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Official Review by Harrison Huntley, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
The opening of Patriots Point Sports Complex back in 2000 marked a new era in College of Charleston athletics. This beautiful complex sits just across the harbor from the school and is home to the baseball, softball, tennis, and soccer programs. While the stadium itself might be simple, it more than meets the needs of the program and when paired with its surroundings, it becomes easy to see why this is a quality venue.
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".
The only concession stand is shared with the neighboring baseball stadium. The meal options include nachos, hot dogs, and barbecue sandwiches. Other snacks like peanuts, popcorn, and candy are also available. There is also a small selection of sodas sold in two sizes for $2 and $3 respectively.
Though simple, Patriots Point Soccer Stadium is one of the most aesthetically pleasing stadiums I have ever seen. Walking in, you will notice the brick grandstand complete with school colored seats and a small press box. When you sit down, you will see the scoreboard in the back corner. The scoreboard is small yet informative. It gives not only the score and time, but also shots and corner kicks for each team. The rest of the field is surrounded by low country scenery.
As a fan, your best view will probably be from the home grandstand. It's the closest to the field and rises higher than the visiting stands for a better viewing angle. All the seats in the stadium are the same type (metal bleachers). If you want to get a little closer to the action, sit behind the goals. The bleachers behind the goals allow you to see the field from a different perspective; one that allows you to see plays develop.
The only real complaint here is that not much is within walking distance. The only thing in the immediate area is the USS Yorktown and other historic sites. While worth a visit, it isn't quite worth a 5-star rating. On the other hand, downtown Charleston certainly is.
Downtown Charleston is a bucket list destination for many and for good reason. It's full of historical sites and scenery but is also a fully functioning city with great shops, restaurants, and bars. There are so many great restaurants in Charleston, but allow me to give a mention to one of my favorites.
Henry's is located right next to Charleston's historic market and features a variety of southern specialties (everything from chicken biscuits to shrimp and grits). Perhaps the best perk of Henry's is the rooftop. Like many restaurants downtown, Henry's features picturesque views from its rooftop seating.
Though downtown Charleston may warrant a 5-star rating on its own, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Mt. Pleasant. Known as one of the wealthier suburbs of Charleston, it too offers some unique dining.
Page's Okra Grill is a distinctly southern restaurant that serves southern food with a bit of a kick. Marketed as a local favorite, each dish explodes with flavor. Most famous for their shrimp and grits, Page's also offers the Hell Burger, topped with jalapeños, ghost chili cheese, jalapeño smoked bacon, and a remoulade sauce. If you enjoy spicy food, you have to try this burger.
The game I attended was senior night. Even for a special game, the home grandstand was only about half full. While this is not uncommon for college soccer, it detracts from the overall experience. The fans that are there are not very loud. Most are family and friends of the players which can be a good thing, but they are content to watch the game versus being involved in it.
You shouldn't have too much of a problem getting to the game. Coming from the coast, you will drive through the many Charleston beach towns for some scenic driving. If you are coming from inland, you will get to cross the famous Ravenel Bridge over the Cooper River. Once at Patriots Point, you will turn into the stadium parking lot. The lot is small but usually does not fill up.
Once inside the stadium, there isn't too much difficulty getting around. The concourse is shared with the baseball field and it includes restrooms and concessions.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for youth 18 and under so you won't be breaking the bank when visiting, even if you bring the whole family. While this is a simple stadium, this is about the right price to see a college soccer game.
Behind one of the goals is a small training building with the school's nickname "The College," in large script on the side. This is worth a point for the detail shown on the building. It could have just been a regular building off to the side but with the design, it is now a part of the stadium.
Another point for the abundance of options in the surrounding neighborhood. If you have never been to Charleston, South Carolina, then add it to your bucket list. It is a simply amazing city that everyone should see.
College soccer is usually not a big deal for most schools. Both men and women play in the fall and are usually overshadowed by football. For schools like the College of Charleston that don't have football, soccer automatically becomes more important and the stadium reflects it. The stadium is beautiful and so is the area around it. If you're looking to relax after a day in downtown Charleston, a C of C soccer game may be the place for you.
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302 Coleman Blvd
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
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