Nothing beats football Saturdays in the South and one of the best places to experience all the pageantry is M. M. Roberts Stadium at the University of Southern Mississippi. The stadium affectionately known as "The Rock" was originally opened in 1979, but its history dates back to the late 1930's.
The Rock was already one of the toughest environments in which to play in Conference USA, but the stadium was closed in on the south end zone to give 4,000 more seats and added luxury suite boxes to bump the total capacity to 36,000 seats. The north end zone houses a HD scoreboard and athletic field house.
The Rock gives fans the ability to be right near the action and exposes them to one of the best atmospheres in the South. The Pride of Mississippi Band and the Dixie Darlings make this a great experience for any sports fan.
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Concessions at M. M. Roberts Stadium are a simple affair as there are only a few options. Southern Miss is a dry campus so there are no beer sales, but a cold Coke is easily tracked down from the numerous vendors. The concession stands offer roasted peanuts, giant pretzels, popcorn, hot dogs, nachos and chicken tenders. Back Yard Burgers and Dominoes Pizza have stands on both sides of the stadium to give fans other options. Prices are a tad on the steep side as a 32 oz drink is $4 and a funnel cake is a tough $5 to fork over.
M. M. Roberts Stadium is composed of two grand stands facing each other with upper decks on both sides. The south end zone has the newly built expansion that gives fans an interesting look at the field from the top called "the Eagle Perch." Thirty-three luxury boxes are also housed in the south end zone.
On game day, the pageantry is felt well before kick-off. The team comes into the stadium through what is known as "The Eagle Walk" about two hours before game time. As the game is about to start, the Pride of Mississippi Band and the high stepping Dixie Darlings take the field for a pregame performance.
As the game progresses, the student section located by the visiting team's locker room energizes the Golden Eagles with the " Nasty Bunch' cheer. The cheer comes from the long tradition of great defense played at USM. The band resides in the newly built south end zone and has one of the best halftime acts in the nation.
Southern Miss shows off its beauty on game days. The buildings on campus are built with a southern charm as many of them have big white columns. One of the best things about the campus is shade. On those hot September game days, there are plenty of trees and shade to be shared.
Tailgating can be done all over the campus, but the best spots are located in The District. The District is located on the southeastern part of campus and is very close to the stadium. Even though permits are issued for spots, a stroll to that part is a must.
Around campus, there are plenty of eateries to enjoy before and after the game. On-campus Chick-fil-A and Subway are located in the union, but many options are just a quick drive away. Mugshots is the closest bar as it is only two blocks from campus. The restaurant prides itself on its burgers and the "Mugshot Challenge," eat a burger made of three patties and all the fixings in 12 minutes and its free ($20 if failed). Another recommended stop is the Keg & Barrel, a local watering hole towards the downtown area. A definite must for the craft beer enthusiast as it offers beers from around the world and showcases local breweries.
Southern Miss fans have grown to expect big things from their program and will not settle for less. These fans are a nightmare for opposing teams as they sit right on top of the action and can get into players' minds. With the new expansions, the student section has been placed near the visiting locker room and their sidelines. The student section stays loud the entire game and turns the stadium into a raucous environment. It really does not matter who the Golden Eagles are playing, several people will scream " Go to hell, Ole Miss.'
Southern Miss has also been known, somewhat paradoxically, to have one of the most hospitable fan bases in the country. Some opposing teams' fans have been so blown way by the southern hospitality and courtesy that they have sent in several letters to the editor in the local newspaper.
Parking is tough around Southern Miss due to it being a smaller campus. A newly built parking garage houses on campus students so that has helped free up spots. Spots around the stadium and the heart of campus are reserved for season ticket holders, but there are several open free lots on the west side that are only a short walk away. Most businesses will tow cars that are parked for the game, so getting on campus extremely early is top priority.
Bathrooms are tricky. Some parts of campus have an abundance of toilets (around the stadium) and then there are few and far between (The District). Yes, The District has barely any toilets. It is only a short walk to the student union, but there should be enough restrooms on hand in that area. The union is located near the stadium and offers plenty of restrooms. The stadium has plenty of restrooms on the concourses.
M.M. Roberts Stadium is a special place to take in a game. Tickets are reasonable ranging from $20-$35 and parking, which can be a hassle, is free. A beautiful campus with friendly people gives this stadium a welcoming atmosphere. This stadium is a must see for any small school or southern football fan.
Since he is retired, Brett Favre has been around Southern Miss quite often so chances are reasonable you might find him and Ray Guy, as well. Two of the greatest football players of all time could be found in the same place, not sure if you can find better odds.
M.M. Roberts Stadium is home to the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, one of the nations most successful football teams. Nicknamed, "The Rock," the stadium is state of the art, with several suites/clubs, huge scoreboard, and great sight-lines all around. The fans pack the stadium and are very passionate and loud all game. Great football for a great price! Southern Miss... To the TOP!
M.M. Roberts Stadium or better known as (The Rock) is a stadium located at The University of Southern Mississippi. The stadium is known for its crazy loud environment especially in CUSA! USM probably has one of the loudest stadiums in the league but here is the real kicker the stadium could be 20x better and maybe a regional destination in the south. The problem is the fans in Hattiesburg and south MS are mostly SEC fans and really don't show the kind of support that could be for The Rock! Its really a shame...the rock could be a special place. People of south MS need to understand and realize that Southern Miss represents the people of Southern Mississippi and they need to become loyal to who they are and represent their university and athletic programs.
3803 W 4th St
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
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