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Official Review by Andrew Kulyk, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Apogee Stadium is the fresh, new, out-of-the box stadium built for the University of North Texas Mean Green football team in North Denton, Texas. Opened in 2011, this venue and its predecessor, Fouts Field, dominate the view at the junction of I-35E and I-35W 35 miles north of Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. This shiny new place is the first stadium in college football to achieve LEED Platinum status for its environmentally friendly amenities.
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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".
The bright, wide and shiny concourses here are replete with all sorts of concession choices and menu items to please almost any palette. The national chain Sonic has a stand here offering their many configurations of burgers. A barbecue stand called Rudy's barbecue sells pulled pork and beef brisket. Maui Wowi has tropical beverages, smoothies and Polynesian fare. This is combined with the traditional hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, etc.
The stadium seats about 30,000 fans, and a massive end zone that's shaped like sort of a "V" gives the architectural statement to the venue. The cool fan gathering area is called "The Hill" and is on the east side of the stadium at the top of, well, the hill. Vendors are selling food and drink, school fraternities have their tailgate parties set up complete with decorated tents and flags, the marching band is playing, local radio stations have their broadcasts going and it is a fun place to be prior to the game itself.
The stadium is on the north side of I-35E and is totally separated from the campus and the city of Denton because of that interstate. There is onsite parking for only about 2,000 cars, so most fans park at Fouts Field across the highway and then trek over a newly built pedestrian bridge. The campus itself is sort of sprawling and nondescript, and weaves into the downtown core of Denton.
So tailgating is the thing to do here, and tailgaters who are not lucky enough to snag a parking spot onsite can still come over with their stuff and a drop off area near the stadium is available so people can bring their gear to The Hill. Both the stadium lots and the lot over at Fouts Field is full of tailgaters and revelers, and fans seem to go out of their way to decorate their cars and vehicles and make a big thing out of the pre and post game party.
Traffic here is a bit of a nightmare. There is only one road in and out of the stadium property and it clogs up quickly. Fans parking on the other side of the interstate have to navigate local roads to find their way over to I-35E or I-35W. Once you get on the interstate things speed up pretty quickly. There is a commuter railway coming into Denton from Dallas called the A Train. Unfortunately, the downtown station is 3 miles away, so that was a bit of dumb planning.
Parking at Fouts Field will cost $10. There are a few street spots if you want to walk farther which will cost nothing. On site parking is reserved for premium ticket holders. Tickets generally run from $15-$25, although 4 packs and other ticket special are sometimes available. A day or night out at Mean Green football is a relative entertainment bargain, and well worth the current price tag.
The team celebrates its history with a series of murals throughout the concourses of some of its great players. None was more famous than Steelers icon Mean Joe Greene, whose football career was almost eclipsed by that iconic Coca-Cola commercial where he tosses his jersey to a kid who offered him a Coke in the stadium tunnel. Another nice touch is that the campus administration bell tower gets floodlit in green after every Mean Green victory, almost a beacon to the community of the team's results.
Mean Green football does not fall into the column of the great college football experiences in FBS, but a game day here is something to still be enjoyed and savored. It is a pleasant experience walking around before the game as well as enjoying the game action. Apogee Stadium hosted its first nationally televised game on October 16, 2012.
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Member Review by BigTex on May 03, 2013
...that it is a Taj Mahal of a college football stadium and I've seen them all. To appreciate Apogee you have to sit in it for an event and just see how the same architect firm and construction company that built Jerry Jones' Cowboy Stadium constructed a shining jewel of a college football venue on the rolling plains of north Texas at the University of North Texas. It actually seats 31,000 but anyone can see how easy it would be to expand it to 40-50,000 once UNT's and Denton, Texas, skyrocketing growth demands it. Apogee is the only LEEDS platinum certified NCAA FBS stadium last time I checked. Once the U of North Texas Mean Green reclaims its winning ways (again) the crowd noise at Apogee Stadium along with its marvelous acoustics may darn well be heard in Dallas and Fort Worth!
3350 Unicorn Lake Blvd
Denton, TX 76210
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