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  • Writer's pictureLloyd Brown

A. W. Mumford Stadium – Southern Jaguars

Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29

A. W. Mumford Stadium 1 Robert Smith Blvd Baton Rouge, LA 70807

Year Opened: 1928

Capacity: 28,000


The Jaguars Home Since 1938

Southern University was founded in 1890. It was one of the earliest HCBUs in the country and has a student body of 8,200. As a land grant university, the largest major is in the field of agriculture. Other prominent majors are in the fields of Business, Social Sciences, and Nursing. Southern is the only HBCU in the country to offer an engineering major.

Southern has had a football program since 1916. The school is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The Jaguars football program has a storied history, as they have won nine black college national championships, as well as nineteen SWAC Conference Championships. Two former Southern coaches, Mario Carsem and Ace Mumford, are in the College Football Hall of Fame. More than seventy Jaguar players have gone on to play in the NFL, including Pro Football Hall of Famers Mel Blount, Aeneas Williams, and Harold Carmichael.

The home field for the Jaguars is the on-campus Ace W. Mumford Stadium. It opened in 1938 and is named for Southern’s winningest football coach, who served the school for 18 years. The stadium has gone through several renovations over the years, bringing the capacity of the venue to 28,000. The stadium is also unique in that it has a track encircling the football field that is used by Southern’s track and field team.

Food & Beverage 2

It is a good thing that Jaguar fans are legendary for their pregame spreads at the tailgates, as the concessions offerings at Mumford Stadium are basic. You can expect the usual (i.e., hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, candy, sodas, and bottled water) stadium standards at the concession stands. The stands also tend to have long lines at the half.

Our advice is to eat heartily before the game, then stop off at a stand for bottled water or soda to tide you over in case of a hot and humid night.

After the game is head over to Mid-City Beer Garden for a few cold ones.

Atmosphere 4

The seating bowl is rather unique at Mumford Stadium. The sideline seating is composed of box seating, while the General Admission seats are on the lower level behind one of the end zones. Suites in the stadium are found at field level down the sidelines and in the upper level behind the end zone at one end. There is a fieldhouse located behind the opposite end zone.

The most recent set of renovations at the stadium addressed double decking the press box, the addition of seven more suites, and updating of the home and visitor locker rooms.

Every game at Mumford Stadium has a big game atmosphere. The fanbase is very dialed into the game from the opening kickoff to the last whistle. It is Southern (or Southern) football at its finest!

Neighborhood 3

Southern University and Ace Mumford Stadium are in a northwest suburb of Baton Rouge known simply as “the Bluff”. This is because the campus sits along Scott’s Bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. It is a beautiful setting, with a very green campus. No matter where your parking space/tailgating area is, you’ll be treated to wonderful natural surroundings.

There are several great restaurants nearby that can either prepare a tailgate meal for you or welcome you for a sit-down dinner. These include Empire Wingz and Scenic Seafood. If you are coming in from out of town, the closest lodging is adjacent to the Baton Rouge Airport (BTR), which is less than 4 miles from the campus. Lodging options include The Comfort Inn and Suites Baton Rouge Airport and Springhill Suites by Marriott Baton Rouge Airport.

The Southern University campus is eight miles north of downtown Baton Rouge. It is well worth the short drive, Baton Rouge is the Louisiana state capitol, and it has several great museums, shopping, and dining options. The ornate Old State Capitol Building is now a museum, with a wide range of art and historical objects to view.

Fans 4

Food plays a major role in the gamedays at Southern University. Jaguar fans are big believers in tailgating, as they never enter Mumford Stadium on an empty stomach. The official tailgating area is behind the east side of the stadium, but you are likely to fans munching something almost everywhere on the Southern campus.

Once at their seats, the Jaguar fans are completely focused on the game. They create a din that is comparable to the noise level of that other stadium on the other side of Baton Rouge…. otherwise known as Tiger Stadium.

As with most HBCU football team fans, we can’t separate them from their institution’s marching bands.

This is especially true, when fans move, sway, and cheer with the sounds provided by the Human Jukebox band and the Dancing Dolls dance team. The stands are at a high level of energy thanks to the beats of the band. The Human Jukebox has performed at the Rose Parade, the Presidential Inauguration Parade, and Six Super Bowls.

Access 2

Southern athletic officials advise the public to arrive early for Jaguars games. This is partially because only two routes are taking you in or out of the Southern University campus. Harding Boulevard and Swan Avenue can become parking lots before and after games. Mumford Stadium also is one of the largest stadiums at the FCS level of play.

Having a capacity of 28,000 fans also means there is a need to disperse the parking around the very large campus, as one lot cannot carry the load on its own. You should pre-pay for your parking to save time, then check out the website to locate the best route to arrive at your designated parking area.

Once in Mumford Stadium, you may want to get your concessions purchases taken care of before the game. The layout of the stadium has the concourses located at the bottom of the seating bowl. During halftime or other breaks in the action, the aisles and the concourses get very congested, and you will find long lines for both the concession stands and the restrooms. Plus, you do not want to miss the terrific halftime shows put on by the Human Jukebox band.

Fortunately, fans don’t have a problem with getting on campus early, as it allows them to get their tailgating activities underway sooner. The gates at Mumford Stadium open 2 ½ hours before kickoff, allowing you plenty of time to find your seats, use the restroom, or get something to eat.

Directions from Baton Rouge Airport to Mumford Stadium: Depart the airport on Jackie Cochran Drive heading north. Cochran Drive soon became C.E. Woolman Drive. Go straight onto Sally Ride Avenue. Turn left onto Veteran’s Memorial Boulevard. Turn right onto LA -408 (Harding Boulevard) Harding Boulevard will bring you into the Southern University campus. Consult your parking map and prepaid parking pass for directions to your parking area on the campus.

Return on Investment 3

Southern University uses a variable pricing formula. That treats each game separately. Marquee games will be higher priced than a game against a non-SWAC opponent. The Southern athletic website will break down which games are considered “marquee”, and which are not. The highest-priced tickets are $40, and the lowest ticket prices in the stadium are $20. Parking is available on campus for $20.

Extras 5

The Jaguars play two rivalry games each season. The Boombox Classic against Jackson State University is played on a home-and-home basis, while the Bayou Classic game against Grambling University is played in the Superdome in New Orleans. A highlight of the Bayou Classic is the halftime Battle of the Bands between Grambling’s World-Famous Tiger Marching Band and Southern’s Human Jukebox.

Southern University had a live jaguar mascot named Lacumba until it died in 2004. Lacumba’s habitat is still in place at the school as a memorial to its late top cat. The school’s costumed human mascot is also known as Lacumba.

Southern University recently received a $1.3 million grant to make Mumford Stadium more energy efficient. This will allow Southern to replace its seriously out-of-date lighting grid.

Each season Southern plays a whiteout game, with fans and the team wearing white from head to toe. It is quite an impressive sight.

Our last extra must go to the terrific performances of the Human Jukebox. They play nonstop throughout the game, and the halftime shows are always terrific.

Final Thoughts

Southern University is always in the thick of the race for the SWAC conference title. It is also home to the terrific sounds of the Human Jukebox. Mumford Stadium is also the largest on-campus stadium in the SWAC. This all makes a trip to Baton Rouge for a fall weekend a must-do for any true football fan.

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