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Official Review by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Jayne Stadium is home to the Morehead State University Eagles football team. Opened in 1964, the multi-purpose facility also serves home to the school’s women’s soccer program. The stadium was named in honor of W.L. Jayne, former administrator and faculty member. The facility resembles a high school football field, but when in attendance, its location near Poppy Mountain makes the stadium view stand out among voluminous facilities across the country.
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In regards to menu options, there is not a copious amount to choose from. However, with the size of the football stadium, you might already be aware of this. What it lacks in diversity, it greatly makes up for in pricing. All items, with the exception of the $8 bag of beef jerky, are priced between $1-$4. You may not even find these prices at a high school football game. The standards are all here: candy, chips, tub of popcorn, hot dogs, pizza, and walking tacos. The higher premium of selections include brats, Angus works dog, and barbecue sandwiches. All of the food is served underneath the grandstand at the lone concession stand by individuals who seem as if they are volunteering, just like your parents did when you played high school or little league sports.
You cannot blame Morehead State for its surroundings, nestled at the foot of Poppy Mountain. It is an outdoorsman's paradise and it is not hard to view in delight at the many hills that encircle the football stadium. The best time may be in late October or early November when the weather starts to cool off and the leaves are turning crisp yellow and rutilant.
The size of the stadium also adds its own piquancy in that it feels like a minor league baseball stadium. Once you enter the stadium there is a small ticket window and souvenir stand that features an array of Morehead paraphernalia. The school's colors of blue and yellow are predominantly featured and former player's jerseys are honored in the rafters. A gentleman I grew up watching, Phil Simms, is one of those men.
The seating in the main grandstand is metal bleachers that are painted yellow and blue. The visitors section on the opposite side stands out sharply with a strong blue hue and larger than life yellow M painted in the stands. The team's official mascot does an admirable job entertaining fans young and old during the game.
Morehead, Kentucky is a very charming small town that may lack some liveliness after the big game. Yes, there are a few local standout restaurants. Yamota Japanese Grill and Melini Cuzina are good choices, but your best option after the game might be the numerous chain restaurants that line up the main road from the stadium to the interstate entrance ramp. Take a guess and you will find something you are familiar with in the area. A better option might be Don Senors that is close to the I-64 ramp and features a nice flare of Mexican favorites. If you are a fan of the outdoors, Olympia State Forest and Carter Caves might be perfect destinations for hiking, boating, or fishing while you're in the region.
The feeling of high school football is also evident with the crowd at the game. It is a crowd that is friendly and laid back. It is quite easy to strike up a conversation with a few friends and learn a little bit about the football program. Homecoming games bring out the large numbers, but when rivals come into town like Eastern Kentucky, the Eagles see their largest numbers at Jayne Stadium.
Jayne Stadium is a few miles off I-64, but you get to drive through a few rolling hills and enjoy a little scenery on your way to the stadium. Parking is $5 at the stadium's lot, which may seem a tad on the high side in this neck of the woods. However, a short walk from campus and there are a few places on campus to park for free.
Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $3 for ages 2-12 for every seat in the house. It is a very easy and practical way to sell your product and cheaper than a movie on a weekend night, plus the popcorn is half the price at an Eagles' game.
What makes a visit to Jayne Stadium are the vivid images that exist from the drive off the interstate and the foothills that envelop the stadium. I had a somewhat limited view before arriving in town, but attending a football game at Morehead State University is a pleasant experience to enjoy if you are in the neighborhood.
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