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Official Review by Jason Bullock, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Multi-Sport Field is home to the Georgetown Hoyas, who play in the Patriot League of the FCS. The Hoyas have called this field their home since 2003. Multi-Sport Field was opened in 1994 and was originally designed for soccer. The field is also home to the men and women’s lacrosse teams for Georgetown as well as their rugby club team.
While the Hoyas play in a stadium that is smaller than a lot of high school programs, the energy from the home team fans and the visual beauty of the surrounding campus make you soon forget you are in the smallest stadium in Division I football with a capacity of only 2,500.
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 tents are the first thing you see as you enter the west gate of the stadium. You are going to find only the basics here - hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches are available for $5 each and a chicken tender basket that includes fries is $8. Nachos, fries and popcorn are available as sides for $3 I tried the chicken sandwich and hot dog and found both to be average.
Coke products in a can and bottled water are available for $2. They are kept on ice in a large bucket instead of being refrigerated, so make sure you get a cold one before leaving the line. No alcoholic beverages are available for purchase.
Homemade ice cream ($2) and freshly made funnel cakes ($4-$6) are available for dessert at a separate tent. I didn't try either, however the aroma of the funnel cakes definitely caught my attention as I passed by.
There is not an ATM available on site, so bring cash with you if you plan to eat as credit or debit are not accepted at concessions.
From a visual aspect, the setting for this stadium is hard to beat. Located in the center of campus, it is surrounded by the buildings that make up Georgetown University and creates a cozy atmosphere. The stadium has east and west side seating and typically the home team fans sit on the west side of the stadium, allowing them to be directly behind the Hoyas and also have the sun at their back as the day grows later.
The seating is bleacher style with a hard plastic 'chair' bolted on top. These were not very comfortable and at times I would have preferred to just be sitting on the hard metal of the bleachers themselves. Seating is general admission, with a limited amount reserved for the Hoya booster club. Arrive early and you can have your choice of seating. A word of caution about sitting in the front row aisle seats, which is where I chose to sit at the game I most recently attended. There are trash cans placed between each section in the front row and I had the feeling trash was being thrown at me throughout the game. In addition, flies and bees started gathering around halftime. I understand the reasoning behind the cans, but this is something I could have done without as a fan.
No endzone seating is available, but if you don't want to buy a ticket, you can stand outside the gates at the south endzone and watch the game through the iron bars. Not the most comfortable way to view, but there were a few dozen fans there throughout the game.
There is a pep band that plays during the game, adding some energetic background music and they are located at the south end of the west seating. If you don't like loud music in your ear during the game, sit closer to mid field. The cheerleaders also perform on the sideline right in front of the pep band and stay there through the whole game. "Jack the Mascot", a costumed bulldog, was very visible during the game in the stands and on the field. If you want to catch the players entering the field before the game, they come in right next to the west gate where the fans enter.
The stadium has your basic scoreboard with no extras. One area of note here is the operator didn't do a great job of updating down and yardage to go after each play. There was a delay at times getting the correct information and made it confusing for fans. The referee also had to halt play and correct the play and game clocks a few times during the game. A minor annoyance, but an area for improvement.
If you're looking for things to do before or after the game, you won't be disappointed. While the stadium itself is located on campus, you are just a 10 minute walk from the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington D.C. You will find plenty of bars, restaurants and nightclubs in this area, along with outdoor activities including bike rentals, kayaking on the Potomac River and boat tours of the nation's capital.
A recommendation for post-game eats would be Clyde's of Georgetown, which has great food at decent prices and a full bar. The 70's pop hit "Afternoon Delight" was inspired by an appetizer of the same name at Clyde's. Mr. Smith's is another casual option with friendly bartenders and a garden area that seats over 150 guests.
There are so many food, shopping and entertainment options in the Georgetown area, there is something for everyone of all ages.
You will find a great mix at the stadium on game day - students, alumni and everyday fans. No scoreboard or prompt is needed to inform these supporters when to cheer. They were into the game from the first snap all the way to the end. The visitors were well represented at the game I attended and were just as vocal as the home team fans, creating an exciting, competitive atmosphere.
During the game, you will hear the chant "Hoya, Saxa" multiple times and it is normally led by the cheerleaders. Translated from Latin, it literally means "What rocks?". While there are many thoughts on how and why this originated, just know that it is the rallying cry for the university.
Unlike many venues in DC, this stadium is not easily accessible by the subway system. The best recommendation for going to the game is drive onto campus and park at the Southwest Garage. Parking is plentiful, free on game days and is located very close to the stadium. If you plan on hanging out in the area post-game, another option would be to park in one of the many garages off of M Street (which are not free, by the way) in Georgetown and take the 10-15 minute walk to the game. This is a well populated area, so safety is not a concern. Street parking is difficult to find and there are many restrictions, so that is not an optimal choice.
There are two entrances to the stadium - East Gate and West Gate. You must enter at the gate that is on your ticket as you won't have access to the other side of the field if you go through the wrong gate. Entrance was easy as they don't scan or rip your ticket stub, so it flows quickly. To get to your seats, follow the signs that state 'Seating Entrance' that take you underneath the stands.
There are men's and women's restrooms on both sides of the stadium. There are two types - one is a set of each in trailers, which were surprisingly clean and well kept inside. If those are full, your other option is a port-a-potty. If you can, hold it for the trailers.
General Admission tickets can be purchased online or at the gate - $10 for adults and $5 for youth, seniors or military. Georgetown students are admitted free with ID. Combine that with free parking on campus and $10 for a hot dog, fries and a drink, you can't go wrong. The energy of the crowd and the effort of the players on the field add to the value of your entertainment dollar.
With so much to do around the neighborhood and D.C. in general, an extra point here.
The halftime show consisted of bringing kids out on the field and letting them practice throwing and kicking the ball. While I did miss the marching band element you see at many college games, I felt this was a great way to make the game a fun family event.
A well-played game in a sold-out stadium followed by an afternoon stroll around Georgetown equaled a great autumn day in my book. If you are in the area and are looking to spend a day of fun, head on over to Georgetown - you won't be disappointed!
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3236 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20007
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