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Official Review by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The Johns Hopkins University was named after its first benefactor, the American entrepreneur, abolitionist, and philanthropist Johns Hopkins. And yes, his name was "Johns," not "John." Don't look like an outsider by pronouncing it wrong.
The university is one of the most recognized colleges in America. 36 Nobel laureates have been affiliated with Johns Hopkins over the years. Famous departments in the university include the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Whiting School of Engineering, the Peabody Institute, the Applied Physics Laboratory, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health. There is also, of course, the world famous affiliated medical hospital campuses.
The Johns Hopkins University's sports teams are called the Blue Jays. All sports teams are Division III, except for the lacrosse teams who are Division I. And, except for lacrosse, the athletic teams participate as members of the Centennial Conference.
Homewood Field opened 1906 and besides football it is also the home of men's and women's soccer, field hockey and lacrosse for the university.
In recent years the Johns Hopkins football program has been very successful and has won their conference numerous times, with many appearance in the NCAA tournament.
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".
There are no permanent food stands at Homewood Field. The school does sell peanuts and sodas in roving carts.
What makes up for the absence of any permanent stands are the potential for food trucks. Depending on the game, trucks are at the north end of the stadium and can offer a pretty amazing variety of food, especially for a sporting event. My favorite is the "Elvis Got The Blues" burger at Chowhound, which is almost always there at games. If there ends up being only one food truck, as in the NCAA tournament game I attended, expect the lines to be long.
Homewood Field is often referred to as "the Yankee Stadium of Lacrosse." But for football it is a quieter occasion. This is not a football school. No matter the success the current football team has attained. Expect the crowd to be small. Students don't come to football games like they do to the lacrosse games. Across campus and the area, Homewood Field is called the "lacrosse field," not by the other sports that play on it.
There is a small Johns Hopkins student band and the main grandstand is a decent place to watch a football game. The Johns Hopkins turf markings past the end zone are slightly distracting. They look like they should be the end zone area, but they are there purely for decoration.
The visitors seating section, across the field, can be loud depending on the opponents fan base.
The university is located in the Charles Village and Homewood neighborhoods of Baltimore.
The Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame, governed by US Lacrosse, is located adjacent to Homewood Field.
The Dizz is a great little neighborhood bar around the back end of campus. It was featured often in the Food Network show Ace of Cakes, since Charm City Cakes is located across the street from them. There are numerous other bars and restaurants in the Charles Village area where Hopkins is located, such as Charles Village Pub, Gertrude's at the BMA and One World Café.
The Baltimore Museum of Art, or BMA, is located right next door to campus. Try and stop by and see some of the great masters of art. It is a real treasure of a museum. And it makes quite a unique pre-game ritual.
Baltimore is a great metropolitan city, with many fun and exciting places to spend time both before and after a game. Relatively close to the stadium is the Mt. Washington neighborhood that straddles I-83 South (known as the Jones Falls Expressway, or the JFX, by locals). The Mt. Washington Tavern (5700 Newbury Street) is an excellent restaurant with both a fine food and bar food type of menu. The place is large, and there always seems to be room for more. Parking is the biggest problem here, so it would be worth paying the nominal valet charges. Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys (5100 Falls Road) is the closest hotel, and has a new and exciting lobby restaurant that is another option.
Right down the street is Miss Shirley's Café at 513 W Cold Spring Lane. Their fried green tomatoes are quite tasty. They are also quite well known for their breakfast offerings.
Also close to Johns Hopkins is the Hampden neighborhood, with its variety of quirky shops and restaurants. A favorite of mine is Ma Petite Shoe Café (830 W 36th St.).
It is weird to attend a sporting event at a school where football is not the number one outdoor sporting event. But Johns Hopkins is that type of school. The football games do draw fans, but the energy that is evident at lacrosse games is nowhere as high for football games.
Much like at a college baseball game, expect a great deal of the crowd to be friends and family members of players.
The stadium is not far from the Jones Falls Expressway (I-83). Take the Coldspring Lane exit east and go south on Roland Avenue and it is a short drive to the university.
There is paid parking around the stadium and campus.
There is no normal admission charge, although for NCAA tournament games a small fee will be charged. Parking is the only real cost of attendance normally, so the value is high.
You will see the history of Johns Hopkins lacrosse on display in this stadium when you see the banners and trophies all around. The sense of lacrosse history is pretty evident. You will not see nearly as much football memorabilia.
Since this is a lacrosse school, the Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame is a must stop to visit if you are a lacrosse fan. On display are photographs, art, vintage equipment and uniforms, trophies, as well as other memorabilia and artifacts relating to the sport of lacrosse. Exhibits are also found on the Members of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. A little known piece of lacrosse trivia is that football great Jim Brown is also enshrined in the Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
The Baltimore Museum of Art is a great place and is located just south of the stadium and campus. The highlight of the museum is the Cone Collection. That collection includes works by artists including Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne, Manet, Degas, Gauguin, Van Gogh, and Renoir.
Although most people don't expect Johns Hopkins to have a football team, as the school is so lacrosse centered, a trip to Homewood Field for a football game is a good experience for any sports fan.
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3107 Saint Paul St.
Baltimore, MD 21210
5700 Newbury St.
Baltimore, MD 21209
513 W. Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, MD 21210
10 Art Museum Dr.
Baltimore, MD 21211
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