College Stadium Reviews: Centennial Bank Stadium

Centennial Bank Stadium is home to the Red Wolves of Arkansas State University. Formerly known as Liberty Bank Stadium, the venue has a current seating capacity of 30,964 and was opening in September of 1974. It went through a process of renovation an renaming, and reopened again in 2013 The original stadium actually only has a seating capacity of just over 16,000 people. It was built for the paltry sum of $2.5 million, more than half of which was directly raised by friends and alumni of the university itself. The Red Wolves played their fist against Louisiana Tech University, losing 21-7. Their first victory in their new home would come the following week with a 14-7 win against Eastern Michigan University.
In 1980, the stadium upped its capacity to just under 19,000, and yet another expansion was finished in 1991. This is when Arkansas State was approved to move up the collegiate ranks to compete in Division 1-A, whereas they were in Division 1-AA up to that point. With that move came the need to meet new stadium capacity requirements, and they did so by expanding to now seat 30,708 fans.

Graphic via sportinglifearkansas

There is not much excitement at a Red Wolves game, and the community that the stadium is located in is not very big either. It is located in Easter Arkansas, and is best known for being a sleep farming community, and is home to some of the quietest and most reserved football fans in the country. One of the brighter spots about attending a game at Centennial Bank Stadium is the food and beverage service. They have great barbecue stands located in the venue, and there is ice cream and tropical snow located throughout. Prices are more than reasonable for a football game, so at least you can come away from the experience without being hungry afterwards.

As far as atmosphere goes, there isn’t much of one. As an open air stadium that doesn’t seat many fans to begin with, even when the crowd does get loud, it isn’t noticeably so. In addition, there is not much tradition or support of the team evident here, particularly when compared to other collegiate stadiums located throughout the south.

Another thing the stadium does have going for it is the fact that the venue itself is located in a very safe neighborhood, and it is located near rows of student apartments. This creates a bit of a college like atmosphere is what is otherwise a born part of the country to be in.  There are also some great restaurants nearby, and for people coming from out of town to watch a game, there are many hotels located within a 10-mile radius of the stadium.

Graphic via reddit

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