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Official Review by Joshua Guiher, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Peden Stadium is located on the banks of the Hocking River in Athens, Ohio. Built in 1929, it is the oldest stadium in the MAC and is showing its age. However, Athens is widely known as one of the best college party towns in America so the entire experience is worth a trip to Athens even if the game itself is not.
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".
There is not a whole lot in the way of food outside of the standard stadium fare. There were a few concession stands in each tunnel and a tent set up near gate 1. Due to low attendance, not all concession stands were open for the game I attended. I opted for a soda ($3) and the one local option I could find, a sandwich from Millstone BBQ ($5).
The atmosphere at Peden Stadium was average for a weeknight football game. The crowd was a small 15,112. The stadium itself is a bit dated, being built in 1929 and did not really enhance or add to the experience.
The neighborhood is just a short half mile walk from Peden Stadium. I ate at the Court Street Diner, which came recommended from the school's SID. I had a burger and a piece of mint ice cream pie, both of which were excellent. I certainly would go back. For bars, the Courtside Bar is very popular although I can't say it was anything too special. Luckily I left before the fight that took place between the bouncers and some of the football players.
I sat on the 40 yard line with some football boosters. I was surprised that there was a general lack of interest in the game, more of a social gathering with the game action as an afterthought. In fact, the crowd seemed more entertained by the band, the Marching 110, than most of the game. The student section was small but very loud for the ESPN telecast.
Parking was easy to find with multiple options. You can park in town for free and walk down, or you can park at the stadium for $5 in the general lots, or you can pay $10 and park in the "Tail Great" lot. Finding the ticket booth was easy and the gates were well staffed and guests passed through quickly. The bathrooms were easy to find but are in need of an upgrade.
Tickets were $22 for good seats, certainly a worthwhile price for a decent FBS football team with a very good coach. The real disappointment was the lack of enthusiasm from the fans and the disappointing concession offerings keeping the score low here.
A point here for the students who went all out with signs and shirtless antics for the ESPN cameras despite the sub-freezing weather and snow. Another point for the half time contest even if the student who attempted the field goal failed miserably.
Member Review by jbarrett107108 on Apr 10, 2012
Great place to watch a football and the atmosphere has enhanced alot due to the recent success
18 North Court Street
Athens, OH 45701
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