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Official Review by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Johnny Unitas Stadium was known as Minnegan Stadium from its opening in 1983 until a remodel in 2002 when they added 6,000 seats and rebranded it to honor Baltimore Colts legend and Towson supporter Johnny Unitas. The field itself still honors the late Donald “Doc” Minnegan, former coach and athletic director at Towson.
Towson University is the second-largest public university in the State of Maryland. Located just north of Baltimore, it is home to approximately 21,000 college students, of which 18,000 are undergraduates. The university began as the Maryland State Normal School in 1866 and is starting to celebrate their 150th anniversary. The university has 64 undergraduate majors, 37 master's degree programs and 4 doctoral programs.
The Towson football team recently played for the Football Championship Subdivision National Championship, falling short to North Dakota State. Towson is also known for their impressive gymnastics program. They have been the 1968 AIAW Division II National Champions, 1995 and 1998 USA Gymnastics NIT Champions, 3-time Calloway Invitational Champions, 15-time ECAC Champions and 2007 USA Gymnastics National Champions.
The lacrosse team also reached the finals of the 1991 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship, and reached the semifinals of the 2001 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship.
Tigers has been the sports teams name at Towson since 1961 replacing The Golden Knights, Indians and the Teachers names that were used by various sports. There are four tiger statues around campus, with one across the street in front of SECU Arena.
All of the major athletic teams at Towson compete in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) with 20 Division I athletic teams (13 in women's sports, 7 in men's sports). Gymnastics competes in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League. Since joining the CAA in 2001–02, the Tigers have won 16 league championships.
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".
The stadium really has subpar food offerings. There are four main concession stands offering no real variety. I would have thought that a food stand from a local vendor such as Bill Bateman's Wings or a similar restaurant would have been a success. The concourse is open and has plenty of space for additional offerings, if they so wished.
Prices are okay, but not great, with $4 for a hot dog and $3 for a Pepsi. Pretzels are $3.25, nachos $4.25 and popcorn $3.25. Gatorade is $3.50. Beer is available at a temporary tent on the east part of the track run by the Greene Turtle.
The stadium is split into two distinct sections. The main side is where the old Minnegan Stadium grandstands used to sit and has the press box. A walkway around the top of the horseshoe hill takes fans to the opposite side grandstand, where the students, band and most of the opposing fans sit. When some CAA teams, especially Delaware and James Madison, are the opponents expect to see many of their fans in attendance throughout the whole complex.
A track separates the grandstands from being too close to the action. The Towson Marching Band, Towson Dance Team and cheerleaders all do a good job entertaining the crowd and a tiger mascot, Doc, roams the stadium.
Besides SECU Arena and the old Towson Center Arena, there is nothing right by the stadium. You could walk to Bill Bateman's Bistro at the corner of York and Cross Campus Boulevard.
Even though you may have to drive for other places, Towson is a semi-urban environment with a very large shopping mall and numerous restaurants in the area. Try the Charles Village Pub in the heart of downtown Towson for good food and drinks. Some other great options are The Crease, Glory Days Grill, Sushi Hana and Zia's.
Baltimore is also a quick drive away. Check out the Federal Hill neighborhood, south of the Inner Harbor. There are a few fun restaurants and bars here. Abbey Burger Bistro is one great choice. The beer selection is good, and they offer a dizzying array of burger choices, which are all likely to satisfy.
This is a work in progress. For many years, Towson was known as a commuter school. But in the last couple decades, there has been an increase in residential students. Students are starting to come to games in larger numbers helped by a free convenient shuttle to games.
Unitas Stadium, as well as neighboring SECU Arena, is located at the far end of the campus, not near any of the residence halls, so it will not always be a destination for too many students. It has improved over time in this regard.
Towson is located right off the Baltimore Beltway/I-695. The only negative is that Towson is a maze of roads getting to the Osler and Auburn location of the sports complexes.
Parking is plentiful. But best bet is to park on the main part of campus and walk over to beat the crowds.
The ticket prices for adults are $25. For the high level of football, the prices are acceptable but still maybe a bit high.
The team store is located in the grandstands underneath the press box. There are usually a few bits of merchandise on sale on game days.
The Towson Dance Team is nationally recognized and provides great entertainment during games. In addition, Doc the Tiger is a good mascot, providing entertainment for all ages.
The Towson University Wall Of Excellence displays the school's accomplishments in a variety of sports.
Johnny Unitas Stadium is a nicely designed stadium that has many well designed fan amenities. The large separation between the sections of the stadium is the only thing that keeps the facility from being a more intimate and louder stadium.
Member Review by Prince
Johnny Unitas Stadium, formerly known as Minnegan Field from 1983-2002, is a football, lacrosse, field hockey and track and field stadium which is the home of the Towson University Tigers of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
The sports complex underwent a massive renovation from 1999-2002 when they added 6,000 seats to bring the capacity to its current figure of 11,198.
In 2008, they upgraded the playing surface from astroturf to fieldturf. In addition, they installed a Daktronics High Definition LED video and scoring system called Tiger Vision in the end zone.
19 W Pennsylvania Ave.
Towson, MD 21204
7800 York Rd.
Towson, MD 21204
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