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Official Review by Tracey Mitchell, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Sullivan East High School in Bluff City, TN has a student body of approximately 970. The football program in 2014 shines brighter than usual for the Patriots. Entering the 2014 season the team had won just one of its previous 22 games.
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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".
The concession stand has your basics such as hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, and drinks. They are modestly priced. A hamburger sells for $3 while a hot dog is $2. Coke products cost $1 for a can and bottled water is $2. There are no specialty dishes or items that are exclusive to the Sullivan East menu.
This is your typical high school football atmosphere with a large student section along with parents and grandparents in the crowd who come out to support their children and grandchildren. There is a beautiful mountain view from the home team side.
There is one main gate to enter and parking is free. The school parking lots are vast and the school is in a rural setting so there are no worries about security around your vehicle as there would be in a large city.
There are no covered seating areas. All seating is made of thick resin bleachers that are wide enough to not feel as if you are on the edge of seat. They are very comfortable with plenty of legroom between you and the row in front of you.
The field is typical grass with worn patches from use throughout the season. Cheerleaders and the Patriot Band are on hand to keep the atmosphere lively and to pump up the crowd.
Since this school is in a rural setting, there are no public restaurants or bars in the immediate area. A few student tailgaters can be found in the parking lot prior to the game. The school is approximately 15 minutes from Bristol, Tennessee (home of Bristol Motor Speedway) which has many restaurants and stores. There are a few caves in the area, Bristol Caverns and Appalachian Caverns, both within 20-30 minutes of the high school.
Sullivan East student fans support their team. You will see painted faces, shirtless boys with red and blue bodies, and many enthusiastic fans sporting the school colors of red, white and blue in their hair, their clothing, and extra accessories such as pom poms and whistles. They have a great outpouring of school spirit that shows not only in football but basketball as well.
They also sell school shirts that vary from $15-$30. They welcome the visiting team and their fans with open arms and promote good sportsmanship with announcements at the beginning of the game. A special tradition of Patriot Football is running out on the field through the giant blow-up helmet that proudly matches the Patriots' helmets.
Although Sullivan East is not located in a downtown section or near a major highway, it is easily accessible. One turn off the Parkway in Bristol and it is a straight shot to the school after a few miles of driving. It's a beautiful drive with picturesque mountains in the backdrop, houses scattered here and there with the occasional subdivision in the middle of nowhere and a cow field or two.
There is ample parking near the football stadium and no charge for it. The restrooms are located centrally for both the home team and the visitors along each end of the concession stand. They are handicap accessible but are not fancy. They are clean, but are made of a typical concrete floor and stalls with wood doors inside each restroom.
Typically the admission to games in a public school setting goes back into the athletic program you're paying to watch. They charge $6 per person to enter. There is no child ticket price. All patrons, no matter what age are charged $6. This is steep considering you can watch minor league games for less than this. A family of four, with small children that could care less about a game or even have the understanding of the venue are charged $24 for admission. Tickets are taken up at the gate and not torn. There is no memento of the game or ticket stub to show you have already paid to enter.
One extra point for the beautiful mountain view.
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1157 Bristol Caverns Hwy
Bristol, TN 37620
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