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Official Review by Tyler Stowe, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium is home to the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. The stadium is amazing in its stature and I knew as soon as I stepped foot on the campus that the only happening in Fayetteville on game day is the GAME.
The stadium was built in 1938 and originally had 2 different titles: University Stadium (1938) and Bailey Stadium (1938-1941) and in 1941 it earned the name of Razorback Stadium. It holds a capacity of 76,000 which is more than enough on game day. I was actually in the bathroom during a defensive 3rd down and that place was literally shaking. Everybody gets into it and that is one of the many great things about college football.
The stadium is located about 200 miles northwest of Little Rock and is in the small community of Fayetteville. Fayetteville feels very small until you see the University and all of the athletic facilities. It is one of the best-looking campuses in SEC in my opinion and once you go, you'll see what I mean. The campus is especially gorgeous in the fall because of the environment changing all around you. With a city population of only 73,372, the amount of people that show up on game day more than exceeds the normal population.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Since my tickets were on the upper level of the stadium, that was the only place I could go at first and there was only a limited amount of selection of food and beverage up there. Only very basic, but classic stadium foods at the top and all around the stadium such as hot dog ($3.50), Polish sausage ($4.50), Pizza Hut pizza ($6), and nachos ($5). They also had combo deals that had very interesting names like the Razorback ($5.50 for hot dog and chips), Sooooie ($6.50 for Polish sausage and chips), Touchdown ($6 for pretzel and chips), and the best combo...The Endzone ($8 for regular popcorn and nachos). Drinks include $3 small soda, $4 souvenir cup, $8 souvenir mug, $3.50 bottled water, and Gatorade for $4.
Since the stadium does not sell alcoholic drinks, they make up for it with their food selection, but the best selection is only on the lowest level of the stadium. Some of the specialty foods are things like dippin' dots, lemon chills, funnel cakes ($5), fried twinkies and ding dongs ($4), corndogs ($5), fried mini-donuts ($5), and fried pickles ($4) to name a few. Most, if not all of these specialties are located on the lower level south side of the stadium.
Two words describe the atmosphere: Electric and crazy. You can literally feel the buzz going around on game days and there is ALWAYS something going on wherever you go around the stadium. There is tailgating everywhere surrounding the stadium. I loved seeing all of the alumni that were out for the game as well with their satellite dishes watching the other games. There were live bands at a few of the Greek houses, which was a plus. The energy level around the stadium is incredible, and the crowd chants during the game are awesome! They keep everyone involved and paying attention to the game and if you want to hear ridiculously loud decibels, you're at the right place.
Fayetteville is definitely a college town and that's about it (there's nothing wrong with that!). To give just a sense as to how much the town cares about their team, restaurants and other businesses don't actually shut down during the game, but they might as well because everyone is at the game. Good neighborhood; very "homey" feel to it and is very safe for the family to come to a game.
I can definitely recommend Charlie's Chicken at 1542 W Martin Luther King Blvd. It was literally the best fried chicken I have ever put in my mouth. And it seemed like a home cooked meal. Prices were very reasonable and the great part about the place is that they cater to nearly every tailgater. Charlie keeps them coming back for more.
Razorback fans are incredibly loyal and passionate. Even though I am an Auburn fan, I decided to be a Razorback fan just for the day; I even bought a t-shirt and hat and it was a great decision I might add. Every person in the place had on Arkansas red (except for the awfully small opponent section on the West end of the stadium) and I saw guys that had their bodies painted, as well as people with team scarves, hats, and even a few hog noses. Everyone is a fan here and even though it wasn't a packed house, it was still extraordinarily loud. PIG SOOOEY!!!!! That says it all.
Parking is reasonably priced from $10-20/car. I recommend parking just off of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd at local businesses that advertise parking. Bathrooms are everywhere in this place, so you won't have any trouble whatsoever finding one.
For the right price, you can get great seats. $45 is what you will pay for upper level seats just to give you an idea, but it is well worth it. Coming to the football game is an experience like no other and it's unique in every aspect. The energy and great football will keep you coming back for more.
On the Northeast side of the stadium, there is a hill where you can watch the game without even coming into the stadium; Love it.
Another cool thing is called "The Gardens" which is a great place for alumni tailgating. There is also a full souvenir shop on the lower south end of the stadium as well as smaller shops throughout the stadium. On that same side, there are also 3 full-service restaurants, Pizza Hut, AE Chicken House, and Hog Wild BBQ. And last but not least, there is a spot in the lower west end of the stadium called "Bowl Alley" where there are displays all the way down the west end of all of the Arkansas bowl teams.
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