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Official Review by Patrick Johnson, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
While Southern shares a town with its Baton Rouge neighbors Louisiana State University, Ace W Mumford Stadium provides a totally unique experience in comparison to its neighbor to the south. The 28,500 seat facility in the north of the capital city of Louisiana, sits beautifully in the heart of Southern University’s campus. The atmosphere is everything, as the Human Jukebox, one the best bands in the country provides constant entertainment. Ace W Mumford Stadium provides a little of everything for the fan. Football, great music, tailgating before the game, and definitely fan passion!
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
If you are coming to eat great food at Southern then you need to do it pregame, with the many tailgates set up with traditional southern fare like BBQ, grits, and a wide variety of other food options. Inside the stadium, the food options are limited to the basics of hot dogs, hot sausages, and nachos. The one benefit is that the prices are reasonable, outside of the drinks, which are a steep three dollars for the fans. Make sure to tailgate before the game, or grab food before you come inside or you may leave hungry.
One area where Southern and LSU are not far apart is the atmosphere. For a school that is part of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) within the Football Championship Subdivision, the atmosphere is intense. For three hours it would be very easy to forget you were not in a small BCS level stadium with the intensity of the fans and with the passion presented by the band. When both teams bring their bands, music permeates throughout the stadium most of the evening. No need for canned music here.
The fan base is proud to support their Jaguars and it can be seen through the wearing of colors which are easily 90% white on a whiteout game day.
The Human Jukebox deserves its own separate section. The constant musical interaction between the band and the cheer squad makes for as impressive of an atmosphere as any facility in the country. It can compete with any band in the country for volume and just the level of excitement that it creates for the fan base. It is definitely one of the points of pride for Southern University.
The reputation of the neighborhood where Southern University is located is much worse than it really is. The university is located a short drive north from I-10 following I-110 North. Follow the signs for Southern University and quickly one drives onto the Southern Campus and arrives at Ace W Mumford Stadium. The stadium is located just past the F. G. Clark Center, and is one of the first sights a person sees as they enter Southern University.
It is very easy to forget that the region is called "The Bluffs" for its location right on the Mississippi River. A 5 minute walk from the stadium and picturesque views of the river can easily be found. The university is located less than 5 miles from Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, and has several hotels nearby.
The fan base is definitely passionate about their Jaguars, and that is easy to understand considering the long term success of the Jaguar nation in football. In the short term though, Southern has struggled in football, and the fans can show a bit of this mentality in its willingness to ignore the score and still enjoy the night. One would never know the score by watching its fan base, who are often dancing with its band, or its Greek students. The size of the facility hurts the Jaguars except against its big rivals, because it seems to kill some of the energy in what would be a full house at a smaller stadium. Overall, though it is a fun environment to watch football.
Much like its neighbor to the South, Southern is difficult to find parking anywhere close to the facility without a pass. Even more stress is added to this when one considers that there are only two entrances in and out of Southern University. This is not a stadium that you want to come 45 minutes before kickoff and expect to make it inside for game time. Once inside the stadium, the facility concessions and bathrooms are the ground level, so getting to them is not terribly difficult, though the supply does not necessarily come close to meeting the demand. But for a stadium built in 1928, it does not show its true age in most ways.
Besides the issues with food and traffic, Southern compares favorably to other stadiums anywhere else within FCS. The cost of tickets are inexpensive, the environment is exciting no matter what the score is, and the show on the field from start to finish, including halftime, will keep you entertained. It is definitely an enjoyable place to visit for any football fan, especially any fan of Historical Black College Football.
The Human Jukebox is almost worth 5 stars by itself, for the level it brings to the game every time. It definitely earns its two stars here. The halftime show definitely will not disappoint. It's even better when the opposing band is present to share in the excitement, as the SWAC is known for its outstanding marching bands.
You will have no question where you are when you step inside Ace W Mumford Stadium. It is one of the most interesting venues in the Football Championship Subdivision. With an improving program and a band that rates with any in college football, the Jaguar Nation is an experience worth having, especially for any fan of high octane offense and great marching bands.
Member Review by derontalley on Nov 13, 2012
At Southern University’s A.W. Mumford Stadium atmosphere is everything. With LSU sharing Louisiana’s Capitol City, Southern University doesn’t expect to have the best athletic teams in town. But, it expects something else to attract fans and recruits. It expects to present the best performance of music - its very own “Human Jukebox,” the university’s band, which is one of the best in the country. With the “Human Jukebox,” A.W. Mumford Stadium is rocking come Saturday’s game time.
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