Over the years the name has changed and renovations have been made, but Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium has been a staple of the Texas Longhorns since 1924. The stadium has delivered a great home-field advantage for the Longhorns, as the team has had an almost 78% win percentage at the stadium, as of the end of the 2010 season. The current official stadium seating capacity of 100,119 makes the stadium the largest football venue by seating capacity in the state of Texas, the largest in the Big 12 Conference, the sixth-largest stadium in the NCAA and the United States, and the ninth-largest non-racing stadium in the world. At the time of this writing, the game I attended on September 3, 2011, was the stadium's largest recorded attendance at 101,624. I will say that this may be due to the Longhorns' newest addition, the Longhorn Sports Network, and the local television blackout because of it. In talking with residents of Austin and the surrounding area, viewing the game live was the only way to watch; I do hope for the residents of Austin that this roadblock will be figured out soon.
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The Longhorns offer a good variety of options but nothing I found to be too out of the ordinary or over-the-top. All your basics are covered at DKR Memorial with nachos, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, etc. The prices are definitely right on point with what I have experienced at most college stadiums. Coca-Cola beverages are offered, but for the friendly alcohol fan Texas falls into the no-alcohol policy like most NCAA venues. I will give a plus to the Longhorns for providing roaming stadium vendors; this is the first time I had seen this in a college venue and it was a definite welcomed surprise. I am no lazier than the next man, but if I can avoid a trip to the concession stands I am all for it. Overall, decent food and drink options at decent prices - can't go wrong with that.
The Longhorns are known for their great tradition of producing some amazing teams. From their four national championships to 32 conference championships, the Longhorns are definitely proven winners. The atmosphere at DKR Memorial definitely gives you the feel that you are in the midst of these proven winners and of greatness. The Longhorns definitely have some traditions and spirit that set them apart from the rest of college football. As soon as the world's-largest Texas flag was pulled across the field and "The Eyes of Texas" came across the PA speakers, I was hard-pressed not to have chill bumps running down my arms as I thought, "Wow, this is what college football is
all about." The fans are great and definitely provide the Longhorns a clear-cut homefield advantage, as previously mentioned with their home winning percentage. The University of Texas is a tradition-rich school, and many of those traditions are associated with athletic events, especially football. Some Longhorn traditions include: Bevo, Big Bertha, "The Eyes of Texas", Hook 'em Horns, "Texas Fight", Smokey the Cannon, The World's Largest Texas Flag, and Lighting the Tower. When it comes to college football it's tough to beat the atmosphere that the Longhorns provide.
Whatever you're into doing, you can find it in Austin. If you like music, it's there; if you like food, it's plentiful. There's no shortage of variety in Austin. Austin is the capital of Texas and, as a fun fact, the largest US city without a team in one of the four major professional sports leagues. I have visited Austin on many occasions, and every time I visit I find a new place that I enjoy.
One of my most recent favorites is Bikini's located on 6th Street. If you're the guy who likes the Hooters-type atmosphere, then Bikini's is definitely the place for you. With all the waitresses donning scantily-clad bikinis while serving you food, for the common guy life just doesn't get much better. Bikini's also carries great bar foods such as wings, burgers, nachos, etc., as well as has plenty of big screen TVs throughout the bar to watch games and whatnot. Also Bikini's is within decent walking range of DKR Memorial so is a good place for pre- or post-game activities.
Another Austin favorite of mine is The Oasis; I rave to anybody going to Austin about this place. With an absolutely breathtaking view of Lake Travis (Texas' largest lake), it makes for either a great hangout spot or a great place to get a romantic bite to eat with that significant other. As for the food it is definitely top notch and I recommend trying their Chicken Fireballs if you ever stop by to visit.
If you're not hungry and just looking for something to do, there is plenty else to do in Austin. From the bars on 6th Street playing music, to watching the bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge, there is an abundance of things to keep you busy before and after the game.
Just remember, though, to "Keep Austin Weird".
From the "Hook em' Horns" symbol to the Texas Fight song, Texas Longhorns fans are known around the world. In my visit to DKR Memorial Stadium the fans did not disappoint. Coming off one of their worst seasons in decades, the Horns fans are still there and still causing quite a ruckus at DKR. These fans of UT are definitely the reason the Longhorns have such a high winning percentage at DKR. The fans are everything you could ask for: knowledgeable, fun-loving, and downright wild at times. During key 3rd-down plays, I found it impossible to hear anything over the PA speakers as the stadium was on its feet and making it almost impossible for the opposing team to be able to hear anything. Even though Texas came out flat and made mistakes throughout the first part of the game, the fans continued to rally behind them, almost uplifting them to play better, which they definitely did in the second-half. Overall, you can't ask for much better fans than what the Longhorns have; they are loud, rowdy and wow, there are a lot of them!
If you read my review of the Frank Erwin Center where the Longhorns basketball team plays, you will see I was definitely not raving about the access to the stadium. Luckily, parking at DKR Memorial is definitely a lot better. With numerous parking garages within walking distance of the stadium, you should have no problem finding a decent place to park. I will say from personal experience, though, to make sure you remember what garage you parked in as that can make for a post game headache. Parking ranges anywhere from $7 to $20, depending on how close you want to be to the stadium; trust me, the $7 walk isn't that bad - plus, it makes for the exit after the game a lot easier.
I found the bathrooms to be easily accessible, even during peak times. I will say, though, that DKR Memorial is a "no credit cards" facility so make sure to bring cash unless you want to be standing in one of the horribly long ATM lines throughout the stadium.
DKR Memorial is a definite must visit for any college football fan. The University of Texas has great traditions, great fans, and - well, I must say it - the most beautiful college co-eds I have ever seen. On the Longhorns website, tickets range anywhere from $75 to $95, depending on the significance of the game, a little pricey for college football. I will say, though, that you will get your money's worth; DKR Memorial is a great stadium and the Longhorns always provide great entertainment.
There are way too many extras to mention at DKR Memorial. Everything from great traditions to great entertainment, the Longhorns and Austin have it all. The Big 12 is always near the top as one of the best college football conferences, and even though it looks as if they may dismantle, I still think the Longhorns will be fine. My top props for UT go to Bevo the mascot, the fans, and like I mentioned earlier, some of the best co-eds in college football. You will definitely not be disappointed if you decide to make the trek to DKR Memorial and the city of Austin.
Fans are very rude, the stadium is so massive it took a long time to get to our seats at the top, and parking is a nightmare for visitors. There is not a lot for visitors in the immediate area as the stadium is near I-35 and academic buildings.
Too spread out, fans don't get loud, too expensive, only good part is Austin is a great town.
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