Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is the eighth largest college football stadium in America, with a capacity of 100,119, and is situated in the heart of Texas, on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. Over the years, the stadium has had several names, including War Memorial Stadium, Memorial Stadium, and Texas Memorial Stadium, before receiving its current moniker in 1996.
The University of Texas has played football on this site since 1924, when Texas hosted Baylor in front of a crowd of 13,500. The record attendance for a University of Texas football game at Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is 102,315, set on September 4, 2016 when Texas hosted the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Besides college football, the venue has also hosted Texas high school football championship games.
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".
Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium offers plenty of food and drink options; there are about 25 different selections listed in the free game day program. However, in a city like Austin it is better to plan your meal in one of the city's dining establishments, and just snack during the game.
Food options inside the facility include classic stadium fare like hot dogs, burgers, pizza, and nachos. All of these come at typical stadium concessions prices, such as hot dogs at $5, pretzels, popcorn, and candy at $4, and nachos at $4.50 (unless you go with the 40 Acres Nachos, which cost $12 but are topped with pretty much everything). There are also a lot of outside vendors such as La Cucina, Pluckers, Subway, Chick-fil-A, Quiznos, and Torchy's Tacos to name a few. In addition, Austin seems to have a food truck craze throughout the city, and their football stadium is no exception, with food trucks located at the southeast corner. If you are looking for BBQ, check out Pok-E-Jo's BBQ, but if it is a burger you are after, stop off at Hat Creek Grill Works.
Coca-Cola products are the drink options at Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, and range from $5 to $7. A recent change at the venue is the availability of beer and wine; the cost for Coors Light, Bud Light, and Miller Lite is $8, while Shiner Bock and wine are a dollar more.
The atmosphere is summed up easily with the motto, 'Come Early, Be Loud, Stay Late, Wear Orange', and throughout the years Texas Longhorn fans have seemed to follow it. The 'Come Early' is seen throughout downtown Austin on game day; tailgaters take over the rolling hills of the forty-acre campus around Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, which covers both sides of I-35. The tailgate area is filled with wood-burning smokers, cowboy hats, and women wearing boots with dresses, and fans that aren't setting up tailgate spots with smokers, tents, and TVs are finding a nearby restaurant.
One of the more popular restaurants is Scholz Garten; Scholz Garten's pregame festivities are very entertaining as the local sports radio station talks Longhorn football, and gives insights into the day's matchup. However, there is also a Texas football Fan Fest, which begins 3 hours prior to kickoff through gates 8, 14, 16, or 25, which offers various activities if the restaurant/bar scene is not to your liking. Whatever you decide, though, about 2 hours and 15 minutes before kickoff, everyone can welcome the Longhorns players to the stadium during the Stadium Stampede, which consists of the Texas Cheer and Pom squad and the Longhorn Band escorting the Texas players to the stadium from the corner of 23rd and San Jacinto Blvd.
As kickoff approaches, the 'Be Loud' begins with the rest of the Longhorn nation trekking to the stadium. Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is a classic horseshoe shape with an opening facing south towards downtown Austin. The venue has two bench-type levels of seating, stretching from the southeast corner around the north end zone, and back around to the southwest corner. The bleachers located in the south end zone serve as the student section, and are also where the Longhorns enter the FieldTurf playing surface.
The stadium changes from an empty concrete and metal shell to a living identity of burnt orange as fans enter the facility and begin to get ready for Texas football. The Texas Marching Band, 'The Show Band of the Southwest', starts the pregame ceremonies with an array of notable state and school songs, such as 'Deep in the Heart of Texas'. However, the most recognizable song, and sung more proudly than any other for a Longhorn fan is 'The Eyes of Texas'; see the video below to watch the fans singing it:
During the pregame, you'll also see the world's largest Texas flag proudly displayed on the field. However, the biggest attraction around game day is BEVO XV, who is not only the university's live mascot, but also a symbol of the cattle drives that are a big part of Texas' history. In 2016, the University of Texas celebrated 100 years of BEVO; BEVO is situated on the southwest corner, near section 1. Another signature feature at the stadium sits above the bleachers, a massive scoreboard known as Godzillatron, which spans some 7,370 square feet of video display.
When you go to Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, be prepared to stand; Longhorn fans all stand during the game, showing their commitment to 'Be Loud'. The Texas spirit squads and mascot, Hook 'em, continue to keep the Longhorn faithful engaged throughout the game, making the atmosphere here one of the best in college football. The cannon, Smokey, is fired after every Texas score, as well as at the end of each quarter, giving the feeling of a Texas battle. The University of Texas fight song is 'Texas Fight', and is played and sung throughout the game, whereas 'The Eyes of Texas' is only played before and after the game. The 'Stay Late' in the motto shows that Texas fans never give up, and support their team throughout, making a game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium one of the best experiences in college football.
Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is situated on the University of Texas' campus adjacent to downtown Austin. Considered part of the Texas Hill Country, Austin joins the connected region in providing a wonderful recreational area within the state of Texas.
Franklin BBQ has earned world-wide fame as one of the best BBQ joints. From celebrities stopping by to appearances on the Food Network, and of course ESPN Game Day, people flock here to join in the BBQ celebration. Keep in mind that Franklin cooks to run out of BBQ each day, which creates long lines that form long before the 11am opening time (don't be surprised if you get in line at 8am and aren't served until nearly 2pm). Weekdays typically have shorter lines than the busy weekends.
Franklin certainly serves some amazing BBQ, but if you don't want to spend a day waiting in line, check out Stubb's BBQ which is not too far away, but will satisfy your BBQ craving. On the walk from Stubbs to the stadium you will find Scholz Garten, which is ideal for pre or postgame drinking. This restaurant is really wonderful during football season; there is a huge patio where fans can mingle, and it becomes a festive atmosphere.
Besides Scholz Garten, there are many good restaurant choices near the stadium, from Eddie V's seafood and American cuisine to The Shady Grove. Austin also features several local breweries, which are increasingly popular, including the Wright Bros. Brew & Brew or Hops & Grain Brewing. If you are a food truck junkie then you'll love Austin. The food trucks serve everything, including donuts, BBQ, cupcakes, tacos, and Asian food.
Austin is certainly an interesting city with plenty to do around town. Besides being the state capital and hometown of the University of Texas, Austin is considered by many to be the live music capital of the world. If you want to test that theory, just take a walk along 6th Street and you'll hear someone performing. 6th Street is a Bourbon Street-style environment with bars, live music, and restaurants. The annual South by Southwest film festival and Austin City Limits music fest are a staple of the Austin music and arts scene. Nearby Lake Travis, Lake Austin, and the Colorado River provide water activities like kayaking and sailing. There are also trails and parks along the Colorado River that border downtown, and there are numerous caverns to visit throughout the Texas Hill Country.
With a population just short of one million, and as the state capital city, Austin has plenty of lodging options. The closest to Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium is the Doubletree by Hilton, just on the other side of I-35 and down the hill from UFCU Disch-Falk Field (home of Longhorns baseball). Another option is the Driskill, which is the oldest operating hotel in Austin, and well-known across Texas. While it might be out of most people's price range, it is an interesting place to see if you have time.
The State of Texas is known as a football state; football is king so the fans are knowledgeable, passionate, and stand throughout the entire game, and the UT athletic department is a juggernaut when it comes to revenue. The athletic department receives no money from student tuition, but the university's recent Longhorn Network partnership with ESPN gives the program revenue worth $300 million over the next 20 years. Add the fact that Austin is the largest city in the United States without a major professional sports team, so Texas football is capable of pulling fans from all over the country. Past experience has shown that when the Longhorns have a team that is nationally ranked, the fans can be some of the best in the country.
Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium being located in a major city like Austin has both pros and cons when it comes to getting to the stadium. There are plenty of hotels with shuttles to/from the stadium, and lots of public transportation in general. However, please note that at this time, Uber is not serving the city of Austin.
The hardest part of attending a game here is parking, but Austin and the University of Texas seem to have solved this for the most part. However, planning ahead is key; be sure to check out the game day parking website before you arrive.
The cost of parking at the garages mentioned on the website (above) ranges from $10-$30 depending on how far you park from the stadium. There is free parking on the east side of I-35 throughout the neighborhood around UFCU Disch-Falk Field. However, be aware of the 'No Parking' signs on some of the local streets, as towing is possible.
Once you get to the stadium, there are plenty of access gates to get the 100K+ fans into the venue at a reasonable pace. The concourses are wide enough to get around, and there is plenty of signage to orient fans to the proper sections. While the aisles in the seating areas are a bit tight, this won't really be a problem as fans stand throughout the game. There are plenty of concessions and restroom facilities, which helps disperse the large crowds, so there isn't much of a problem getting to and from them during the game. Following the game, the freeways will be a little slow around Austin, as Austin has traffic issues even without the extra traffic on game days.
Texas Longhorns football is one of the most recognizable college football brand names in the country. The idea that the University of Texas can collect extra revenue from their TV rights with the Longhorn Network just increases the popularity of the brand.
Having this elite college football experience comes with prices of $65 or $85 for seats beyond the 20 yard line, as seats inside that are usually owned by Longhorn season ticket holders. There is a possibility of tickets being available at lower than face value on the 3rd party market depending on the game. Also, the seats in the southeast corner of the lower deck are usually offered at a great value, as long as your ears can take the Longhorn band that occupies that area.
Concessions are priced as expected for stadium fare, but with all the great food options around the city of Austin, it would be better to just have a snack at the game, and save your appetite for restaurants around town.
Overall, a trip to watch a game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is an elite college football experience, with the pageantry and tradition of Longhorn football, and is a great experience for any football fan.
It is great to see the wonderful display and recognition of former Texas football players, such as the retired numbers of Vince Young, Colt McCoy, Earl Campbell, Bobby Layne, Ricky Williams, and Tommy Nobis between the lower and upper seating on the northeast corner, and in the south corners where Darrell K Royal, Earl Campbell, and Ricky Williams have bronze statues. Seeing 100K+ fans flashing the Hook' em Horns sign while the band plays 'The Eyes of Texas' is also an awesome sight to behold.
Besides the above, the stadium also has so many of the little things, such as several different merchandise booths along with a full store, plus the comfortable north end area housing a Starbucks. The free game day program is great, because it shows concessions locations, seating charts, and has useful game day information.
All in all, there aren't many places that Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium can't compete with on game day, especially if the home team wins. If the Longhorns win, stay a little longer to witness the lighting of the University Tower, as the tower changes from white to burnt orange. The University of Texas is also located in one of the nation's most enjoyable cities to visit when it comes to college football.
There is something special about watching football in a state that breathes, eats, and sleeps football. A football game in Austin, Texas is not simply a football game, it is a way of life. A trip to Austin to watch a Texas Longhorns game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium should not only be a bucket list item for college football fans, but should be on any sports fan's list.
If you don't remember anything else when you go, just remember this simple motto: Come Early, Be Loud, Stay Late, and Wear the Burnt Orange of the Longhorn nation. Hook 'em Horns!
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.
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.
Game day in Austin takes you beyond the normal celebration of university and fall football. As fans flock to the state capital of Texas, the overall experience becomes a celebration of all that makes the Lone Star State great. As you make your way toward Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium, you'll see Texas-style tailgating including wood-fire smokers, cowboy hats, cowgirls in dresses and boots, and state flags flying high. Inside the stadium you'll hear songs about Texas including 'Deep in the Heart of Texas' and the 'Eyes of Texas' and you'll also see the world's largest Texas flag proudly displayed on the field during pre-game. You might even catch a sighting of BEVO, who is not only the university mascot but also a symbol of the historical early Texas cattle drives. If you don't like Texas (and shame on you if that's so) you'll either come to find a new appreciation for the state by the end of the game or you'll be sick of it.
The gathering at DKR began way back in 1924 as Texas hosted Baylor in Memorial Stadium's inaugural game in front of 13,500. Though Texas would lose on that day, the stadium would prove to be one of the greatest home field advantages in all of sports with the Longhorns winning 80% of its home games throughout its history here. As newer stadiums are built across the state, none can match the history of DKR - Texas Memorial and few come close to rivaling her atmosphere.
I am not allowed to like the teasips, since I went to Texas A&M, but their stadium is pretty impressive, especially when they lose! Ha ha ha. Seriously though, lots of great colors pops here with the (evil) shade of orange, and right near the LBJ library so you have something to do if you stay the weekend - if you are a liberal/democrat you will fit right in here! For a big stadium, parking isn't actually too bad, and the sight lines are good also. Great opponents here too, you will sometimes see a lot of visiting fans, which (IMHO) improves the experience a little b/c there is an added layer of friendly (sometimes unfriendly) tension during the game.
DKR holds over 100,000 fans and when the stadium is filled to capacity, it can be one of the best atmosphere in college football. The food and beverage is above average and improving each year but with the food options around the city of Austin, it is best just to have a snack. The neighborhood is downtown Austin, one of the best cities in the state of Texas. The access is a little tough for first timers, being in a downtown city environment. Just plan ahead and get there early for the parking garages. Overall, though, it is Texas, where football is king, so a trip to DKR should be on, any college football fan list.
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