Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell has deemed Ross-Ade Stadium as “The Furnace” in hopes that the nickname can make for a more hostile atmosphere.
“When you think about stadiums across the country that you’re somewhat intimidated to go into ... I want to have a stadium identification that teams are going to be a little bit intimidated to go into: The Furnace, where it gets a little bit hot,” Hazell said.
Hazell talked to Ross-Ade Brigade members about the change and president Jason Plepel, a sophomore in the School of Management, said the group has whole-heartedly accepted the name.
Plepel said it’s unlikely the student section will use the nickname on its apparel, but rather use it as a word-of-mouth tool to get people excited for games, such as “Notre Dame is coming to The Furnace Saturday.”
“In a perfect world ... you correlate The Swamp to Florida, the Big House to Michigan, and when someone says The Furnace, you think of Purdue,” Plepel said.
The name change comes after Purdue ranked No. 55 out of 120 FBS schools in announced attendance in 2012 at 43,588, which accounts for tickets sold and distributed. Purdue’s scanned attendance average was 30,217 in Ross-Ade Stadium, which has a capacity of 62,500.
Joe Kaufman, junior in the College of Technology and regular attendee of Purdue football games, said he likes the opportunity of increased attendance from marketing slogans playing off the nickname, such as “Get fired up this weekend in The Furnace.”
“The Furnace is a good name for Ross-Ade because it implies that our opponents are going to feel the heat,” Kaufman said. “The timing of the nickname could not be better. With a new coaching staff and a new name, fan pride can be renewed ... Fans need that spark to get them back into the stands.”