After playing home games in two separate stadiums in two different counties, the FAU Owls opened play in their own home on-campus stadium in October 2011. FAU Stadium seats 30,000 comfortably and leaves room for future renovation which could include expansion of over 65,000 seats and a roof. The stadium was built in conjunction with two apartment-style dorms on campus built directly east of the stadium.
FAU Stadium flaunts its subtropical culture all throughout and is surrounded by more than 300 palm trees. Its 145-foot press box is visible from any point on campus and from miles and highways away. The selling point is the slightly visible view of the Atlantic Ocean from the press box - the only Stadium in the country with this unique feature.
The city of Boca Raton is a mecca for the retiring community of the nation, but FAU Stadium is a welcome attraction to senior citizens, retirees, and students alike, providing a game-day attraction for anyone.
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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".
Subway is the main food choice throughout the stadium and is located directly under the student section. Subway has made plans to open a store that is open on the campus 365 days a year without entering the stadium.
Some of the fan favorite is the local food vendor Mississippi Sweets, a barbeque-style vendor located just a few miles away from the campus, which has a spot in the stadium. Mississippi Sweets offers chicken and pork sandwiches and offers a premium taste unique to the stadium. Another fan favorite is the Tomasso's Owl Ball. Tomasso's, a local pizza vendor in Boca Raton, delights the taste buds by offering a meatball surrounded by garlic bread buns and dunked in parmesean cheese.
Besides the local food vendors amongst the normal stadium fare, the stadium food choices are run by Chartwells, which provides the on-campus dining for dorm residents.
Considering the only other local Division-I FBS team with a stadium on-campus is Florida International, which is an hour away "" the University of Miami plays at Sun Life Stadium "" FAU Stadium is appetizing on so many levels. A small fanbase has been built in the last decade with Howard Schnellenberger leading the program through its birth years, and they've made their way to the privilege of having their own stadium.
The fact, though, that big-time college football exists "" for now "" will bring out fans to the game. Being surrounded by palm trees and the Atlantic Ocean helps decorate the atmosphere and transform it from being just another football stadium.
However, if a successful product is not placed on the field soon, the honeymoon between
the team and the atmosphere could soon wear out its welcome.
Boca Raton harbors two types of peoples: retirees and college students. However, it hardly resembles a college town. It's a town that doesn't have an identity and is a melting pot of tourism, collegiate students, senior citizens, and families. The thing that does benefit the stadium is that the city is relatively wealthy. In years to come, the college feeling could take shape at Florida Atlantic, but for now it is at a minimum.
Tailgaiting is also at a minimum but this is again due to the fact that the stadium is in its birth years and previous home games before 2011 were played over 20 miles south of the campus.
To find the nearest food joints worthy of game-day recommendation then one has to travel a few miles east or west. Nothing lies within walking distance of the campus to enjoy as far as bars or restaurants before the game.
The subtropical feel is unique and one that the school and stadium embrace with open arms. A typical Saturday in Boca Raton could consist of a day at the beach and a night at the stadium, which is just over 2 miles from the ocean.
The stadium will never be full unless it is the first home game of a season or the team is wildly competitive in the Sun Belt Conference. That being said, the locals have taken to having a legitimate FBS football team in their backyard and so have the students.
For the first home game of FAU Stadium history, over 29,000 people showed up even though the team was 0-5.
The student section is never filled, but the dorms on campus are within a rock's throw of the stadium, so they will usually show up.
If the team stays at the bottom of the college football ranks, the fans will dwindle each
year, but for time being the fans and the stadium are in the honeymoon phase.
The stadium lies on the north end of campus and getting there is a mission in and of itself. The roads inside the campus are only two lanes and there are no signs pointing directions for parking, just the occasionally sprinkled person with a bright yellow shirt.
There are no parking garages strictly for the stadium yet, but plans for those have been discussed. For now, fans park where the students park for classes and even students must pay for parking. The lack of a big crowd does mean that getting in and getting out of the campus is relatively easy and should be the least of anyone's worries.
Also on the FAU campus lies the local community college, Palm Beach State College, which makes the route around campus that much more confusing.
Cheap tickets are always a good start (the cheapest ranging from $8 to $15). The fact is that Division I football is in Boca Raton and provides for an experience like the city and county of Palm Beach have never seen before.
It is also a one-of-a-kind stadium with its subtropical culture and dozens of palm trees that surround the perimeter of the stadium. Once a developed tailgaiting experience is formed, then the investment of going out to a game could be all that a fan would want it to be "" except for the product on the field.
If a formidable squad plays home games under the lights of FAU stadium, then it could rival the attention of other FBS teams in Florida and be the best football experience South Florida has to offer, but that is a big if.
The stadium does provide a change of pace from the beach and leisure culture that Boca Raton is known for and at a relatively-low cost, which makes for a trip to a game worth it.
FAU stadium is a landmark on the young campus and it looks like future renovations could already be in the works to make it even grander.
The Howard Schnellenberger statue that meets the eyes once you walk into the entrance of the stadium is a reminder of the father of the football program. Pictures of players also decorate the stadium as a reminder of the success that the program has had as the youngest program in NCAA history to reach and win a bowl game.
FAU, is still in the process of creating a name for it self, but FAU has one of the nicest stadiums in the country. This brand new stadium is one of few that have a real south florida experience include with the stadium. From the tail gating to the game you are bound to have a great time at a FAU football game
FAU HAS AN AMAZING STADIUM!!!!
9858 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33434
2399 N Federal Hwy
Boca Raton, FL 33431
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