The University of Maryland has traditionally been known as a basketball school. As a longtime member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the university has seen a great deal of basketball success under coaches such as Lefty Driesell and Gary Williams, even winning a national championship in 2002. But the university has been playing football with some success since 1892 and has received one official national championship in 1953. The 1951 team is generally seen as even better than the 1953 squad and has retroactively been considered the national champions by various systems such as the Sagarain Ranking System.
Maryland has also been the home of many well known coaches and players. Well known coaches include Jim Tatum, Lou Saban, Jerry Claiborne, Bobby Ross, Ralph Friedgen, Randy Edsall and the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant. Famous players include Erin & E.J. Henderson, Stan Jones, Randy White, Dick Modzelewski, Torrey Smith, Vernon Davis and Boomer Esiason.
Now playing in the Big Ten Conference, the Maryland Terrapins play at Maryland Stadium. Formerly called Byrd Stadium, the name was deemed to be segrationalist by the Board of Regents in December 2015. The stadium opened in 1953 as a horseshoe-shaped bowl with a capacity of 34,680. In 1991, the five-story Tyser Tower added luxury suites and a larger press box. In 1995 an upper deck on the north side of the stadium was added. Various changes since has topped the seating capacity at 51,500.
Primarily the home to Terps football and lacrosse, Maryland Stadium has been the scene of a few other events. In 1957 Queen Elizabeth II was on hand to watch the team upset North Carolina while the USFL Baltimore Stars called the stadium home during their 1985 championship season. Seen from the upper deck of Maryland Stadium are the Washington Monument, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Old Post Office Pavilion, the Washington National Cathedral, and the United States Capitol.
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".
Maryland Stadium has a mediocre food selection. There are many concession stands found around all parts of the complex, but variety is not a strong feature.
In June of 2015, the University of Maryland got authorization from Prince George's County to sell beer at Terrapin games. Customers 21 and older are able to purchase one beer at a time - or more if each drinker presents an ID - until the end of the third quarter, and those who appear to be under age 40 will be asked to present their IDs. All varieties of beer are sold for eight dollars. It is a one year test program that, if successful, could mean the addition of wine and other liquor in coming years.
Crab fries found behind sections 14 and 205 are the best nod to local culture, although the addition of the "The Chessie," a large 24-ounce hot soft pretzel smothered in backfin crab dip and melted cheddar cheese, then topped with a dusting of Old Bay, is a pretty unique offering. The price is also quite large at $17.50. It is designed to be shared between four people.
Chick fil-A offerings can be found behind the Tyser Tower, while Season's Pizza ($6) can be found behind sections 13, 20 and 205.
Otherwise traditional food offerings of hot dogs ($5), fries ($5), hamburgers ($6) and pit beef ($7.50) are generally seen around the stadium. Soda prices are $3.75 and $4.75.
The best food option at Maryland Stadium is the Maryland Dairy Ice Cream behind sections 3, 20 and 208. The ice cream is made on campus.
The stadium is very much an old school football stadium. This can be bad in terms of the aging infrastructure, but it also provides a nice platform for fan interaction.
The stadium is still at heart the horseshoe shaped stadium that opened in 1953. The large press and luxury suite tower looks tacked on awkwardly, as does the massive upper decks on the north side of the stadium.
The closed end part of the horseshoe is where the band and students sit. It is unfortunate that they are not closer to the field action as they both provide a great deal of sound and excitement. Behind them, the large open air concourse is a great meeting spot pre and postgame.
The neighborhood is a mixed bag. Maryland Stadium is in the middle of the campus so no businesses are directly nearby. The Terp Town area to the west of the stadium gives the fans entertainment and festivities to enjoy pregame. Also located nearby is the Stamp Union, where you will see many a fan enjoying a pregame meal or buying shirts at the campus bookstore. The Maryland Dairy Ice Cream store here is a nice place to go ahead of the game.
The town of College Park is located directly south of the campus along U.S. Route 1. RJ Bentley's Filling Station, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Jimmy John's, Ledo's Pizza, and Five Guys are all good options in this "downtown" area. Looney's Pub and Bobby's Burger Palace are two other great options and are located in The Varsity building (8150 Baltimore Ave) north of the downtown area and may be even closer to the stadium if walking. Nando's PERi-PERi is a new addition to the area and offers their legendary butterfly-cut, flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken. I prefer the half chicken with the medium PERi-PERi sauce and a side of Macho Peas.
The Sheraton College Park North Hotel at 4095 Powder Mill Road in nearby Beltsville is the best lodging choice, but it is not in walking distance to the campus.
You will always have the dizzying array of Washington DC options to choose from. The College Park Station of the Washington Metro is close by and is your best bet for getting to DC as the traffic and parking situation is not ideal.
The student section at Maryland is noted for being loud and occasionally rude. Expect to hear a few curse words during their chants. But they enjoy the game and provide a festive atmosphere.
Other fans throughout the stadium do not always go to the same level as the students do. Fans in and near the Tyser Tower are pretty quiet. Overall the fans are passionate but may tend to be more the clap politely types.
The University of Maryland is not far from the Washington Beltway, but it is just far enough away that getting to the stadium is not too easy. U.S. 1 and University Boulevard are full of traffic lights and will be very full of traffic, even on non-game days
The best bet is to pre-pay for a parking space through the university. The $17 price tag seems way too high but at least you will know where you are going ahead of time. A map to your space will be provided when you pre-purchase. The Terrapin Trail Garage is a personal favorite as it is relatively close to Maryland Stadium but still allows a quick way out of the area.
The public garage in downtown College Park is always an option, as well. It is pretty well priced, but a bit of hike to the stadium. It will put you in a prime spot for postgame food and beverages.
You will see some fans park for free on the sides of nearby University Boulevard, but this is not recommended. To do this you would need to get there very early and frankly the road is too busy and dangerous to park there.
If travelling to the game via the Washington Metro, get off at the College Park Station and take the shuttle directly to the stadium.
Tickets can be had for a good value, depending on the opponent. Expect to pay more for the larger well known opponents of the Big Ten. Parking prices weigh down the rating as they are far too high for the location.
Look for the "cemetery" of high ranked teams to lose to Maryland. It is located outside of the stadium, near the southeast corner where the opposing team buses often park.
One should go to the Maryland Dairy Ice Cream, whether inside the stadium or at the Stamp Union, during your visit. Look for their special offerings as they rotate and change frequently.
The main scoreboard that sits behind the closed end of the horseshoe is pretty interesting. It is the standard scoreboard seen in many places, but since it sits in an open area it is a good meeting spot. We also saw kids who were quite amused seeing the staff who work out the open top part of the scoreboard providing camera and other staff support.
Maryland Stadium is a pretty basic college football stadium. The long standing horseshoe seating bowl doesn't always mesh with the rest of the stadium, but a fan will still find a game enjoyable.
Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium is home to the University of Maryland Terrapins football team. Built in 1950, it holds 54,000 fans, and was host to the British Queen Elizabeth's first ever American football game. Situated in the middle of the campus, minutes away from Washington, DC, the stadium shines in an area where other outdoor sports venues do not.
If you come to DC or Baltimore, you gotta come here.
I've been to Byrd Stadium twice. Both experiences have been very similar which is a good thing.
The food & beverage if fairly good with a couple nice options like BBQ. I have to admit that I've tailgated both times so I haven't tried too much of the food but it always looks real good. The prices are a bit high, but the school is located between Baltimore and DC so that is expected.
The atmosphere is very good. The tailgating is some of the best I have experienced. The older alumni and big boosters are located in a small lot right outside the stadium while the regular lots are a little further way on the other side of the Comcast Center.
I am not a big fan of the Neighborhood. Outside of campus you can get into some not so nice areas in a hurry so make sure you know where you are going.
The fans are ok, and can really be into the games at key points, but as soon as Maryland falls behind a few TD's, they pretty much bail. Overall a fan base that a large number of college teams would love to have, but they do have their moments where they are uninterested in the game.
For example, on my last visit they were fighting FSU for a share of the ACC title and they had over 1,000 unsold seats. After talking to some fans it was due to the disinterest in keeping Ralph Friedgen as coach. I was really surprised because just a few years earlier he was their saviour for beating the same FSU team.
That said, the up moments for the fans outweigh the down moments and it makes for a fun gameday experience.
Access isn't too hard, but at Geoff said, you need to have a pass ahead of time or parking is going to be a nightmare.
The return on Investment is real good. Tickets start at $30, a great price for good college football with a loud crowd.
Extras for the t-shirts they were giving out the last time, the private tour of the Comcast Center I was given where I got to meet head basketball coach Gary Williams. I Under Armour Wounded warrior uniforms were real nice too, and as a Penn State fan, I hate "loud" uniforms normally.
Checked out Byrd Stadium last season as the 2nd part of my ACC stadium doubleheader. While the campus itself wasn't as scenic as UVA's, the tailgating was a different story. Major lots were entirely filleed with Alumni, Boosters and current students way before the 12:00 pm kickoff.
I was fortunate in that I talked an attendant into allowing me to park in a reserved section for a "fee". Although the tailgate itself was crowded, Florida State took the fans out of the action almost immediatley. They scored often to pretty much seal up the game by the half and clinch the ACC's coastal division title.
I'm sure I'll visit Byrd Stadium again on another Maryland/DC/VA loop.
The stadium is a pretty weird shape with three decks on one side and one on the other with a tower of suites. The fans are cheer mainly only near the end of the game. The first 3 quarters they were kind of out of it. The game I went to there was a constant slight drizzle. The student section was packed at the beginning, but it WAS EMPTY BY THE END OF THE 3RD QUARTER! And it was a close game and their last against rival Virginia.
The University of Maryland has traditionally been known as a basketball school. As a longtime member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the university has seen a great deal of basketball success under coaches such as Lefty Driesell and Gary Williams, even winning a national championship in 2002. But the university has been playing football with some success since 1892, and even won one official national championship in 1953. The 1951 team, generally seen as even better than the 1953 squad, has also retroactively been considered the national champions by various systems such as the Sagarin Ranking System.
Maryland has also been the home of many well-known coaches and players. Well-known coaches include Jim Tatum, Lou Saban, Jerry Claiborne, Bobby Ross, Ralph Friedgen, Randy Edsall and the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant. Famous players include Erin & E.J. Henderson, Stan Jones, Randy White, Dick Modzelewski, Torrey Smith, Vernon Davis and Boomer Esiason.
Now playing in the Big Ten Conference, The Maryland Terrapins play at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. The stadium opened in 1953 as a horseshoe-shaped bowl with a capacity of 34,680. In 1991, the five-story Tyser Tower added luxury suites and a larger press box. In 1995, an upper deck on the north side of the stadium was added. Various changes since have topped the seating capacity at 51,500.
Primarily the home to Terps football and lacrosse, Byrd Stadium has been the scene of a few other events. In 1957, Queen Elizabeth II was on hand to watch the team upset North Carolina, while the USFL Baltimore Stars called the stadium home during their 1985 championship season. From the upper deck of Byrd Stadium, the Washington Monument, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Old Post Office Pavilion, the Washington National Cathedral, and the United States Capitol can all be seen.
Kind of a weird atmosphere, the fans were not really into the game. Not the nicest stadium but it's okay.
Was near DC and thought I would kept a football game between two schools that I normally would never watch. The first thing was finding a park. There were many lots with available parking but was reserved for boosters. I was unaware but seems the best is to buy a prepaid parking pass but we did find a lot near the armory. The game was only an hour off and took the trek to the stadium. Campus was nice but it felt more like walking to a doctor's appointment rather than a football game. There just was not much excitement.
Got tickets at the window and made our way into the end zone of the stadium. seats were wide enough and had plenty of leg room.
There was not many people in the stands so we moved over to the side seating and stretched out. The fans just did not seem to be in the game which made the entire experience weird. Was hoping for a better experience but was disappointed in the entire day. One of the smallest crowds I ever seen for a division 1 football game.
Wiki says terrapins are turtles, and I really like the fact they chose terrapins as their mascot, b/c it sounds so much cooler than turtle (although they do say "Fear the Turtle" on a lot of their branding). Pretty good stadium, and easy to recognize from pics b/c the end zones are painted to look like the state flag, which is a nice touch. Also it is not too far from Baltimore so there is a lot to do if you want to stay the weekend.
8150 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD 20740
7323 Baltimore Avenue
College Park, MD 20740
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4095 Powder Mill Rd
Beltsville, MD 20705
1917 Bladensburg Rd NE
Washington, DC 20002