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Official Review by Josh Oakes, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Scott Stadium is yet another gem located on the historic and beautiful grounds of the University of Virginia. The Cavaliers have been playing football here since 1931 and it is easily one of the most aesthetically pleasing college football stadiums in North America. Scott Stadium boasts the largest jumbo-tron in the state of Virginia and there is not a bad seat in the house. This place is beautiful and relatively clean as far as football stadiums go. Football is not UVA’s strength, but Scott Stadium more than makes up for the program’s lack of success.
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".
Eat before the game. There is food available at Scott Stadium, but most of it is overpriced, as is the case at many football stadiums. One small serving of nachos or a hot dog will cost you $5 and a candy bar weighs in at $2.50. Bottled soda and water are only $3.50, though, and there are plenty of water fountains throughout the main concourse near the restrooms. Overall the selection is rather bland and overpriced.
You can purchase a funnel cake for about $3.50 on the concourse above the hill. This is no cause for concern about going hungry, however, considering the veritable plethora of food options on campus, but more on that later.
Scott Stadium offers a unique football experience steeped in history and tradition. On gameday, it is tradition for the students to dress up. The guys will wear their orange and blue dress shirts, ties, and pants and the girls wear their bright summer dresses. The stadium capacity of 61,500 is usually reached about once or twice per season depending on their schedule and whether or not the Cavaliers play in-state rival Virginia Tech that year. Scott Stadium has a tendency to lack the electric excitement one might expect at a D1 NCAA football game, but when it sells out, it can be one of the more intimidating places in the country.
The seating bowl is shaped like a horseshoe with a gigantic hill that serves as an extension of the student seating at the south end of the stadium. For most games this hill is relatively empty, but it is quite a spectacle when it fills up.
When the Cavaliers faced Penn State in Scott Stadium on September 8, 2012, Penn State kicker Sam Ficken went 1 for 5 in field goals and PATs including missing a 40 yarder in the final seconds of the 4th quarter. ESPN attributed this performance to the massive sea of people on the hill behind the goal post.
A cavalier (a guy wearing a cape, holding a sword, and riding a horse) leads the team onto the field at the beginning of each home game. The band is equally well dressed and is absolutely amazing. They may not be the "best damn band in the land", but they are incredible. Everything from their uniform to their performance is professional and electric.
About one mile from Scott Stadium is the Rotunda at UVA and a place known as "The Corner," where food, history, and beauty abound. The Rotunda is the centerpiece of the university and was designed by Thomas Jefferson. Behind the Rotunda is an area known as The Green that is flanked on both sides by beautiful brick dorms and columns that are connected to the Rotunda. On game day the place is filled with students all dressed in their game day attire. With the exception of a few extra drunk students, UVA is almost always very accommodating to the visiting fans and you'll find that people are always happy to give directions or talk about the university.
The Corner is across the street from the Rotunda and has nearly everything from bagels to pizza along with a few souvenir shops. Bodo's Bagels is one of the favorite hot spots of Charlottesville and a great place to grab lunch before the game. Their sandwiches are served on delicious, freshly made bagels and all cost under $5. There is inside and outside seating available.
The rugby pitch is less than a block away and on some days you can catch practice or a match while having lunch, or you can take your piping hot bagels and sit in the shade on the steps of the Rotunda.
A little bit further down the road is a place called The Mellow Mushroom where they serve amazing gourmet pizzas for a reasonable price along with a wide selection of beer. This is a great place to go after the game or before if you have the time. If you end up going to The Mellow Mushroom, I suggest the Mighty Meaty pizza. This manly pie is handcrafted and covered with thick slabs of scrumptious bacon, chunks of seasoned ground beef, ham, pepperoni, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese.
The majority of the UVA fan base seems to consist of old, rich, alumni who only show up when the team is winning and usually don't stay for the whole game. This being said, the fans are typically polite and accommodating to visiting fans. Cavalier fans do love their team and are usually more than happy to talk to visiting fans about anything from the stadium to the weather. They are not the most rowdy bunch, but the stadium certainly provides a family friendly environment.
Unless you can somehow manage to get a parking pass, your best bet is to park nearly a mile away at John Paul Jones Arena. Forget about getting anywhere near the stadium in your car. The walk isn't too bad provided the weather is good, which it usually is in Virginia during football season. I suggest stopping at Bodo's and touring the campus on the way to the stadium. This will add about a mile to your overall walking distance, but the experience is well worth it.
Ticket prices range from $24-$65 on the Cavalier website. However, you can usually find cheap tickets at places like Vivid Seats. Scott Stadium and the UVA campus are beautiful and the band is terrific. If you can, go up for the entire day. The gameday atmosphere on campus is wonderful.
Scott Stadium has been around since 1931 and has played host to such NFL stars as Texans Quarterback Matt Shaub, D'brickashaw Ferguson, and Hall of Famers Bill Dudley and Jordan Henry. The hill is a feature unique to the University of Virginia and the stadium is designed using Jeffersonian principles. It may not be the first venue you think of when you imagine college football, but its a place well worth visiting.
Member Review by jharver
Walk or ride a bus on Alderman Road in Charlottesville, and you're liable to see a one-of-a-kind sight if you look past the sidewalk.
Nestled between one of the University's four gyms, some of the first-year dorms, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, concrete bleachers peek out deceptively close to street level. Just around the corner, a Jeffersonian colonnade draws your eye from the road down a long, grassy hill...
At the bottom, as though it were the most natural thing in the world, is a football field.
Welcome to Scott Stadium, home of the Virginia Cavaliers.
Expanded to its present capacity of 61,500 in 2000, the stadium fits Virginia's grounds like a glove. For all the nits to pick with the gameday experience there, there's nothing quite like walking into a fully-modern sports venue as casually as you'd enter a library or dining hall.
Member Review by echobravo1966 on Oct 24, 2010
The Scott Stadium has greatly improved by the presence of the Cavalier Marching Band which plays stand tunes with different moves that you can learn for each song. The CMB does a different half time show each week and gets the crowd fired up with the pregame show. Alumni and students mix in the general admission section. Even when the team does not win, it is a lot of fun. Food is bad. Wear comfortable shoes. Be ready to stand in you are going to hang near the band!!! I graduated from UVA in 1987 and am having more fun at football games now that my daughter is in the band than I did when I was a student.
Member Review by traxiii on Nov 23, 2010
Bought so much water I ought to own the stand. Other than having seats backed up against a concrete wall that reflected the heat on to our bodies making a hot day even hotter, it was a nice place to see a game. The locals were very nice and the place was clean. Needs more and better food, and it is kind of hidden at the end of a couple small roads. We were staying walking distance (about a mile) so it wasn't too bad. I would go back, but maybe not in September.
Member Review by collegiatestdms on Aug 30, 2011
Scott Stadium was the first ever away game I went to way back in 2001. It was a decent stadium and the student section was great. The fans treated us well and I thought the campus was beautiful. I am excited to go back in a few years.
Member Review by ElCapitan1983 on Dec 06, 2013
I've been to the Campus of UVA before but last season I had my first chance to catch a Hoo's Football game. I lucked out as it was the first ESPN Thursday Night game on campus in quite a few years.
There was a buzz around the Stadium before hand and traffic was bad from the afternoon on. Because traffic was so rough, I wound up parking at a Mall parking light that was right across the street from Campus. The walk through the campus to the stadium was very scenic and filled with people enjoying those last few drops of "juice".
The game was competitive til the 3rd quarter when UVA had a late turnover in the red zone. The air was let out of the stadium and the fans never regained that momentum. I had a great time and would love to take another journey back to Charlottesville.
2203 Jefferson Park Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
1609 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
1201 West Main Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903