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Official Review by Chris Bengel, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Nestled deep in the Lehigh Valley is a team that doesn't have a ton of notable sports alumni, aside from Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon. However, one of the most important inventions in the history of football originated at Lafayette with the invention of the football helmet. It was invented by former baseball and football player George Barclays, who played for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Leopards football team.
The Lafayette Leopards play right in the heart of campus at Fisher Stadium. It's a school that not many out-of-area residents know about, but it is incredibly beautiful and well-maintained. Several row homes and winding roads dominant the campus.
The campus is located in Easton, Pennsylvania in the College Hill neighborhood. The stadium is named after Lafayette College Class of 1888 graduate Thomas Fisher, who raised the $445,000 needed for construction of the stadium. It was built in 1926 and seats 13,132 fans.
During 2006 and 2007, Fisher Field underwent a $23 million renovation in which new seats, a jumbotron, field lighting, and a new press box were added. The Leopards play in the Patriot League and play at the NCAA FCS level. The Leopards completed a 5-7 season in 2013 in which they somehow won the Patriot League, but lost to New Hampshire 45-7 in the first round of the FCS playoffs.
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There is nothing special happening here at Fisher Stadium. Your general food and beverages are available. The classic items of hot dogs ($2.50), nachos ($4), and soda ($3) are all at your disposal. Hot chocolate and coffee ($2.50) are available during cold weather games.
My suggestion would be to venture around the city of Easton to find better fare before or after the game.
Fisher Stadium is located right in the heart of Lafayette's campus. It is also placed right next to Kirby Sports Center, where the men's basketball team plays their home games. The band sits right underneath the press box, and they are certainly a talented and enthusiastic bunch. Lafayette has a beautiful new video board that was added with the new additions during renovations.
Fisher Stadium is located in the beautiful College Hill section of Easton. Lafayette's campus contains many winding roads and beautiful row homes that house students and local residents alike. Just a few minutes away, you can check out many local sights such as the historic State Theatre and the Crayola Factory, which are both located in downtown Easton. I don't suggest venturing too far into downtown Easton due to some areas being a little rough. However, if you stay in the touristy spots, you can definitely have a great time and find plenty of excellent restaurants close by as well.
My personal recommendation is the 1818 Tavern in nearby Palmer Twp. (still in Easton), which is only 3.6 miles from Lafayette's campus. They offer standard pub fare, which includes great sandwiches and wraps with a menu of over 30 martinis if you are in need of an alcoholic beverage.
Like many other Patriot League schools, Lafayette fans come out to support their teams and are extremely passionate about them. If you talk to most Patriot League football or basketball fans, they are very knowledgeable about their team and Leopards fans are no different. The Lafayette students are very proud of their school and always dress very elaborately in their maroon and white. The students are very loud, no matter who the opponent is. In this 2013 game, the crowd was very loud and upbeat for a November game. Most November games are cold and gloomy, but this one had quite a bit of sun. The weather was perfect for a game with playoff implications. With a win over Fordham, the Leopards would face Lehigh the next week with the Patriot League title on the line. These kinds of games bring out the best in the Lafayette fan base and it's what most people come to expect in Easton.
Accessibility isn't too much of an issue around the Lafayette campus. If you arrive an hour or two before kickoff, it's usually not too hard to find on street parking in College Hill. If you arrive a half hour or so before kickoff, you can usually still find a spot, but you may have to walk several blocks to Fisher Field. Campus security does briefly search fans coming into the stadium, but it is very laid back.
The ticket prices at Lafayette are very affordable for Patriot League football. You'll pay $15 for an adult and $6 for a youth ticket (under 13). It's a solid product that you're seeing and most people that enjoy Lafayette football are alumni or fans that live close to the area. It's a great price, especially for parents to introduce their children to the game of football.
There isn't much extra around Fisher Field. The Kirby Sports Center is usually open and is a beautiful basketball venue that was recently remodeled. If you time your visit for November, you may even be able to catch a football and basketball game on the same day or same weekend.
All in all, Fisher Field showcases a solid product when it comes to football. The Patriot League may not produce very many NFL caliber players, but these kids love the game and that makes for a great return on your investment. The prices are very fair and it's easy to get to. If you're in the Lehigh Valley in the fall and are looking for a fun afternoon, Fisher Field is a great atmosphere for the whole family.
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2501 Seip Ave
Easton, PA 18045
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