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Official Review by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The University of Delaware (UD) is the largest university in Delaware. It has 18,500 undergraduate students and has public funding, although it is not wholly a state run institution. It was originally created as a Presbyterian free school back in 1743. U.S. News & World Report ranked UD's undergraduate program 75th among "national universities" and tied for 29th among public universities in its 2016 rankings.
The College of Engineering is highly ranked nationally, as is the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment and Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics.
The Fightin' Blue Hens play in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). It won its first conference soccer championship in 2011 and played in the NCAA tournament for the first time in many years. Previously they had played in the 1968 and 1970 editions of the tournament.
Prior to a recent remodel and re-dedication the stadium was known as the Delaware Mini-Stadium, likely because of it’s next door neighbor, Delaware Stadium.
At the University of Delaware Stadium all of the main athletic facilities for the university are located in one central area on the south part of the Newark campus.
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 stadium itself actually has no concession stand. But a stand is operated just across from the grandstand in a building that has service windows also facing into Delaware Stadium, the university's football stadium. This unique arrangement makes quite a bit of sense as sharing of facilities is a cost saving strategy.
The menu is pretty simple, but offers good quality. Burgers are $3.75 ($.50 extra for cheese), hot dogs are a value at $2.75, with pizza for $3 a seemingly fair value. Drinks are slightly pricey at $4.25, but make sure to add a bag of Utz chips for a dollar.
You are free to bring outside food into the stadium, so that gives fans an additional option. Consider bringing your own drink to save some money, and then grab a hot dog, and sit back and watch Blue Hens soccer.
The Stuart & Suzanne Grant Stadium is a pretty basic setup with a simple grandstand running down one side of the field. There is no seating elsewhere, although there are some spots for standing and watching the action.
The grandstand has a simple press box at the top part of the seating. The press box does impede view of the scoreboard if sitting on the south part of the seating area. There really should be additional scoreboard at the south end of the field.
The stadium is also used as a track and field stadium so the seating area is not as close to the pitch as you may see at other soccer fields.
Newark (pronounced here as New-Ark) is a great college town. There are numerous food options on East Main Street that will fill you up before or after a game. Popular options, if you do want more than grilled cheese, are Catherine Rooney's Irish Pub and Grotto Pizza.
Parking on East Main Street is always a bit of a problem. There are many public lots, but note that they may be behind buildings and hard to find. Many restaurants offer validation for the public lots.
If you do not want to fight for parking, head the opposite way from downtown Newark and towards the gigantic Christiana Mall area. Right before getting there is Border Cafe, designated only with a large "EAT" sign. Their large and varied menu offers great Tex-Mex & Cajun options at a pretty cheap price. Try the catfish fajitas with a side of jambalaya.
Numerous dining and lodging options are prevalent around the Christiana Mall area, although if in search of lodging, one should look at the Embassy Suites located across from the baseball stadium.
Around the corner from the stadium, behind Rust Arena, is the campus-run UDairy Creamery. Stopping for a pre or post game ice cream cone is a must.
As with most college soccer stadiums in this part of the country, the bulk of the fans tend to be family or friends of both teams. There will be some local fans who just happen to stop by for the game as well.
The fans are very knowledgeable and can be quite loud.
Student attendance at games will always be an issue as the stadium is located far from the student housing options on campus.
Stuart & Suzanne Grant Stadium is easy to reach, and is only a couple miles off of Interstate 95. You may have to pay some tolls, although locals will know how to avoid them as much as possible. Parking is free and plentiful in front of Delaware Stadium, The Bob Carpenter Center and the fieldhouse. Walk between the fieldhouse and the stadium to find the baseball field.
The games are free to attend, and parking is free. The seats are close to the action, and the view of the field is nice, so a fan is well-rewarded for attending a game here.
The university provides roster and game notes before all games. It is filled with stats and coverage of all action in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
The UDairy Creamery, located within walking distance of the athletic facilities, always deserves an extra mention. This student-focused operation is part of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and offers great, fresh ice cream options.
Stuart & Suzanne Grant Stadium is a simple soccer stadium that offers a good level of soccer games at no cost. If you enjoy soccer, attending a match here is a no-brainer.
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102 E Main St
Newark, DE 19711
45 E Main St
Newark, DE 19711
483 Stanton Christiana Rd
Newark, DE 19713
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654 S College Ave
Newark, DE 19713