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Official Review by Sean MacDonald, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
The University at Buffalo is part of the State University of New York system. Their football team plays out of the Mid-American Conference. Although the program has never reached national prominence, the Bulls can boast of having had Khalil Mack, who was drafted 5th overall by the Raiders in the 2014 draft.
The team, nicknamed the Bulls (not to be confused with the NFL’s Bills), plays out of the unimaginatively named University at Buffalo Stadium, which is usually referred to as UB Stadium by locals. The venue is located in the southeast corner of the UB campus, which is northeast of Buffalo in a suburb called Amherst, quite close to the airport. The stadium was opened in 1993 in time for the World University Games and the Bulls have played there since.
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There is nothing out of the ordinary here, but enough variety that you should find something to enjoy. In the specialty area, Red Osier roast beef sandwiches are very tempting, while Johnsonville offers Italian sausage along with its signature bratwurst. There's also a Philly cheesesteak stand. In all cases, you can pick up a combo that includes a 20 oz. soda and a bag of chips. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and nachos are also available.
Pepsi products are the beverage choices, and as this is a college venue, no alcohol is served.
Before you enter, there is Stampede Square, a tailgate area, which has a number of other concessions and is worth checking out.
As you walk along Augspurger Road toward the stadium, you will see many fans enjoying their own tailgate, obviously a much more controlled scene than at a Bills game. For those without their own BBQ, Stampede Square offers a great pregame experience. Before every game a band performs as part of the Tailgate Concert Series and among the concessions mentioned above, there are a couple for those old enough to consume a beer or two.
Once inside, though, things start to tail off in terms of atmosphere. The main problem with the stadium is that there is an eight-lane running track separating you from the field. Of course, with the stadium barely drawing 50% of capacity, you can pretty much sit where you want. The east side is in the sun for most of the game and the much better place to spend the afternoon. This is also where the student section, known as the Bullpen, can be found. Although small, they do cheer throughout the game, with "Horns Up" their rallying cry.
The marching band is known as the Thunder of the East and they do their part to keep things lively. Overall, it is a nice college experience without the hype of the Power 5 conferences.
You won't see much other than parking lots on campus. After the game, head to one of the many eateries close by. Just south is Zetti's, offering New York style pizza.
Duff's in Amherst, just down Millersport Highway, is a Buffalo institution when it comes to hot chicken wings. Just southwest is a triangular area bounded by I-290, Niagara Falls Blvd (US-62) and Sheridan Drive (NY-324) within which most national chains of casual restaurants can be found, including, of course, a Buffalo Wild Wings.
MacGregor's Grill and Tap Room is a Rochester-based pub with a branch on Maple Avenue less than 5 minutes from the stadium.
A lively crowd comes out early to enjoy Stampede Square, with a good cross-section of Buffalonians, including a lot of families, which is always nice to see. During the game, though, they aren't as excited even when the Bulls are putting up points rather easily. If the game becomes a blowout, most of them begin to leave, with the exodus beginning at halftime. Even on a perfect afternoon for football and there really isn't any reason to head home, so for that reason, the fans are no better than average.
The stadium is located next to about a dozen large parking lots, which are all free. You might want to park on the street to make it easier to get out, but then again, with fans leaving early, there is no problem exiting the parking lots after the game.
Inside the stadium, you can move about freely, although the north end zone seats are not open. Avoid the general admission south end bleachers, as they are a mile away from the field. Access to the east and west sideline seats is limited to a couple of stairways that can get a bit crowded before game time. There are two levels of seating on both sides, with seats reserved but as mentioned, you can generally move around.
On the east side there is a standing area between the two levels where you can avoid the sun for a while, and move back and forth along with the play on the field. If you like field level views, you can stand behind either end zone, which is close enough to hear the players and officials as the running track is no longer between you and the action.
Tickets are $20 regardless of where you sit, a good deal for Division I football. Food is not outrageously priced, and with parking free as well, you can enjoy a cheap afternoon of entertainment. Just remember to bring binoculars if you want a good view of the action.
As you approach the stadium, you will notice a marker commemorating the World University Games.
Stampede Square is a great tailgate scene that sets the mood for the game. Make sure to get there early.
There is a mechanical bull that gets the kids to line up, just so they can fall off. Very entertaining at halftime.
Along the top of the sideline seats there are pennants for each MAC school.
The cheerleaders stopped cheering when there was an injury on the field during my visit, something I had not seen before.
These days, the lesser programs in college football are mostly ignored by the big media outlets, but that doesn't mean they should be ignored by sports travelers. The Buffalo Bulls are a good example of a college that gets little press but provides a great afternoon of football. Certainly the stadium has its flaws, but overall you should really enjoy an afternoon at UB Stadium.
Member Review by akulyk
The University of Buffalo Stadium (UB Stadium) is a football and track and field stadium which is the home of the University of Buffalo Bulls of the Mid American Conference (MAC). Opened in 1993, it was expanded later in the decade by adding massive end zone bleachers to bring the capacity up to 29,500 seats. The venue was also a host facility for the World University Games in 1993.
4621 Maple Rd
Buffalo, NY 14226
3651 Sheridan Dr
Amherst, NY 14226
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