Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, Arkansas is home to the Red Wolves football team at Arkansas State University. The venue opened in 1974, and currently has a capacity of 30,406 in grandstands on three sides, with the ASU Football Facility taking up the south end zone. The Red Wolves currently compete in the Sun Belt Conference.
The playing surface at Centennial Bank Stadium is GEO Surfaces field turf, and was installed in 2010; the multi-use nature of the field allows it to be used by other teams at Arkansas State besides football. Other recent renovations include the construction of the aforementioned football facility in the south end zone, which was built in 2002, and the newly renovated press box on the west side. The press box is named after donor Johnny Allison, an A-State alum, and the renovation increased its size from ~7K square feet to ~36K square feet; the renovations to the press box were completed in 2016.
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".
Centennial Bank Stadium has a whopping 21 different concessions stands under the seats on the east and west sides. These stands sell almost anything you can think of, and the prices are very reasonable; the only hard part is deciding what to get!
Main dishes include three different types of hot dogs, five different flavors of brats (for example mango habanero), and smoked sausage, all with a host of available toppings, as well as barbecued pork, barbecued chicken, or barbecued bologna sandwiches, brisket sandwiches, turkey legs, burgers with or without cheese, chili, and/or bacon, corn dogs, chicken tenders, Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches, three types of pizza from Godfather's, nachos with several different types of meat, and rib tips. Other items include regular popcorn, kettle corn, packaged candy, sno cones, dill pickles, chips, pretzels, fries, and funnel cake. Prices for main dishes range from $4 to $10, while snack items cost between $1.50 and $7. For the most part, the different stands each offer different items, but there is a map at the entrance to help you find what you're looking for.
The drink selection at Centennial Bank Stadium is more limited than the food selection, but is more than adequate, and most of the drinks can be found at all of the stands. Choices include bottled water, PowerAde, soda in bottles or from the fountain, sweet tea, hot cocoa, and coffee. All drinks are $3, except the fountain sodas and sweet tea, which are $5 for a large souvenir cup. There is no alcohol allowed in Centennial Bank Stadium.
At a typical game Centennial Bank Stadium will draw a decent crowd, and the staff does some fun things to improve the experience. For starters, the mascot Howl leads the team onto the field riding a motorcycle, and later the Red Wolves other mascot, Scarlet, also makes an appearance. Also, throughout the game you will hear wolf howls in celebration of big plays. Check out the video below to see Howl on his motorcycle:
The facility has regular seating on three sides, with only box seats in the south end zone, inside the ASU Football Facility. The press box is on the west side, along with additional boxes, while the students and band sit on the east side (the north end zone is general admission). The scoreboard/video board is above the football complex in the south end zone, so fans sitting anywhere in the stadium should have a great view of it. Most of the seats in the stadium are aluminum bleachers without chair backs, but there are plastic chair backs in sections D, E, & F (in the middle on the west side), and padded chair backs in sections CC, DD, R, & S (in the middle on both the east and west sides). You can also rent seat backs for $5 that attach to the bleachers.
Two other interesting features to note about Centennial Bank Stadium is that, first, there is an arch above the sidewalk as you approach the main entrance, under which there are bricks inlaid into the sidewalk to commemorate ASU lettermen, which is a nice nod to players past. Second, there is a berm area in each corner of the venue (in the gaps between the stands), but no seating is allowed there; this may provide room to expand Centennial Bank Stadium, however, should attendance eventually get high enough.
Jonesboro, Arkansas is not a large town, so there is not a ton to do in the area if you come for the day or weekend. However, there are a few good places to eat, the most popular of which is JTown's Grill, located practically across the street from Centennial Bank Stadium; you can even sit on the patio and see the field. Recently opened, JTown's offers traditional bar & grill fare such as pizza, burgers, steak, nachos, and sandwiches, as well as local favorites like spinach crawfish dip.
If you are planning to be in town overnight, there are plenty of hotels south of campus along I-555. The options in this area range from higher end accommodations like Holiday Inn, to more budget-friendly choices such as FairBridge Inn & Suites.
The average attendance at Centennial Bank Stadium is a little over 20K, or about two-thirds full. Depending on the opponent, of course, this number could increase or decrease quite a bit. Even though there is a decent amount of crowd noise here, way too many fans leave early, even during a close game, and the student section is a little lackluster, with very few students in attendance.
The students that do show up are pretty diehard though, especially the ones who show up with chests painted in support of their team, the same group you might see at football stadiums all across America. This passion is not limited to body decoration; the students here also have a fun kickoff ritual. The way it works is that every time the Red Wolves kick off, the students link arms and sway back and forth in unison. This is the exact same ritual that Aggies fans do every weekend at Texas A&M's Kyle Field, but on a much smaller scale (see a video of the Red Wolves version below).
Getting into and around Centennial Bank Stadium is a breeze - fans without passes can park at the nearby basketball arena for only $10, and enjoy a very short walk to the football field. Once you get to the stadium, there are entrances on three sides; two on the south end and the third in the northwest corner, and none of them are crowded.
Moving around the concourse is easy as well, since there are so many concessions stands, and more than enough bathrooms to accommodate the crowd size, so lines are non-existent. Also, for those who need it, there is disabled seating at the top of the stands on each of the three sides, and there is a sidewalk with a gentle slope that connects them. The only oddity with regard to access at Centennial Bank Stadium is that they seem to close some of the bathrooms early, so make sure you go early in the fourth quarter if you need one.
Tickets to conference games at Centennial Bank Stadium start at just $10, which is a really great deal for college football, and you may even be able to get free tickets from "scalpers" outside the venue. Complement that with $10 parking and reasonably-priced concessions, and a day of A-State football is an awesome value for the money, even if you have a large group.
If you would prefer a chair back seat, you are probably better off sitting in the cheap seats and renting a seat back for $5, because the chair back sections start at $35 per ticket. Also note that tickets to non-conference games are about $5 higher per ticket than conference games, so you can save money simply by picking a different game.
The arch and bricks commemorating lettermen is a nice feature, and it is fun to watch the mascot tripping around on his motorcycle. Having a second, female mascot is also a plus, and it is nice to see so much school décor.
Visiting Centennial Bank Stadium would be a great way to spend a Saturday (or possibly a weeknight, as the Sun Belt often has games on Tuesdays and Wednesdays). The recent renovations have helped the venue become a little more modern, the tickets are very low cost, and there are plenty of great concessions to keep you satisfied while you cheer on the Red Wolves.
Liberty Bank Stadium, home of the Arkansas State Red Wolves, mirrors the community it is nestled in, Jonesboro, Arkansas. Jonesboro, at the time the stadium was built, was a tiny, sleepy farming community nestled in Eastern Arkansas. The only action in the town was when the nearby Air Force base (now defunct) in Blytheville, AR, had events and servicemen might venture into Jonesboro for a while.
Arkansas State was a Division I-AA football school, and when they opened the $2.5 million Indian Stadium in 1974, the listed capacity was just 16,343. For many years, that was sufficient. The architectural firm that designed the original facility was Brackett-Krennerich. $1.4 million of the construction cost was contributed by friends and alumni of ASU. Indian Stadium was christened on September 28, 1974 with a 21-7 loss to Louisiana Tech.
Jonesboro grew slowly in the 1970s and '80s, and Indian Stadium did, too. Seating was expanded to 18,709 during a modest renovation program. However, the school began to grow rapidly shortly thereafter, and the town grew with it.
When ASU applied for NCAA Division I-A status, the move was granted in 1991. The Indians (as they were then known) had one condition to meet in order to keep the Division I-A (now FBS) designation, and that was to increase capacity at Indian Stadium. An upper deck was added to the grandstands on both the East and West sides of the facility, and bleachers were also added beyond the North end zone, swelling maximum attendance to 30,708. Additionally, the press area was expanded to four levels with a press box, two donor levels and a photo deck complete with an area for filming, the visiting team Athletic Director Suite and coaches booths for both teams.
10 years later, in 2001, a million-plus dollar video/scoreboard was installed behind the South end zone. The following year, a three-story complex was added just behind the South scoreboard. The efficient complex was designed with office space for coaches, dressing rooms, meeting rooms, and player lounges. On game day, the space is utilized as suites for use by Arkansas State fans to party and take in the games. Fans spill over onto the balconies to take in the action. When games are not in progress, the space is reserved for academic study areas, conference rooms, alumni functions, booster meetings, recruiting, and other university gatherings. The former football complex was then converted to space which now houses the athletic training center, a strength and conditioning center, a student-athlete academic counseling center, NCAA compliance area, sports offices and a computer lab open to all ASU students.
The only other major change to the stadium itself came in 2006, when the university decided to get rid of the natural turf of Bermuda grass and installed Pro Green synthetic grass at a cost of about $500,000.
In 2008, Arkansas State retired their Indian mascot and became the Red Wolves. The football stadium was re-named simply ASU Stadium. In 2012, Liberty Bank made a $5 million dollar gift to the school in exchange for 15-year naming rights. So until at least 2027, the Red Wolves will play at Liberty Bank Stadium.
And on September 6, 2012, it was revealed that the school would embark upon an ambitious, $22 million football facility project, including the construction of a new two-level football operations building and a 76,000 square foot indoor practice facility in the north end zone of the stadium. It will be 100% privately financed. The building will house A-State's locker room, strength and conditioning center, sports' medicine facilities, a players' lounge, coaching and administrative offices, and a team film room with theater seating, among other amenities. Brackett-Krennerich Architects will once again be called upon for the design.
Early renditions of what the facility will look like indicate that the seating in the North end zone will be sacrificed. No announcement has yet been made for how the loss of seats will be compensated
The official review from Leroy Watson absolutely is sickening and quite frankly is not indicative of how the recently renamed Centennial Bank Stadium really is. Therefore I wanted to their to be, on record, a review from another source. Though I am an ASU grad and darn proud of it, I feel the following examination to be without bias and for those future newcomers or visitors to Jonesboro.
Food and Beverage: 3***
Three stars. No fillet minion, lobster or anything out of the extraordinary-just good ole stadium food. There multiple concession stands and food vendors on both sides of the stadium, ranging from Wings-To-Go wings, bar-b-que sandwiches, Papa John's mini pizzas, as well as the usual hot dogs, popcorn and other typical concession snacks. The sodas are Coca-Cola brand, and I feel the prices are fair.
Atmosphere: 3 ***
ASU has a long and very storied tradition on the gridiron and they also have had some incredibly lengthy drought of success. Within the last 9-10 years, the football program has gradually turned their dismal performances around and within time started becoming more and more competitive and thus, the crowds have steadily grown. Their's always been a very loyal contingency of fans that follow the Red Wolves and with the high profile coaches that have come and gone with the program, the football team has definitely become more noticed not just in the state of Arkansas but in the college football world. They've average over 20,000+ the last several seasons and the trend doesn't seem to indicate it dwindling, but with that being said the crowd energy definitely dwindles throughout the game and throughout the season, which is why I give them a three star.
The two stars is not necessarily knocking the city of Jonesboro-I think "Jonesboogie" as the inhabitants have a knack for calling is a growing city, and still has the small "sleepy" town feel to it, which isn't a bad thing in my opinion. Many bars and night life establishments have popped up the last few years (downtown is where you're going to want to go if the goal is to bar-hop) though you'll be lucky to catch one stay open to midnight or even past it on most week nights and saturday nights, going to Sunday mornings. However, the stadium is located on the far-side of the ASU Campus and town, where theirs not really anything located in terms of restaurants, bars, and other retail/shopping outlets. Definitely be sure to bring all your tailgate items and whatever things you may need.
Call me bias or whatever you wish, but I have no doubt in my mind the ASU faithful deserve four stars-not necessarily because of how loud or rabid they get but how they stick with this team through thick and thin. I've met MANY, MANY individuals that have traveled from Moscow, Idaho to Annapolis, Maryland to see their Red Wolves play-both times when the teams only had three or less wins, with no hope of a conference title or post season play. When it comes to fan loyalty and support, ASU and Louisiana Lafayette have the top fanbases in the 'Belt.
So here's where the harsh part of the review comes kicking in-Accessing and parking at Centennial Bank Stadium is atrocious. Many fans often times have to end up parking on both sides of the shoulder of Red Wolf Boulevard, as well as Johnson Avenue. What available parking around the stadium and on campus is quickly snatched up, often times by tailgaters (which I'll address more later). If you can get to the campus and stadium early enough, the access is actually pretty nice, with the walk not at all bad (both length or hilly wise) but the keyword is getting there EARLY enough. Quite honestly, if the team is not doing as hot as the last 2-3 seasons, later on in the year access to the stadium eases up a little bit, but ultimately it's an area that needs to be addressed eventually.
Return On Investment: 4****
Again, I honestly have to give it four stars. General admission tickets are $17, and if you were to ante up and get the family season pack (which is four tickets to all six home games) that comes at $205 (in past seasons, this family pack has also come with four sodas and four popcorn's for each game as well). Additionally, the Red Wolves boost an impressive winning percentage at home, winning 90% of their home games in the last nine seasons alone.
My first extra credit star goes to the fact that in my opinion, their's not a bad seat in the place. Any seat offers a clear, close seat to the action.
Second extra star credit goes to the tailgating: I give it props in that school officials virtually let you tailgate anywhere you want (besides the obvious barred zones), which I strongly recommend the baseball or old Track, which offer you the opportunity to tailgate right up until kickoff without missing any action. Though I will admit the tailgate action itself doesn't beat the Cajuns in Lafayette, their are still primo spots throughout the campus with the most notable "boppin" spots are the 'Pines' (the area behind General Admission section/East Side of the stadium where majority of the Greek Life tailgate), as well as the the Baseball stadium parking lot and 'Tailgate City', where many of the city organizations, school groups, and families set up.
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2908 Gilmore Dr
Jonesboro, AR 72401
3006 S Caraway Rd
Jonesboro, AR 72401