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Official Review by DeRon Talley, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Sounds like you’re ready for some Ragin’ Cajun football. In the city of Lafayette, Louisiana there is a lot of Cajun history that makes it so special.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns football team plays its games at Cajun Field, a place where the locals have been carrying out Cajun traditions since 1971.
With the field sitting two feet below sea level in a natural bowl, the field was nicknamed “The Swamp” in 1988. Since then, Cajun Field or “The Swamp” has given the ULL fans something to brag about.
Although the field had a surface change in 2008 by being converted into the synthetic grass, fans still call it “The Swamp.”
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There aren't many things better than down south Louisiana Cajun cooking, and in Lafayette, the Mecca of the Cajuns is no different. There is absolutely no need to stop anywhere to eat before you come to a ULL game because the tailgating is phenomenal.
The food culture is rich in this part of the state. Fried foods like boudin balls and fried corn on the cob, jambalaya and several other well-seasoned dishes that are free for you to enjoy. Especially if you are new to the south, the fans are friendly and will let you mingle with them and share food for free. I highly suggest sampling a little bit from every area if you can. If not, then the concession stands serve the usual items: popcorn, candy, peanuts, hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos and pretzels. All range from $2-$4 in price.
I must warn you though, the school's mascot is a pepper and its name is Cayenne. Having said that, the food can and most likely will be spicy to those who aren't familiar with well-seasoned foods. If you can get past the spice, you will recognize and agree that the food is sensational.
Another thing that really impressed me at the game was that alcohol was sold in the stadium. Not a lot of colleges allow alcohol to be sold at games, but at Cajun Field the administration doesn't mind if you get a little buzz with your boudin balls and football.
The atmosphere here is very surprising, especially being that ULL competes in the Sun Belt Conference. It has to be among the top, if not the top, in the conference in fan support. Since the football team won the 2011 New Orleans Bowl, the fan intensity is very high.
What makes the atmosphere really special is how Cajun Field sits like a valley. It allows fans to not only sit in the stands but behind each end zone where there are grass areas that slope down. Many of the fans bring out blankets and sit in that grass area. This area can be good for a date with a significant other, or if you have young kids who can't sit still during an entire game.
The area that Cajun Field sets in is away from the university. However, across from it is the Cajun Dome, where the school plays basketball, and the Hilton Garden Inn.
By having that hotel there, it makes staying accommodations for tourists and fans from far out to come and enjoy the culture the Ragin' Cajuns have to share. The only negative is that the athletic facilities are set away by themselves, so there isn't much neighborhood to it.
You see fans who paint and decorate funeral hearses and caskets with the Ragin' Cajun theme. You see many former NFL quarterback Jake Delhomme jerseys, and you see a whole lot of red and black clad Cajun-speaking fans.
The most interesting thing is that their mascot is a Cayenne pepper, but if you look at any fan, you would think that the mascot would just be a Cajun-born and Cajun-speaking "coon-ass" from Lafayette.
The fans dance at the concert during the tailgate. They fill the tailgate area with tents and vehicles, they leave the best-scented foods you will ever smell and they root loudly for their Ragin' Cajun football team.
The stadium is located on Cajundome Boulevard, but it isn't as easily accessed. It's pretty far off of the interstate and trying to find parking to get in the game is a nightmare.
Once you get to the stadium and want to go in the game, you have to go through a bag check. It was the worst system of security I've experienced because everyone with a bag had to get it checked and there was only one line for bag checks at the gate.
The ticket price was over $20, which surprised me being a Sun Belt Conference team. The particular game that I attended most recently was boring, but I guess if you take into account the culture you experience in the Cajun Land then it's a pretty cool experience.
The concession food prices are cheap too, but like I said earlier, try your best to eat free at one of the tailgate areas and get some Cajun food.
There aren't a whole lot of extras at Cajun Field. The most advantageous part is just being part of the Cajun culture for a few hours. It's like a whole other world.
The Cajun culture is the main attraction for Cajun Field. The food is definitely a good way to attract people to visit and come back for more. I'd recommend visiting Cajun Field just for the mere fact that it invites you into such a rich culture.
Member Review by pderrick
When most people think of Louisiana and college football they think of the bad boys in Baton Rouge at Tiger Stadium, but there is a hidden gem out in Lafayette known as Cajun Field, the home of the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns. The Ragin' Cajuns football squad has been around since 1970 and even though it is not necessarily known for being an astonishingly winning program, they did pick up their first bowl invite in 2011 with a trip to the New Orleans Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Ragin' Cajuns were originally established as the Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute back in 1900 and went through a couple of name changes before becoming the University of Louisiana-Lafayette back in 1999.
The Ragin' Cajuns play their home games at Cajun Field which to Cajun fans is the original "Swamp". The Cajuns first called Cajun Field home back in 1971. Cajun Field only seats about 31,000 people but there is additional capacity on both hills behind the end zones. The stadium does show its age in some places but I think the fans and overall atmosphere still make Cajun Field a great place to see a football game.
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2350 W Congress St
Lafayette, LA 70506