College Stadium Review: Jim Wacker Field

San Marcos, Texas might not be on every football fans map, but Bobcat Stadium stand ready season after season to play host to the Bobcats of Texas State. Opened in 1981, this venue seats 30,000 when filled to full capacity, which granted does not happen very often. Named after the legendary coach that guided the team to two national championships in the 1980s when the school was known as Southwest Texas State, the stadium is the crown jewel of the school’s move from FCS competition to FBS play, and is a bright spot in the future of the athletic program.
When the game begins, the crowd is rocking and people are excited to participate in the atmosphere, which makes for a good experience. The Texas heat certainly is in play, though, and the student section on the East side of the stadium is directly in the sun. The West side, or season ticket side, however, is in the shade around 5:00 p.m. and has padded seats in the lower level section. Although there aren’t many skyline settings, the new replay boards are efficient and the shine of the new renovations make this an enjoyable setting.

Graphic via skyscrapercity
In terms of location, there isn’t a better place than Aquarena Drive, the street on which the stadium is located.

The San Marcos river is within walking distance of the two major parking lots, the campus is just a few more yards away and the downtown bar scene is easily accessible by car once the game is over. Simply put, you can make the game an all-day experience in the city of San Marcos. From historic restaurants like Gil’s Broiler, home of President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s favorite Manske Roll, to taking in a night music show at Cheatham Street Warehouse, everything is within sight both before and after the game.

The location of the stadium is perfect for what the city has to offer, and helps make it a great Saturday spot if football isn’t the only family activity you want to accomplish.

The tailgating takes away from parking, and although the school has limited areas in which tailgating is allowed to loosen up parking spots, it’s still somewhat of a challenge to find a good spot close to game time.

Aquarena Drive is also crowded both before and after game time, since a railroad runs right near the stadium, you can never tell when things will get worse.

The team and the stadium are a work in progress. The move from the ranks of the FCS to the WAC has given the school some credibility, along with a stadium capacity that looks more like a big-time school. The city has plenty to offer once the game is over, though, so if you are looking for football to accompany your Saturday rather than overtake it, San Marcos is a great place to spend a football weekend.

Graphic via txstatebobcats

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