Knight-Newbrough Field at University Stadium (map it)
81 Seagram Dr
Waterloo, ON N2L 3B6
Year Opened: 1958
There are no tickets available at this time.
Located in Waterloo, Ontario, Wilfrid Laurier University is a fairly small school that continues to grow in stature. Their origins are that of a late night campfire story of humble beginnings that blossom into exceeded expectations and infinite potential. Founded in 1911, WLU began as a small Lutheran seminary which would morph into Waterloo College and then to Waterloo Lutheran University and finally to Wilfrid Laurier University. The Athletic programs were built by the quartet of Laurier legends from West Virginia. Chief amongst those were Dave "Tuffy" Knight and Rich Newbrough who specifically put the football program on the map. The team would adopt the John Denver song "Country Roads" as an homage to their origins and their West Virginian connections. The ultimate success for Laurier was achieved two times in 1991 and 2005 as the small school beat the odds and brought home the coveted Vanier Cup and CIS National Champions in football.
The university has grown to over 17,000 students, but remains in the academic shadow of neighbouring giant the University of Waterloo. The home of the Golden Hawks is University Stadium which was built for the University of Waterloo in 1954 after a generous donation by the Seagram Family. Waterloo would eventually sell the stadium to the city in the seventies and remain home for both local schools for years to come. In 1992, WLU would purchase the stadium from the city and make it a Laurier institution. A few renovations later and a special renaming of the field to Knight-Newbrough Field and University Stadium remains one of the stadiums of the CIS with some character to it. Wilfrid Laurier is a football first school and a golden experience for football fans in Canada.
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".
Concession options at University Stadium are about what you would expect for a stadium in the CIS.
Under the grandstand you will find the main concession area. They provide a fairly diverse selection yet nothing overly unique. You will find pizza slices from Pizza Pizza ($3.50), popcorn ($2.50/$3.50), caramel corn, chips, pretzels, nachos, chocolate bars and candy. If you venture to either the east or west end zone you will find the BBQ. Burgers, hot dogs and sausage are on the menu here. The quality is pretty decent and the cost is not exorbitant.
In the main concession area you will find fountain Coca-Cola products ($2/$3) as well as coffee, or hot chocolate ($1.50). In the west end zone there is a licensed area where you can get Coors Light, Molson Canadian or Somersby cider for $6. You will be required to stay in the area to finish your alcoholic beverage. On homecoming a separate ticket for the beer garden is required.
Although there is nothing overly unique as far as concessions, the quality is pretty good. Try something at the BBQ if you are looking for suggestions. If you wait until into the second half, you will more than likely hear the announcement that BBQ is half price just before they close.
University Stadium provides an atmosphere that is not overly spectacular, but is more than adequate and seems to be just right.
Located on Seagram Drive, nestled between Wilfrid Laurier and the University of Waterloo, University Stadium is just off the beaten path of University Avenue. It is not overwhelming and it is entirely possible that you would miss it if you were not specifically looking for it. Knight-Newbrough Field is an east-west configured artificial turf field with a north side grandstand. There is a permanent building attached to the stadium which features a gymnasium and houses the washroom facilities along with the locker rooms, concessions and ticketing offices. After entering, underneath the grandstands the Hawk Shop sets up a few tables to provide patrons the opportunity to purchase some Golden Hawks swag. Along the building side, under the grandstand, there are a number of posters commemorating great moments in Golden Hawks athletic history, including the Vanier Cup victories and a prominent poster featuring Tuffy and Rich. The seating area features wooden benches with plastic coverings. In a rather unique feature, the slope in the grandstand is not consistent. The lower half of the seating has a much steeper slope than the upper half. It is subtle and you really only notice it if you are early and sitting in the top part of the stadium. The artificial turf field is surrounded by a 6 lane track. In the west end zone there is very simple scoreboard. At a Laurier game it is important to understand how the bright orange sticks on the sideline work, because it is not uncommon for the scoreboard to offer the correct supplementary information such as where the ball is placed and what the yards to go are. Underneath the scoreboard is a plaque honouring the Vanier Cup championships of 1991 and 2005. At the top of the grandstand there is also a permanent pressbox. When looking out on the field, you notice the stadium is surrounded by mature trees and adds to that cozy feel. In the east end zone you will also find VIP tents and reunion tents on homecoming day.
The game day experience is pretty much what you would expect for a CIS football program. The playlist throughout the game is fairly heavy on the hip-hop and rap. Unfortunately, what was once the anthem for Laurier football, "Country Roads" is now being moved away from. The 2015 season saw the John Denver song only played during the homecoming game. One of the things that makes college football great on both sides of the border is the reverence of tradition. This move by the Golden Hawks, although subtle, is a departure from one of the few Laurier traditions that still exists. On the field, traditional acrobatic cheerleaders add their peppy attitude and eye-opening stunts to the game day experience. In game promotions are often hit and miss with the challenges of the wireless microphone system in the stadium. Laurier does not have a school band that performs as part of the game, but recently there are a group of bucket drummers that lend their talents to the game.
When it comes to choosing that great seat, it will be totally up to your personal preference. All seating is general admission. For that perfect picture, the 55 yard line Golden Hawk logo is facing you in the grandstand. If you are interested in watching the entire play develop, then you probably want to select a seat higher in the grandstand. Also, on games with a lot of students like homecoming, you may wish to choose a seat that is away from the masses and general craziness that comes with football students.
Wilfrid Laurier is an urban university located just up the street from another urban university. As a result there are a ton of great options for pre and postgame meals.
University and King Streets are where you would find most of your options. There are a ton of great spots to get something to eat before or after the game. Some places you might consider checking out include Frat Burger, Shoeless Joe's, Smoke's Poutinerie and Frites. The on-campus pub is Wilf's and offers a great atmosphere and food while being student run and managed. The place you probably should settle on, however, is Morty's Pub. Home of arguably the best chicken wings in the city, Morty's always satisfies your postgame craving.
As far as entertainment goes, there are a few options in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. If you are planning on catching a Laurier game around Canadian Thanksgiving, then you may be able to catch Oktoberfest. This is the signature festival of Kitchener-Waterloo and the largest Bavarian festival outside of Germany. There are a number of great events that take place over the 10 day festival at a variety of locations including the numerous Fest Halls. If you head south on King Street toward Uptown Waterloo a great spot for some evening entertainment would be the Huether Hotel Jazz Room. One of the top jazz venues in the province, The Jazz Room offers weekend performances at a great price. There are also a number of pubs in Uptown Waterloo that feature live music. If you are interested in enhancing your sporting weekend then there are also a few other options. Wilfrid Laurier also fields other athletic teams specifically basketball at the WLU Athletic Complex and hockey at the Sun Life Financial Arena. Just up the road, the University of Waterloo also fields CIS athletic programs. You will find football at Warrior Field, basketball at the Physical Activities Complex and hockey at the Columbia IceField. If you are willing to drive across town, then you must catch the phenomenal experience of the Kitchener Rangers at the legendary Aud.
If you are planning on staying the night, the Comfort Inn on Weber St. N. is just a short walk from the Laurier campus and is a pretty decent place to stay.
Assessing CIS football fans is difficult as attendance figures are at times sporadically reported and can have huge fluctuations in a single season. That being said, Laurier fans are definitely in the top echelon in the CIS.
A typical Laurier game can draw anywhere between 1,000 to 4,000 fans, which is above average for the league. Key games such as the kickoff game and homecoming will bring in even more fans. Laurier also has a fairly decent travelling crew that hits the road for away games. The close proximity of most OUA venues and the central location of Waterloo definitely helps.
In the game, Laurier fans are definitely knowledgeable and will make noise when something big happens. They are not over the top loud, and won't cause an offside or timeout when their team is on defense. That being said, Laurier fans are as hearty and intelligent as any other group of fans in the OUA.
Getting to University Stadium and around once inside is not very difficult.
University Stadium is located on Seagram Drive which runs between University and Albert Streets. If you are coming from out of town, you will have a decent drive through the city as the university campus is a fair trek southwest of Highway 85. Traffic on University Ave moves fairly quickly, so getting to the stadium should not be too much of an issue.
Kitchener-Waterloo is going through some significant construction as light rail transit is on its way. Until that point, there are a number of bus routes that travel along King St and University Ave. Check the Grand River Transit website for maps and schedules.
Parking is for sale in the stadium lot, however most spaces are reserved for season ticket holders and media. There is some parking available west of the stadium in the Granite Club parking lot, but be mindful of the signs as ticketing often happens for violators. Parking can also be found on campus or in some of the University of Waterloo lots that are close to Seagram Drive.
The ticketing office is located in the permanent building under the grandstand. Other than that, there is no specific, grand entry gate. Security is present at 3 gates for entry which is more than ample for this facility and entry into the stadium is very quick.
The grandstand is very open and easy to move around. There is ample room underneath for moving from end to end or going to concessions. As expected, the grandstand does have a lot of stairs, however the general admission nature of seating offers the opportunity for patrons to minimize stair climbing. The washrooms in the permanent building are fairly small, but decent. Portable toilets are also brought into the end zones by the BBQs to help with high volume games.
OUA football offers great return on your investment, and Laurier is among the best.
Tickets for Laurier football go for $14-$16. There are discounts for seniors, students and alumni. Ticket prices are fairly average for the OUA. Combine that with free parking and decent concession prices and you have the recipe for a great afternoon of fall entertainment. Laurier often has a middle of the pack program, and competes with the upper echelon. You may want to consider a rivalry game against Guelph or the Battle of Waterloo against the Waterloo Warriors. However, Golden Hawk fans relish the opportunity to battle the Western Mustangs, their chief rival.
An extra mark for the program that Tuffy Knight and Rich Newbrough put together and the honor of having the field named after these Laurier Legends.
An extra mark for the Golden Hawk mascot and its interesting history.
An extra mark for Country Roads Way, another nod to the Laurier athletics tradition.
Make sure you find the corner of Seagram Drive and Country Roads Way. There you will find a fantastic afternoon of CIS football. The Laurier Golden Hawks offer a great experience and a competitive program. Laurier football is staying golden, and hopefully remains that way for a number of years.
In 1963 the first of the locally famous "West Virginian Fab Four" settled at what was then known as Waterloo Lutheran University. Fred Nichols, the longtime Dean of Students, then summoned the rest of the group who built what was to become the athletic department of Wilfrid Laurier University. Dave "Tuffy" Knight, Rich Newbrough, and Don Smith answered the call from their West Virginia homes, and came to Waterloo to build champions. Almost fifty years later, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks continue to make their mark in CIS football.
In 1992, Wilfrid Laurier University bought what was then known as Seagram Stadium from the City of Waterloo. The stadium was renamed University Stadium and underwent renovations. In 2007, amidst another renovation, the field was renamed after Tuffy and Newbrough, who were legendary Golden Hawks football coaches.
On a Saturday afternoon at Knight-Newbrough Field, you will most definitely hear John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" as a nod to the Fab Four. The Hawks have won 7 Yates Cups as Ontario champions, and in 1991 and 2005 were crowned Vanier Cup Champions, as the National Champions in Canada.
At Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, when the Hawks won their second Vanier Cup, the PA system did not play the classic "We Are the Champions." Instead, they played John Denver, to the delight of all of the Golden Hawks supporters in attendance.
75 University Ave W
Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5
183 Weber St N
Waterloo, ON N2J 2V5