College Stadium Review: Commonwealth Stadium

Commonwealth Stadium is home to the University of Kentucky Wildcats football team. While this area is more known for basketball, football fans have recently been showing that they can be just as passionate about their team as well. The stadium is actually about 41years old, which makes it the youngest in the SEC believe it or not. The stadium itself was not originally built to a spectacular sporting venue, but it did receive a significant makeover and expansion in 1999 that has brought it up to at least an average standing as far as collegiate stadiums at this level go. While the official capacity is listed at 67,000, more than 71,000 individuals have been known to pack into the facility when a particularly big game is taking place. Commonwealth Stadium does not have much of the history or character that many other stadiums around the country have, particularly within the SEC, but the experience of attending the game there is nonetheless an enjoyable one.


Graphic via amteck
As far as food and beverage at Commonwealth Stadium goes, there is not much different between it and that of other similarly placed collegiate stadiums. There are your typical hot dogs, drinks of the non-alcoholic variety, pretzels, popcorn, and pizza.  There is also some region fare to be had as well, in the form of barbeque sandwiches, gyros, Italian sausage, and gourmet nachos. The extensive nature of the menu, combine with prices that are pleasantly reasonable, will likely leave fans satisfied at the end of the game. Keep in mind that beer is not sold inside Commonwealth Stadium, although this does not stop many fans from having more than their fill outside via tailgating parties before the game itself.


Game day atmosphere surrounding Commonwealth Stadium would best be rated as average. There are the typical tailgating parties on all sides of the stadium that one would expect to see at a college game taking place at this level, especially in the SEC.  Kentucky fans are passionate about their university, and it shows. The parking lots will all be packed with tents and RVs well before game time. In fact, the party often carries on into the first quarter of the game, when the stadium will finally reach its capacity as fans begin to wander in.  Because of this, the atmosphere pregame is not that exciting inside the stadium for those fans not desiring to take part in the festivities below. Otherwise, the atmosphere is typical, with loud and raucous behavior if Kentucky is doing well or the game is particularly close, and then more subdued if they are doing poorly. The atmosphere is not as electric the entire game as it is in some other big named stadiums where fans are able to keep up the energy level throughout, no matter what is happening on the field.


Overall, for people visiting the stadium for the first time, they should not be disappointed. The experience will be largely positive, and the expense involved will not break the bank. While Kentucky is not consistently a top ranked football team, they do play in the SEC, which means there is almost an assurance that a few of the games will be against top ranked teams every year, and with some of the lowest ticket prices in the SEC to boot.
Graphic via flickr

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