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Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

Annapolis, MD

Home of the Military Bowl

4.3

4.3

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (map it)
Rowe Blvd & Taylor Ave
Annapolis, MD 21401


Military Bowl website

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium website

Year Opened: 1959

Capacity: 34,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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2013 Military Bowl

2013 sees the end of the BCS, and the first bowl game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in beautiful Annapolis, Maryland. Eagle Bank was the initial sponsor of the then-named EagleBank Bowl until Northrop Grumman signed on along with the USO in 2010 and the name was changed to the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman. Wake Forest defeated Navy 29-19 in what would be the first of five NCAA bowl games ever to be played in Washington, D.C. In 2013, the Military Bowl was moved from RFK Stadium to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at the U.S. Naval Academy.

4.3

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    4

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium comes loaded with the quintessential stadium fare, such as hamburgers with chips and cheese steaks with chips for $7, as well as various types of hot dogs, nachos, and pretzels. There are two major concession stands on either side of the stadium, along with a few small vendors selling miscellaneous foodstuffs throughout. Avoid going at halftime or between quarters, as the concourses become very crowded. $150 will land you a spot in the Budweiser Hospitality Tent at the south end zone. The hospitality tent comes with food not available to the general public.

Bo Brooks Express is a mid-sized stand separate from the main concessions and serves up local Annapolis fare, such as the Maryland Crab Soup for $4 and the Famous Crab Cake Sandwich for $10. Other menu items include the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich for $7 and Old Bay Chips with Onion Dip for $4.

Non-alcoholic drinks cost between $3-$5, whereas a beer costs $7-$8.

Atmosphere    5

The atmosphere was outstanding, especially for a non-BCS bowl game with two unranked teams. The stadium was divided fairly equally between Terrapin fans and Marshall fans, neither of whom particularly enjoy being quiet or sober, making for a raucous, electric atmosphere that lasted the entire game. The pre-game ceremonies (which I missed, which I will explain later) included a massive American flag the size of the field, Navy skydivers landing on the field with American flags and a B25 flyover. From pre-game to post game, the stadium was rocking as the crowd was on the Marshall sideline never sat during the game.

Neighborhood    5

Located just one mile from the stadium is the historic port town of downtown Annapolis. Buildings dating back to the 1700's line the brick streets, where you will find no shortage of pubs, taverns, and restaurants. This place is a gorgeous blend of Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, and France. Chick & Ruth's is a local favorite famous for its three-pound Super Duper Colossal burger and six-pound Colossal Shake. Adam Richman of Man vs. Food made a stop here to take on the Colossal Challenge (now called the Man vs. Food Challenge) in which he had one hour to complete one Colossal shake and a 1˝ pound Colossal burger. There are four food challenges at Chick and Ruth's, and all are open to the public. If you beat Colossal Challenge, you win a t-shirt and your picture is posted on Chick and Ruth's website.

Many of the pubs and taverns in downtown Annapolis are rather expensive, but for those of you with money to burn, this is not an issue. If you are not looking to spend $20-$30 per entrée, but still want excellent food and beer, Castlebay Irish Pub is the place for you. Entrées here average $12-$20. The interior is made up of beautiful solid wood with various paintings hanging from the walls. This is Annapolis, so the crab cake is a necessity, and one that will not let you down. I am a sucker for a good Reuben, and the Reuben at Castlebay is outstanding. Thick, juicy slabs of tender pastrami along with tangy sauerkraut and creamy Russian dressing make this Reuben more than worth the $12.50 price tag. The owner of Castlebay is an older, portly Irish gentleman who walks around the pub, checking on the food.

"I like to keep an eye on the food," he said. "The beer can take care of itself." When he learned I ordered the Reuben, he brought out a small jar of Colman's Mustard, mustard imported from Norwich, England and the best mustard I have ever had.

Fans    4

A total of 30,163 fans showed up to watch the Maryland Terrapins take on the Marshall Thundering Herd in what was essentially a home game for the Terrapins, being that College Park, Maryland is a mere 28 miles from Annapolis. This being said, the Marshall fans turned up in full voice and force, nearly filling their half of the stadium while living up to their name, "Thundering Herd." Chants of "We are, MARSHALL!!!" thundered down from the east stands throughout the game.

The Maryland fans lived up to their reputation of being the worst fans in the ACC. A group of them bought tickets in the Marshall fan section and nearly caused a fight before an off-duty policeman stepped in and broke it up.

Access    2

There are two parking lots at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium that cost about $20. One can pre-order a parking pass and they go quickly. If you are not able to obtain a parking pass, there are plenty of garages in downtown Annapolis and free parking in the residential areas. A free trolley ferries fans from downtown to the stadium before the game and back downtown after the game. Part of the main road leading into Annapolis was closed three hours before the game due to the pre-game parade, causing traffic to slow to a snail's pace coming off the highway. I arrived at the stadium an hour early to pick up my ticket and made it into the stadium about five minutes before kickoff, causing me to miss all the pre-game ceremonies, save the coin toss, and hundreds of fans were still waiting in line (for will call) after kickoff. Tickets that were supposed to be mailed out were not, and waiting over an hour in a will call line is unacceptable, especially for a bowl game. Once inside the stadium, I had to wait in line once again while the ushers checked everyone's tickets before they entered the seating bowl. Post game traffic at the stadium was an absolute mess, with multiple tour buses, cars, and trolleys all trying to exit the same parking lots at the same time.

Return on Investment    5

Aside from the will call debacle, the overall experience of having the Military Bowl at Marine Corps Memorial Stadium was outstanding. The Commandants of each of the service schools were in attendance, and several people took the oath of enlistment on the field at halftime. There is so much history, both military and football, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, making it the perfect host for the Military Bowl. Annapolis is now on my list of favorite cities, due to its history, architecture, food, and atmosphere. This experience will almost make me miss the BCS. Almost.

Extras    5

There are very few places in the world with crab cakes quite like Maryland. Eating at the stadium is a viable option, as is drinking (a fact of which most of the fans take advantage). Commemorative gameday programs can be purchased at the stadium for only $10. The pre-game ceremonies included an American flag being unfurled and covering the entire field, skydivers landing on the field with American flags, and a B25 flyover. A Boeing F/A-18 Hornet Blue Angel stands outside the stadium in honor of LCDR R.M. Voris, the first Blue Angel pilot. The names of every battle fought by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are displayed along the bottom of both upper and lower seating levels where video ribbons usually go. Behind the north end zone are plaques dedicated to various graduating classes.

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Crowd Reviews

2013 Military Bowl

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 2
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

2013 sees the end of the BCS, and the first bowl game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in beautiful Annapolis, Maryland. Eagle Bank was the initial sponsor of the then-named EagleBank Bowl until Northrop Grumman signed on along with the USO in 2010 and the name was changed to the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman. Wake Forest defeated Navy 29-19 in what would be the first of five NCAA bowl games ever to be played in Washington, D.C. In 2013, the Military Bowl was moved from RFK Stadium to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at the U.S. Naval Academy.

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Local Food & Drink

Castlebay Irish Pub  (map it!)

193 Main St

Annapolis, MD 21401

(410) 626-0165

http://www.castlebayirishpub.com

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