Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Dr. John Bale (1984) argued sport scholars need to examine whether innovation diffusion occurred in sport. Rogers (1962, 2003) argued innovation diffusion process involves the following: 1) an innovation; 2) an available communication system(s); and occurs 3) over time; and 4) among members of a social system (p. 11). This project also adds geography as suggested by Bale (1984) and Hagerstrand (1952, 1953) to the study of innovation diffusion. The purpose of the current project is to examine whether innovation diffusion exists within the strong social system of college football. The study involves the collection of data on college football from 1869 to 2014 to examine whether the concept of diffusion of innovation theory can be found in Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The investigation concludes that five stages exist concerning the development of the college football stadium. Stage One starts with the development of college football from its humble beginnings as temporary facilities until the development of Harvard Stadium, the first reinforced concrete and steel venue. Stage Two is the golden age of college football stadium construction as the innovation of reinforced concrete and steel diffused to universities around the United States. Stage Three acknowledges the innovations occurring during the Great Depression and how both federal and state governments invested in stadiums as part of public works projects. Stage Four examines technology innovations such as television, artificial turf, modern scoreboards, and luxury areas and their respective impacts on the stadium. The final stage, Stage Five, examines the additions of luxury spaces to almost every venue along with the development of the modern video board. This project finds innovation diffusion occurs throughout time within Division I FBS. The project also concludes that due to improved communications technology and easing of the travel challenges, traditional geography as discussed by Bale (1984) influenced innovation diffusion in the earlier stages (i.e., Stages One through Three) while virtual geography influences innovation diffusion in later stages (i.e., Stage Four and Five). The project also finds that renovation was more common than new construction and that rehabilitation occurs more than any other types of renovation.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Seifried, Chad



Included in

Kinesiology Commons