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Official Review by DeRon Talley, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
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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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
At Southern University, the tailgating food is like a back yard cookout. Everybody has their grill pits fired up and sending off tender barbecue meat that has the entire parking lot smelling good. In the stadium though, the variety is very slim. Hot dogs, with or without chili, and hot sausage are the only two meats offered, and there are nachos, popcorn, peanuts and pickles to name all of the rest of the menu. The prices are extremely cheap, but the sodas cost you a whopping $3 and a cup of ice is a dollar.
I'm guessing the menu isn't stacked because of the tailgating foods, but for visitors who are there for the first time and don't know anyone, they may leave the game hungry.
The atmosphere is very intense, especially being that Southern competes in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). It has to be among the top, if not the top, in the conference in fan support. Many alumni come back and support their Historically Black University, and they come with their kids and grandkids filled with Jaguar pride.
What makes the atmosphere so intense is the band, "The Human Jukebox."
With a band named, "The Human Jukebox," you can expect nothing less than the most popular music of the day and of the past to be played, keeping the fans pumped up, dancing and cheering their team on.
Even the cheerleaders aren't normal cheerleaders. They not only do stunts and lead the crowd in chants, they also do a lot choreographed dancing that is eye-catching and shows their versatility. The atmosphere of the band, spirit leaders and fans keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire game. You can see the fun they are having and you can't help but join them. I recommend you bring your dancing shoes because you are very likely to at least do a foot pat.
The area that the A.W. Mumford Stadium is in is a really nice spot. There is a bridge that you cross over to come into the neighborhood of Southern University and the first thing to see in the area is the F.G. Clark Center and A.W. Mumford Stadium.
Once you cross that bridge, you know you are in Jaguar territory as fans are walking across the bridge heading towards the stadium. Before crossing the bridge you can find the stores, restaurants and lodging areas, where you can stop before going to the game.
Now, the fans are very spirited despite how low on the totem pole their athletic programs are compared to its neighboring school LSU. The dancing from the Greek life in the stands, the fans breaking out and doing individual solo dances in the crowds make going to a Southern University game all the worth while.
It seems like everybody has their own pom-pon and are just a second a way from doing a two-step to the band's popular music. The game isn't about the players on the field, it is about the people in the stands enjoying themselves completely and it is obvious that they do enjoy the game day experience at Mumford Stadium.
The stadium is easily spotted once you enter into Southern's neighborhood, but the parking areas are terrible. If you don't already have a parking pass to get in a specified section, then you will likely be paying an excessive amount to park your vehicle. Once you get to the stadium, everything is ground level so getting to your seat and getting up for a bathroom break aren't strenuous on the legs.
The ticket prices aren't very high at all. In fact, you could even get north end zone season tickets for just $60 and watch "The Human Jukebox" perform at every home game. The music it plays is astounding.
The concession food prices are cheap too, but I'd try to eat free at one of the tailgate areas and get some good ol' barbecue.
The game is like a party. There is good music, dancing and a whole lot of laughter and smiles. Being in the area just lightens your mood and you'll find yourself feeling like a Southern Jaguar before you realize it.
With one of the best bands in the country, Southern University makes its football games about the halftime show. No disrespect to the players on the field, but you could tell halftime was game time and it showed as the crowd chanted even harder when the drum major took the field.
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