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High Point Solutions Stadium

Piscataway, NJ

Home of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights

3.3

3.2

High Point Solutions Stadium (map it)
1 Scarlet Knight Way
Piscataway, NJ 08854


Rutgers Scarlet Knights website

High Point Solutions Stadium website

Year Opened: 1994

Capacity: 52,454

There are no tickets available at this time.

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The Birthplace of College Football

For decades, Rutgers was the laughingstock of college football. Not anymore as things have turned around nicely for the State University of New Jersey. With head coach Greg Schiano's hiring in 2000, the program started to turn the corner with winning records and bowl appearances starting in 2005.

Rutgers Stadium, built in 1994, became a rocking place for football and underwent a controversial $102 million stadium renovation to expand the seating and upgrade facilities. Now, the school known as "The Birthplace of College Football" has an updated stadium with most of the changes for the players and recruits, not necessarily for the common fan. Regardless, fans come out wearing their Rutgers Red, loudly supporting the team and providing a decent game-day atmosphere.

3.3

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    3

Food stands mainly sell the basics at Rutgers Stadium. You can get a hot dog, pretzel, pizza, candy and the such at all of the concession stands on the East and West sides of the stadium. Food tastes fine and if you're hungry, there should be enough variety. A couple of the more unique items included pulled pork hoagies and churros (like fried dough, but in a stick form). Remember, this is an on-campus stadium, so no beer is sold.

Atmosphere    4

When this place is rocking, it is awesome to watch football here. Most games fans are constantly rising for big plays and the noise factor is decent. The "R-U" chant is fun as the student section yells "R" and then points to a side to yell "U". However, during the game I was at, this cheer wasn't all that loud until things got interesting in the 4th Quarter. It was a Friday Night, nationally televised game and it was disappointing to see some corner sections empty and then the random open seats in the bowl. I was expecting a true sellout; however the atmosphere still was decent. The student section in the South end zone also kept the entertainment going. Love how they led the singing of the alma mater before and after the game.

The stadium has a lower bowl that circles the field in a retro-fitted kind of way (the South end zone area was completely open with no seats prior to the 2008-2009 renovation). A more interesting deck of seats is located on the sidelines as the second level is wayyyy up there and is quite steep. If you like an overhead, wide view of the action, these would be good seats.

Rutgers Stadium does have some historical significance. Even though the stadium was built in the 90s, the school is the location of the first ever official college football game (vs Princeton in 1869). Hence the scoreboard sign proclaiming this "The Birthplace of College Football".

Neighborhood    4

Rutgers is a huge school with four campuses (College Ave, Cook/Douglas, Busch and Livingston) spread across two towns. Rutgers Stadium is on the Busch Campus in Piscataway Township. Aside from Johnson Park across the street, there really is nothing to do within walking distance. However, just a few miles away over the Raritan River is the city of New Brunswick. This ethnically diverse city features some of the best restaurants that New Jersey has to offer and with an incredible variety of places to eat. The top ones include "The Frog and the Peach" (American Bistro), "Catherine Lombardi" (Italian) and "Sahara Cafe" (Middle East).

Of course, before and after football games, bars are probably the more likely spot to get food and New Brunswick has a decent set of options as well. Some of the good ones include "The Scarlet Pub", "The Olive Branch" and "Olde Queens". But if you really want to follow a Rutgers tradition, find one of the Grease Trucks on College Ave. As the name implies, these are trucks that make greasy food. Hopefully you're in the mood for something fatty, like the Fat Darrell, a sandwich filled with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks and French fries.

Tailgating in the various available parking areas was average. Despite the fact that lots only open 3 hours prior to game time, there were a fair amount of cars already there getting started.

Fans    5

Fans here have been waiting for a consistent, competitive team for a long time and they have finally seen that come to realization. They support Rutgers very proudly wearing lots of red and do a nice job creating a decent atmosphere. Fans in Jersey certainly can be vocal both good and bad, as the crowd was frequently disagreeing (and not politely) with head coach Greg Schiano's play-calling. These are smart, knowledgeable fans as they were also loudly encouraging and supportive of their freshman quarterback in his first game. Overall, it's a critical, but supportive fan base that has had just a small taste of success (in 2006) and is craving more.

Access    2

This part of the country has some awful traffic, especially during rush hours. Luckily college football games are mainly on Saturday and that alleviates some of the headaches. Still, prepare for a decent wait as you make the approach on River Road or Route 18. Parking is not easy at Rutgers Stadium with only two tiny lots reserved for season ticket holders right near the field. For most others, parking can be found at various lots around the campus and most require you to take a shuttle to get to the stadium. A good option for an extra $10 (other parking is $20) is across Rutgers Stadium at the makeshift grassy lots in Johnson Park. Not only are you a short walk to the game, but departing is a little faster.

As for bathrooms, they're inadequate as I had to wait to get into the Men's bathroom 15 minutes before the game even started. Plus, there were port-a-potties in some parts of the concourses, further showing that there aren't enough restrooms at the facility. Inexcusable for a stadium that just underwent a $102 million renovation within the last few years. Beware of crowded periods like around Halftime.

Return on Investment    3

Every single ticket in 2010 cost $50, a rarity at sporting events. No matter if you sit in the best seat at the 50 yard line or the worse seat in the house, face value will be $50. Parking and concessions are a bit high, but consistent for the region. By the time the event is completed, you may have spent $75-$85 which is somewhat pricey, but the game and event is worth heading to the "Banks of the Old Raritan" at least once.

Extras    2

As mentioned earlier, Rutgers is "The Birthplace of College Football" and there is a nice statue outside the stadium denoting that. Another point goes to the newly created tradition that Greg Schiano has brought to the team. His motto, "Keep Choppin'", is something the team and fans have embraced. Before the start of the game, the players run to a corner of the stadium and take a scarlet-colored axe and "Chop" it into a wooden stump.


Follow all of Sean's journeys at Stadium & Arena Visits.

Pretty Bubbles

I'm forever throwing Skittles. Pretty Skittles in the air. They fly so high. Nearly reach the sky. And like my dreams they fade and die. Fortune is always hiding and I've looked everywhere. I'm forever throwing Skittles. Pretty Skittles in the air. Rutgers! Rutgers! Rutgers!

by CuzCrusade | Jan 13, 2013 10:19 PM

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Crowd Reviews

My visit to Rutgers

Total Score: 3.00

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 2

My visit to Rutgers was the first game of the year, after they had been up to #2 in the country the previous year. We actually bought tickets from Buffalo, the team they were playing and it included food catered by Rutgers, which was decent. I remember a soda cost normal stadium prices.

The fans were good, but didn't quite fill up the stadium, which only holds just over 50,000 people. The tailgating was amazing and made for a fun time with lots of beer pong (beruit) and other games.

The return on investment was good and the reason we got the tickets from Buffalo was the away team tickets were cheaper and included the meal so keep that in mind if you are a bargain hunter.

Not much in the way of extras. Be aware that they set of a cannon for every score and be sure to take a picture of the plaque that marks the first college football game ever played.

The Birthplace of Football!

Total Score: 3.43

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 4

Rutgers was involved in the first Football game in history yet only now is getting the respect that it deserves.

I've been to Rutgers twice (2009 vs Pitt & 2011 vs USF) and both times, attendance was good so prime space was limited. They easily have the best tailgate of my "local" BCS schools (U Conn/Temple/Cuse/U Mass) and with next year's inclusion in the Big10, it may grow even larger. Looking forward to going back to RU to get "closer" to the action and hopefully stop by one of their famous food trucks as well.

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Local Food & Drink

Frog and the Peach  (map it!)

29 Dennis St

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

(732) 846-3216

http://www.frogandpeach.com/

Catherine Lombardi  (map it!)

3 Livingston Ave

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

(732) 296-9463

http://www.catherinelombardi.com/sle/cl/

Sahara Cafe  (map it!)

165 Easton Ave

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

(732) 246-3020

http://www.saharacafenj.com/about.shtml

The Olive Branch  (map it!)

37 Bartlett St

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

(732) 729-0203

http://www.olivebranchonline.com/

Olde Queens  (map it!)

108 Easton Ave

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

(732) 246-9806

http://www.oldequeenstavern.com/

Local Entertainment

Lodging

Hyatt Regency New Brunswick  (map it!)

2 Albany St

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

(732) 873-1234

http://newbrunswick.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp?null

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