 would see the first undefeated National Championship season as Georgia won it all. The next year, the east end zone was enclosed, ending the days when students would watch games from the railroad tracks. Ten years later, the west end zone would also be closed, increasing capacity to 85,434.
For all its expansions and updates, Sanford Stadium remains a classic stadium filled with history. Here's to many more years of memories between the hedges!