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Official Review by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Troy University is a member of the Alabama University System and was founded in 1887. It has a student body of 20,000 and offers 110 undergraduate programs and 50 graduate level academic programs. The major schools within Troy University are Education, Health and Human Services, Business, and Communication/Fine Arts. Since the early 1950’s the school has worked with the United States military to offer degree programs to both active duty service members and veterans. This is due to the campus' close proximity to Fort Rucker.
It is somehow fitting that due to this close relationship to the military, the Troy athletic teams go by the name of the Trojans. Troy has a long and storied history in football, as it has fielded a team since 1909. In that period it has won one NAIA National Championship, one Division II National Championship, and has won 20 conference regular season championships. It moved up to the Division I level of competition in 2004 and is a member of the Sun Belt Conference. This conference is made up of such small school powers as Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Georgia Southern, and the University of South Alabama.
Troy University plays its home games in the on-campus Larry Blakeney Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Larry Blakeney was the coach at Troy from 1991-2014 and is the most successful football coach in Troy history. The stadium was built in 1950 and has gone through numerous expansions and upgrades. It presently has a seating capacity of 30,000. A number of NFL stars played their college games on Veteran Memorial Stadium’s ProGrass FieldTurf surface, including DeMarcus Ware, Sherrod Martin, Osi Umenyiora, Jonathan Massaquoi, and DuJuan Harris.
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".
Concession areas are found in multiple locations under the main grandstand, in the south end area and on the visitors/student side of the stadium. The variety of items sold is quite good and they are offered at very reasonable prices. Hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, medium sodas, and popcorn are all $4. Pretzels and bottled water are $3, with chips and peanuts going for $2 each. Concession stands are along an open concourse so fans will still be able to see the action while waiting in line.
Intimidating is the best word to describe playing a game at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The Trojans have an all-time home winning percentage of .667 and have had winning home records 23 out of the last 24 seasons entering 2016. They have also been to five bowl games since reaching Division I status.
There are many components of the intimidation factor.
Veterans Memorial Stadium is one of the largest stadiums in the Sun Belt Conference with a capacity for 30,000 fans, and it sells out nearly every game. The fans will also having visitors seeing red, as Trojan fans are urged to wear either red or black to all home games.
Troy's Sounds of the South band plays non-stop throughout the game, stirring the fans and players into a frenzy. And if that is not enough, a 1250-foot HD video board in the end zone is delivering cheers for the fans to follow constantly. Even the press box can be intimidating as it is six stories tall, with 27 skyboxes, a Stadium Club large enough to handle 1,000 fans, and a very loud P.A. system.
In summary, much like the story of the famed Trojan Horse, the opposition is caught totally off guard when they reach Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Veterans Memorial Stadium is located on the beautiful Troy campus. All pregame activities take place on the campus, including a pregame parade featuring the cheerleaders, dance squad, flag team, majorettes, and the Sound of the South Band. The Tailgate Terrace spreads out over several of the quads and on the green immediately in front of the stadium.
The town of Troy surrounds the campus and has a population of about 18,000. It is a typical small college town with a few favorite eating and drinking establishments. For true Southern cooking, head over to Sisters' Restaurant, while Santa Fe Cattle Company offers a more expansive menu. Sips on the Square is the place to go for the biggest craft beer selections in town.
The closest lodging options to the Troy campus include the Courtyard Marriott, the Hampton Inn, and Best Western.
Troy fans play a large role in the success of the Trojans. The student section and the band are strategically placed on the opponent's side of the stadium, where they can really disrupt the communications on the sidelines and even snap counts. The Sound of the South band has an amazing number of pep songs specific to Troy University and they cheer as well as they play their instruments.
The alumni and townspeople are seated behind the home bench and are not quite as rowdy, but they still cheer loudly on successful Trojan plays. One nice touch involving the fans at the first game of the year is an annual ritual, as the entire freshman class is allowed to enter the field in the same manner as the Troy football team. This is a great way to initiate the freshman class into the school and the Trojan football experience.
Troy University is located in southeastern Alabama. The main route to reach it is via I-85. From either Montgomery or Atlanta you would take I-85 to exit 9 (Taylor Road). From there, go south on Taylor Road until it dead-ends at Highway 231 (Troy Highway). Take Highway 231 south for 40 miles until you reach the town of Troy. Turn right on George Wallace Street and the Veterans Memorial Stadium is on your left.
There are a number of designated parking areas scattered around the Troy campus. Free shuttles will run you over to the stadium beginning three hours prior to the game and one hour after the game ends. Parking is free.
Ticket prices are very reasonable as reserved seats (along the sidelines) run between $15-$24. General admission seating (end zones and upper decks) are priced between $8-$15. The concession prices are well below the level of many other Sun Belt Conference stadiums, and parking is free of charge. A trip to Veterans Memorial Stadium on a football Saturday in the fall can be an enjoyable day, offered at family-friendly prices.
The first extra definitely goes to the Sound of the South band at Troy University. They have a large repertoire of songs they play throughout the game. In addition to the quality of their music they perform some intricate formations, including spelling out Trojans on the field. Best of all, they take a very active part in cheering on the team.
The second extra goes to the Green Davis Tailgate Terrace. The tailgate areas on the campus were designed and implemented by Mr. Davis, a Troy Alumnus since the 1990's. The tailgating areas are very professionally managed so everyone has a good time, but the tents are spaced out so the traffic flow is not impeded in and around the stadium. The school is so appreciative that there is a historical plaque saluting Mr. Green for his efforts in the tailgate area.
One final extra to the beautiful campus of Troy University.
Member Review by ZackDuarte
Veterans Memorial Stadium opened its doors in 1950 in honor of the Pike County residents who died in World War II. It began as a 5,000-seat grandstand and has since been renovated several times and expanded twice, once in 1998 and again in 2003, in order for the university to prepare the football program for Division I-A (today's FBS) play. Currently, the stadium seats 30,000 spectators and is formed in a "U" shape with the north end open. As part of the expansion in 2003, the surface of the field was changed from athletic turf to AstroPlay, an artificial surface that emulates the look and feel of grass.
Member Review by ryanbohannon on Dec 11, 2013
The stadium we know today as Veterans Memorial Stadium at Larry Blakeney Field has had many names in its 60+ years of service to Troy University. Troy, AL is nestled between Montgomery and Dothan on U.S. 231, the same road many Spring Breakers take on their way to the white sands on Panama City Beach, FL. While the stadium was built in 1950, it has expanded and improved many times over the decades; most recently in 2004, as the Trojans were preparing for their move to Division I-A (FBS) football.
Member Review by Drew4479 on Dec 25, 2013
A beautiful campus and a cool tailgate area with grass covered lots. The Trojan statue at the entry end of the stadium is a great touch and the band is spectacular. This stadium was a pleasant surprise.
Member Review by Aaron S. Terry on Dec 07, 2015
Pretty great experience for a non-Power 5 team. Solid fan base, and good sight lines throughout. A lot better now too than it used to be, thanks to multiple renovations over the years.
Member Review by aranthm on Dec 24, 2015
Attended the 2012 Mississippi State game which set the attendance record of close to 30,000. Very loud and exciting! Gameday operations were a little slow, especially the concession stands. Overall, it was a fantastic experience.
13153 US Hwy. 231
Troy, AL 36081
Troy, AL 36081
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