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Official Review by Josh Oakes, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Tradition and beauty collide at the fortress that is Lane Stadium/Worsham Field, making it the absolute best place to watch a football game in Virginia. Virginia Tech defeated William & Mary on 2 October 1962 in Lane Stadium’s opening game, and it has remained one of the toughest places in the nation for opposing teams to play.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Lane Stadium/Worsham Field comes loaded with everything from cotton candy and hot dogs to barbecue and wings. Most of the concession stands offer the same menu, and there are a lot of them. This means you don't have to go scouring the stadium for your favorite concession. These concession stands can be found on the east, south, and west stands; there are none behind the student section to the north. The menus include such stadium classics as hot dogs, nachos, and pretzels, all for $4. A pork barbecue sandwich will cost you $8, as will barbecue nachos There is even a Buffalo Wild Wings tent just inside Gate 1.
No trip to Lane Stadium is complete without the turkey leg. These massive, beautiful chunks of meat can also be found just inside Gate 1. Make sure you have cash -- $10 to be exact -- as the Turkey Leg stand does not accept plastic or personal check.
At Virginia Tech, the party begins the day before the game when the RV lots open, and does not end until these lots close the day after. For everyone without an RV, tailgating begins the morning of the game. Everywhere you go, you will see flags, tents, grills, and all manner of cars, trucks, and a converted ambulance or three. Didn't bring your own grill? No worries, head on over to Hokie Village at Thompson Field across the road from Lane Stadium and indulge in some food from the local food trucks, or venture down by the softball field for fancier snacks and some booze. At Hokie Village, you can play a game of corn hole with the cheerleaders, listen to music, enter a raffle, sharpen your quarterback skills, and enjoy bouncy houses for the kids. Skipper, the cannon named after JFK, also makes an appearance at Hokie Village prior to the game. If you get there early enough, you can even watch the marching band going through final preparations behind English Field. Prior to entering the stadium, sections of the Marching Virginians will perform outside gate 3.
Tradition is king here. Once inside the stadium, you will find that Virginia Tech actually has two marching bands, one at each end zone. Below the student section in the south stands sit the Marching Virginians, who perform the pre-game show, national anthem, and Hokey Pokey before the fourth quarter. Pre-game tradition also includes cadets firing Skipper. The Marching Virginians line up on either side of a narrow tunnel beneath the southwest corner as "Enter Sandman" pulses through the PA system and the team prepares to take the field. When this happens, all 66,233 people who are able to start jumping up and down on the metal bleachers. The team takes the field to a cacophony of screaming fans, Metalica, and maroon fireworks, making for one of the best entrances in college football. At halftime, the cadet band, also known as the Highty Tighties, performs an intricate series of formations.
The campus at Virginia Tech is absolutely gorgeous. All the buildings incorporate Hokie Stone into their design, and most are made entirely out of this blue limestone. It is a point of pride at Tech -- just ask anyone not wearing the opposing team's colors, and they will proudly tell you all about it. The stone is mined from a quarry belonging to the institute, and state law mandates that no structure built with Hokie Stone can ever be torn down. The drill field, which is the center of the university, is lined with trees, limestone buildings on two sides, and a Medal of Honor memorial at the far end. Across the road is a lesser-known part of Tech called Solitude. It is a peaceful tract of land with towering maples, solemn willows, and friendly oaks. Closer to the stadium you will find various merchandise tents, tables and trailers.
As far as food goes, there isn't much on campus aside from Hokie Village on game day. For that, you will have to venture off campus to Main Street. Cook-Out is a favorite among college students across the nation for its good food and low prices. The only downside is that Cook-Out is not within walking distance, so go before the game, as traffic post-game is atrocious. Closer to the stadium are places like Boudreaux's, which serves up Cajun-style food and drink. If you are in the mood for a few drinks, check out the Blacksburg Taphouse. The Cellar, also on N. Main Street, is a local Greek tavern and worth checking out.
Two words come to mind in describing Hokie fans: loyal and loud. The fans explode when the team takes the field and keep the energy up for the entire game. Whenever Tech has a white-out or maroon effect, everyone participates. It does not matter if Tech is playing Ball State or Florida State; the fans come out in droves and will not sit down until they leave the stadium. First time at the Lane? No worries -- whoever you are sitting next to will gladly tell you all about the team, the stadium, the traditions, the food, and what to watch for.
Blacksburg is located about thirty minutes from I-81 off US 460 and about forty-five minutes to an hour from Roanoke, which is the nearest city. Most fans set up their campers and tailgates the day before, so traffic usually is not terrible pre-game. Unlike Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, where one can park at JPJ for free, there are only four lots available for general parking at Tech, all of which charge $15 for parking. Before you park, you have to go to the visitors center and obtain a visitors parking pass. Here they will tell you where you can and cannot park and provide you with a map of the campus. For primetime (7:00-8:00) games, the public lots open at 4:00pm. However, if you get to the Perry Street Garage before the lot officially opens for the game, you can avoid paying a fee. You might be able to find cheaper parking at one of the various businesses, if you get there early enough and don't mind driving around a bit more. Post-game traffic is a mess, so take your time getting back to your car.
The amazing atmosphere, beautiful scenery, and top notch football are all worth the $50 price of admission, though making multiple games in one season would be very difficult for the average working American. That is $50, plus $15 for parking, plus $15 for food and drink, bringing the total to around $80 per game. When in-state rivals Virginia travel down 81, good luck finding a ticket for under $100.
Programs are free and include the rosters of the teams, the series history, a brief history of VPI, and various other bits of information. A radio station sets up a tent in the parking lot behind the east stands and plays music while handing out free food and drink. Around the stadium are "Hokie Respect" signs, stating VT's respect for the fans, the university, the team, and the opponent.
Member Review by ffunderdog on Dec 10, 2010
This has to be one of the best places in the world to see a college football game!
Seats are close to the field with great sightlines - unless you decide to sitdown for the game. Warm, friendly, football-knowledgable Hokies make you feel welcome on campus as well as in the stadium. Be ready to make some - no - lots of noise: intense fan particaption is premium and required once "Enter Sandman" is heard. Night games are particularly magical in atmosphere. Fall day games with the surrounding trees in Orange and Maroon are beautiful. Two bands, 'Skipper,' the Corps, doing the Hokie Pokie, etc. and a hard hitting football team provide plenty of fun.
You know your in Lane Stadium when " The Sandman does anything but put you to sleep; forgetting your keys for the game is a capital crime; and there are 66,233 screaming fans around you, yet every seat is empty."
Though Southgate Road may be narrow, i'll enjoy my retina engraved image and all the great moments until i get to return the next time!
Member Review by JB on Oct 21, 2012
Food is lacking. Poor variety, prices high, look of "carney" atmosphere. Cold drinks were warm, warm drinks were cool. Pizza is of poor quality.
Only thing going is turkey legs. Ambeience does not lend it's to the fan experience.
Member Review by brian on Nov 29, 2012
Nestled in the southwest Virginia mountains rests one of the better-known football schools in the region and the country. Virginia Tech has risen to national prominence over the last two decades, primarily due to the leadership of Frank Beamer. The school had made just six bowl appearances in almost a century of football before Beamer's arrival, and it has since made a number of appearances on national television pre-game shows and prime-time games. Tech's place in the national conversation is now firmly cemented.
The Hokies' home has earned its share of fame, as well. Lane Stadium opened for business in 1965, and the nearly five decades since have brought accolades covering the beauty of the stadium's surroundings and the incredible home-field advantage the Hokies enjoy. The stadium is the centerpiece of the school's athletic complex, including basketball arena Cassell Coliseum and other intercollegiate sports facilities. Blacksburg may not be a "destination" city, but it is home to one of the more interesting places in college football.
1470 South Main St #120
Blacksburg, VA 24060
302 North Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
201 North Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
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900 Prices Fork Rd
Blacksburg, VA 24060