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Official Review by Paul Hilchen, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Built in 2014, Stoffer Family Stadium is the football and track home of the George Fox Bruins. Created to provide the “most formative athletic experience in the country,” Brad and Katharine Stoffer and their Boedecker Foundation gifted $1.2 million to get the project off the ground. The stadium seats 2,800 fans, expandable to 3,300 with temporary seating.
2014 was the first year of the fifth incarnation of George Fox football. Version one of George Fox football (then Pacific College) existed from 1894 – 1916. In 1916, football was put on hold for WWI. In 1922, football was re-instated and version two lasted until 1926, when football was discontinued in favor of soccer. In 1931, version three came about due to soccer being discontinued in favor of football, and lasted until 1943 and once again put on hold for war (WWII).
Version four lasted from 1945 – 1969, with the final season seeing the Bruins go winless. Not all was lost though, as four players made the NAIA all-conference team, and one of those players, Bob Hadlock, was drafted by the Detroit Lions. The current incarnation (version five) kicked off in 2014. The team is a member of NCAA Division III.
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Quite frankly, there isn't much variety here. There are food trucks from local businesses that set up in the parking lot outside the stadium. There are no concessions inside the stadium. Despite the lack of choice, what is available is very good.
Granny's Table offers hot dogs for $5. Wiki Wiki Weenie has a Kapuaa-Kalua Pork Sandwich $5-$9, a Wiki Wiki-Pork Sausage $5, Nachos $4.
Kettle Corn has a couple of choices that are unique. $5-$8 can get you Caramel, Caramel Apple or Cheddar kettle corn. Pretzels can be had for $4.
Coffee fans will enjoy Cream NW, who offers various flavored coffees for $5-$8, or hot chocolate for $3.25.
When one attends a game at Stoffer Family Stadium, get ready for fun. It is apparent that many fans attend games with their families and that creates a very pleasant experience. Everyone is fine tuned into the on-the-field activities. When the offense gains enough yards, the P.A. announcer says "good for another" and the crowd responds "first down."
George Fox is situated in a residential area just off the main road (99W) going through Newberg. Newberg is a town of around 22,000 citizens, and is part of a string of older communities on the way to the Oregon coast. Historical buffs will note that the city became the home of the 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover back in 1885. The Hoover-Minthorn House Museum is a point of interest set as a tribute to the former President.
If you travel farther west of Newberg, you will pass through McMinnville, home of the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum - home of the infamous "Spruce Goose." McMinnville also serves as host for the annual "International Pinot Noir Celebration."
There are good fans, there are great fans, and then there are the fans of the George Fox Bruins. On the day of this review, the Bruins faced off against area rival Linfield College. Despite the weather, George Fox fans showed up in force and made their voices heard... very loudly. Based on the noise level from my vantage point, one would assume that they were in a much larger stadium. George Fox fans make up a very respectful crowd. Yes, there was booing for bad calls (of which there were a couple), but nothing derogatory towards opposing players or officials. The crowd seemed to be made up of mostly alumni and students and carried themselves with the utmost class - a model for others to follow.
Newberg is approximately 25 miles west of I-5 on Oregon Hwy 99W. There is free parking at the on campus lots and also parking on the street. Make sure you arrive a little early or you might have a bit of a walk. Inside the stadium, the walkways are wide enough for all to get through. The metal bleachers are a little snug but are manageable. There are no chair back seats. Handicap seating is available on the walkway.
Single game tickets range from $7-$10 for uncovered seats and $12-$20 for covered seats. When you factor in the price of admission, the affordability of concessions, free parking and general atmosphere, an excursion to Stoffer Family Stadium is an excellent locale to watch a game. There are many sporting options in the Willamette Valley, this stadium and its fans and the valley's landscape make it as close to a sure thing one can find.
On the day of this review, there was a large canopy set up in the parking lot that housed souvenirs, cornhole games (or whatever it is called in your area), and pre-game festivities with the cheerleaders and drum line. Souvenirs that were available included hats $18-$34, mugs $12, jackets $36-$65 and ponchos for $2.
During halftime, the school recognized athletic champions from the previous year. The teams recognized were the women's golf team and the women's basketball team.
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