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Official Review by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
WMU Soccer Complex opened in 2005, and is home to Western Michigan University's men's and women's soccer programs. The complex includes a practice field, electronic scoreboard, and small grandstand on the west side, which holds about 500 people.
The facility was renovated in 2012, which added covered benches for the players and a fence around the field, as well as a few other cosmetic upgrades.
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Concessions are offered at WMU Soccer Complex from a fixed building next to the grandstand, but sales end after the first half, so fans need to eat early. The food and beverage selection is rather limited.
Food options include hot dogs, popcorn, chips, boxed candy, and cotton candy, while drink options include soda, bottled water, Gatorade, coffee, and hot cocoa. No alcohol is available, and all items cost $3, except popcorn ($2), boxed candy ($2), and chips ($1).
WMU Soccer Complex has a natural grass field, and a decent amount of energy. A lot of fans stand along the fence to watch the game, instead of sitting in the grandstand, so you can get really close to the action here - it is interesting to listen to the coaches and players yelling back and forth during the game, and surprising to hear the players themselves yelling at the refs.
The facility does have some interesting features, for example, the entrance boasts brick columns with the Broncos' logo posted overhead, and there is a line of small trees on the north side, which may be just for decoration, but also probably serves as a windbreak for the field. There is also lots of WMU signage around, and you can even buy team gear here - just make sure to buy early, because like the concessions stand, the fan shop closes at half time.
Check out a video of the facility here:
WMU Soccer Complex is located on Western Michigan University's Parkview Campus, which is about 5 miles southwest of its main campus. This area feels more like an industrial district, with a few campus buildings but mostly local businesses.
The only restaurant near the soccer field is Martell's, an upscale Italian place with a large wine selection. For other dining options you'll have to head north to the Knollwood area, which is closer to main campus. There are a couple of hotels within a few miles of the WMU Soccer Complex, though, most of which are along I-94. Best Western and Holiday Inn are the closest, both of which actually have fairly reasonable rates.
Attendance averages a couple hundred per game, so you might see the stands half or two-thirds full, but you will also see many fans standing along the fence - the bleachers do not have chair backs, so you may feel just as comfortable standing. The scoreboard is in the opposite corner of the facility, so no matter where you sit or stand you can see it easily.
Not many of the fans wear team gear (possibly because the fan shop closes early), but you will always hear at least a few fans yelling out at any given time, and there is a decent amount of crowd noise after big plays.
Buried in the middle of an industrial area, WMU Soccer Complex seems a little out of place. There are no other athletic fields nearby, which is atypical for college sports, and even though the soccer field is technically close to Highway 131/Business 94, it takes a little time to find, since you have to follow a one-way winding road all the way around the Parkview Campus to get here.
Once you arrive, though, you will find free parking right next to the field, and there is a pathway along the north and west sides that will take you to the grandstand. There are port-a-johns next to the stands, which are better than nothing. There are no ramps into the stands, but those with special needs can just sit along the fence and watch from there - lots of other fans do that as well.
Attendance at WMU soccer matches is free, and there is no charge for parking, so the only thing you have to pay for is concessions, if you get them. That said, the experience is probably on par with other college soccer venues, but the drawbacks are that the complex is hard to get to, there is not much around, and the bathrooms and concessions are a little lacking.
WMU Soccer Complex does have a lot of great Broncos signage all around, which helps fans get in the mood to support their team. Also, you can't beat free admission and free parking.
If you like soccer, attending a game at WMU Soccer Complex offers a decent experience that is easy on the wallet, with no crowds to fight. If you are looking for a more high-energy experience, however, there are plenty of other sporting event options in Michigan, most of which are within a 2-hour drive of Kalamazoo.
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2575 S 11th St
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
2747 S 11th St
Kalamazoo, MI 49009