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Official Review by Harrison Huntley, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
If you asked most people about the Charleston Battery, they would probably tell you about the scenic waterfront park in the city’s historic district. While the Battery Park is a lovely place to spend an afternoon in Charleston, it also happens to share its name with the local soccer club.
The Charleston Battery soccer team has been around since 1993 and is one of the USL’s oldest members. Their stadium, MSUC Health Stadium, was the first privately funded soccer-only stadium in the United States. Built similar to European stadiums, the stadium provides a great setting for a fun night out in Charleston.
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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".
Even though there are only two permanent concession stands, you'll find some great food for very reasonable prices. All the stadium favorites like hot dogs and hamburgers cost $4-$5, as do alternatives like turkey burgers, bratwursts, and grilled chicken sandwiches. Beverages include Coca-Cola products for $2, plus beer and wine priced at $5 or $7 (with a wide selection of local and imported).
In short, the selection is not bad, and the prices provide a good return for the quality. Specific to the visiting bleacher stand is Sticky Fingers BBQ, cole slaw, fries, and mac and cheese. There are also a number of food carts behind the near goal that offer dessert items like snow cones, gelato, and more.
Just like many of Europe's smaller stadiums, the seating at MSUC Health Stadium consists of two small stands on either side of the field. Most seats are metal benches, but some premium seats towards the middle of the field are yellow plastic chairs. The stadium boasts a few club suites as well.
For a minor league team, there is a professional feel about the stadium. There's no mascot or crazy promotions. The most unique game may be the halftime frisbee equivalent to the hockey chuck-a-puck. Other than that, most promotions are run in the form of ticket discounts or other deals. The main event here is the game and it's hard to forget that.
That's not to say you won't have a good time at a Battery game. Of course you're no more than a few feet from the action, so it's hard to turn away. Many people line the fences behind the goals to catch the game from a different angle. Additionally, behind the near goal are a few corn hole sets for anyone to use.
While Charleston may be the team name, most locals wouldn't say that MSUC Health Stadium is in Charleston proper. The stadium is in Daniel Island, a newer suburb of Charleston. While traveling from the city shouldn't take you more than a 20-30 minute drive, downtown Charleston isn't really within the stadium's neighborhood.
On the other hand, you can't go wrong visiting Daniel Island. It's a planned community and almost everything around the stadium was built or renovated in the last five years. Closest to the stadium is The Islander, but also nearby are places like Daniel Island Grille, Orlando's Pizza, or Quiznos. You won't be walking to any of these places, but a quick five minute drive will get you anywhere you want to go.
For the soccer enthusiast, travel up to North Charleston and visit Madra Rua. This authentic Irish pub also acts as the official pub for Queen Anne's Revenge, one of the club's supporter sections.
Though just a minor league team, the Battery come with two strong supporters sections. The Regiment is the official supporter section of the club. They are joined by the Charleston chapter of the American Outlaws, aptly named the Holy City Outlaws. At the games, they go by the name Queen Anne's Revenge (which is a name stolen from Blackbeard's ship). Both groups stay loud throughout the whole game and cheer wildly with flags, drums, and yellow powder.
Sadly, the energy doesn't reach much farther than the supporters section. Most other fans would rather watch the game calmly from their seats. I don't have a problem with this mentality, but it doesn't translate to a strong soccer atmosphere.
Getting to MSUC Health Stadium couldn't be easier. From anywhere in the Charleston area, take I-526 to the Daniel Island exit, and the stadium is less than 5 minutes away.
The only possible issue with access is the $5 cash only parking. While a bit of a inconvenience, it won't ruin your day, just as long as you plan ahead and ensure you have cash on hand when you pull into the parking area. The lot easily accommodates its patrons and you'll have a quick walk to the gates.
Once inside the stadium, I would suggest walking around a little bit. Battery games take place from the spring though the summer so the weather will likely be perfect. Bring bug spray though because they will be all over your legs without it.
Ticket prices are a little confusing, but they range from $10-$18 depending on which side and how close to mid-field you sit. With concession prices as low as they are, a Battery game is still a good deal. A mid-range ticket ($12), hot dog ($4), and a soda ($2), add up to $18 a person. Maybe not an amazing value, but not a bad deal at all
First off, let's talk about the Three Lions Club. In addition to the concessions available, Three Lions offers an authentic English Pub experience for members at the stadium. Inside the club, you will find signed memorabilia by almost every soccer player imaginable.
I've personally been to MSUC Health Stadium several times, but it was not until writing this review that I realized how old this stadium is. When you're in the stadium, you wouldn't think the stadium is more than five years old. The longevity of this stadium, built in 1999, is stunning.
When you're taking in a game at MSUC Health Stadium, the main event is the game and that's how it should be. I love silly promotions as much as the next guy, but soccer is one of those sports that many feel should stay pure. In a classy city like Charleston, a goofy mascot leading odd games just wouldn't feel right. Though that makes the atmosphere a little more professional, nights at MSUC Health Stadium can be appealing for even the most basic soccer fan.
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160 Fairchild St
Charleston, SC 29492
259 Seven Farms Drive
Daniel Island, SC 29492
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