The home of the Army Back Knights opened in 1924 in West Point, New York. The field is named for famed head coach Red Blaik who coached the team during its glory days of the World War II when Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis won the Heisman Trophy in back to back years while the team won the National championship also in 1944 and 1945.
Michie was the name of the man who organized the first Army football team in 1892. He served as the captain of that first Army team.
In 2007, Sports Illustrated listed the top ten college sports venues. Here are some of the names that made the list:
The Rose Bowl- home of UCLA football and the Rose Bowl Game
Cameron Indoor Stadium- home of Duke Blue Devils basketball
Michigan Stadium- home of Michigan Wolverines football
Rosenblatt Stadium- former site of the College World Series
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium- home of Florida Gators football
Blaik Field at Michie Stadium
That is perhaps surprising to many college sports fans. After all, the one Army game most fans see every season is the game between the Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen, which is always played at a neutral site, normally in an NFL Stadium such as Lincoln Financial Field or Met Life Stadium or M&T Bank Stadium.
Graphic via hvpress
The Michie Stadium capacity is 38,000. This is about half what an NFL Stadium holds, but plenty large enough for Army. This is not a “football factory” that doubles as a University. These are young men who are in school to learn to become Army officers. They play football as an extra-curricular activity even though they may be on scholarship.
The military parade before the game may be even better than the game itself. Watching the Corps of Cadets wind its way through campus and into their seats is an awesome site. These cadets stand through the entire game in their long gray overcoats and hats, blending together like one large gray square.
Whenever the team scores, a cannon is fired from outside the stadium as the cheerleaders do pushups, one for every point the team has on the board.
Outside the stadium, cannons, statues and museums abound so the fan can see all the of history behind not only the football team and the stadium, but the Academy that has produced so many war heroes.
If course, this is still college football which means tailgating before the game. With all of the fall foliage and Bear Mountain in the background along with the Hudson River, you could not ask for a much better spot for pregame.
Food concessions inside Michie Stadium include the usual stadium menu. You can find pretzels, popcorn, nachos, Cracker Jack, and hot dogs. To drink you will find water, coffee or hot chocolate, but no alcohol. If you want to drink, bring your own for the tailgate party.
Army football is more than a football team and game day at West Point is more than about watching football. You are in the presence of the best young men and women the country has to offer. This experience will surely leave you feeling a bit more patriotic.
Two things to keep in mind when attending a game at Michie Stadium, bring a seat cushion because this is an old stadium with bench seating. Also, get you tickets early because 38,000 is not a lot of seats and when someone like Stanford, Boston College or Air Force comes in, the tickets will go quickly. Also, security is very tight as one might expect going into a military base, which is what West Point really is more so than a college. So you will likely be searched and will have to park far away. But none of this should deter you from paying an Army football game a visit.
Graphic via stadiumjourney