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Official Review by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Millersville University of Pennsylvania (commonly known as Millersville University or MU) was founded in 1855 as one of the normal/teaching schools of Pennsylvania. One of their biggest programs is meteorology.
Malik B and Black Thought of The Roots are two of the most well known alumni of the university. The Roots may be known by many people as the house band of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Biemesderfer Stadium opened in 1958 and was named for Daniel Luke Biemesderfer, who was Millersville University's ninth president from 1943 to 1965. The existing stadium structure was in turn built in 1969 and was ready for the 1970 football season. In 1985, lights were added.
Millersville participates in 19 varsity sports as part of NCAA Division II. Their sports teams are known as the Marauders. The Marauders compete as a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). In lacrosse the school was the 1982 AIAW Division III national champion.
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".
There are two small concession stands located under the front side of the stadium grandstands. Only one of the food operations was open the game I attended.
Prices are incredibly cheap. Hot dog and sodas are both only $2. I don't think I saw a single menu item over $5. You won't want to make the limited options as your main meal, but at the same time your wallet will be happy. The walking taco looks quite good and would be my recommended option.
Bricker French Fries is a famous local vendor that seems to have a temporary stand at pretty much every event in the York and Lancaster area. So, having them at a Millersville football game seems quite normal. Their boardwalk style fries are very good and are quite popular, especially at halftime.
I saw quite a few people hit up the Sugar Bowl restaurant, literally located just past one of the end zones. I am not sure if you can exit and re-enter the stadium so make sure to ask an user to see if that is okay.
The atmosphere was not the best at the game I attended. The gloomy, dreary day seemed to put a spell on the fans. The Millersville Band also seemed to have seats set aside but were not there to play, so that added to the lack of atmosphere. There was a Millersville cheerleaders squad, which did enhance the atmosphere.
The main grandstand at Millersville really does scream 1970s. The blocky, concrete structure is pretty unique. There are large openings in the front, field face of the grandstands that lead down to the concession and restroom area. The locker rooms are also down in this area.
The grandstands seem far away from the field. That is not helped out by the track that surrounds the playing surface. Oddly enough, the visitors grandstands across the field seem to feel closer to the action. I am sure it is because of the odd steps up and down in front of the main grandstands. They separate and elevate the fans further from the action.
I also enjoy standing and watching from the grass hillside near the visitors section.
Millersville is a nice little town located just to the west of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
There are a few food and drink options in the immediate vicinity. Although it is not the most exciting place I tend to go to the Sugar Bowl is just across the street. It almost feels like you are still a part of the stadium. They have simple pizza slices and sub sandwiches at a good values. Wayback Burger is another local option.
Some great food options exist in the nearby Lancaster area such as Iron Hill Brewery, Fenz, The Brickyard, Molly's Pub and Lancaster Brewing Company.
A very nice hotel, the Lancaster Arts Hotel makes a nice place to stay and watch games. The hotel serves as an art gallery and lodging establishment while making use of former factory space.
The fans are extremely quite. I am giving them some benefit of doubt as the gloomy day, lack of band and a poor start to the season may all have affected the crowd.
The PSAC conference offers some great local rivalries with schools such as Bloomsburg, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock and Shippensburg. Expect to see a decent number of rival fans in attendance.
Lancaster and Millersville are easy areas to navigate. Routes 30 and 222 are well known, large roads that any tourist visitor to the area will be more than familiar with.
The university is located about a half an hour to the state capital Harrisburg. It is also about an hour and a half to Baltimore, and the same distance to Philadelphia.
Parking is fairly plentiful around the university and the stadium. Parking is also free.
Attending a Millersville game is about on the same price level as high school athletics. General admission tickets are $8 and senior citizens get in for $5. You can also buy reserved seats for $10. The reserved seats are of better quality and more central to the game action.
Parking is free.
There is something unique about the structure of the stadium. The open front face and the concession stands under the front seem unique. I am not sure it is the best design but I find it interesting.
Millersville University plays on a good level of football and the opponents of the PSAC do offer some skilled opponents, which make a game here a good value for the sports fan. I hope that the game I attended is not entirely indicative of the Millersville game environment.
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9 Normal Ave
Millersville, PA 17551
415 N Prince St
Lancaster, PA 17603
781 Harrisburg Ave
Lancaster, PA 17603
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