top of page
  • Will Halpern

Truist Stadium – North Carolina A&T Aggies


Photos by Will Halpern, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14

Truist Stadium 1601 East Market Street Greensboro, NC 27411



Year Opened: 1981

Capacity: 21,500

 

Aggie Pride in Greensboro


Editor's Note: Truist Stadium opened in 1981 under the name Aggie Stadium. In 2018, the stadium’s name changed to BB&T Stadium, and in 2020, the stadium’s name changed to Truist Stadium.


The spirit, culture, and tradition that you can feel throughout the campus of North Carolina A&T State University can be felt far beyond BB&T Stadium, and the chant of “Aggie Pride” is much more than a slogan: it is a way of life for the students, faculty and alumni of A&T. North Carolina A&T was founded in 1891. Aggie Football has been played on and off since 1901, but it wasn’t until 1924 that the football team became an integral and consistent part of the university. From 1924 until 1969 the team played in the CIAA. In 1970 it became a founding member of the MEAC, with other HBCU schools.


The Aggies have won 16 conference championships, including one this 2019 season, and have won a total of seven Black College National Championships, which while not technically recognized by the NCAA, is a source of pride among both major Division 1 HBCU Conferences, whose winners compete against each other in the annual Celebration Bowl in Atlanta to crown the HBCU National Champion. Including this 2019 season, the Aggies have captured the crown the last three seasons, and in four of the last five seasons.


Prior to 1981, the team shared World War Memorial Stadium with various Greensboro minor league baseball teams. The on-campus stadium was originally known as Aggie Stadium until last season when it became BB&T Stadium. The stadium has a capacity of 21,500 but often sees crowds that top that, including a record 34,769 in 2001. The stadium also boasts the Irwin Belk Track, which is an Olympic quality track, and routinely hosts various track events, including the high school State Championship.


Food & Beverage 4

BB&T Stadium has selections of food and beverages throughout the stadium. There are a couple of main concessions stands that offer chicken tenders with fries, sausage dogs, hot dogs, and nachos for ten, eight, five, and six dollars respectively. There is also an Off the Hook Chicken and Fish food truck selling various items, including crab cake sliders, beef sliders, and fish and chips, all for nine dollars. Pepsi products are offered for three dollars. There is a beer and wine garden plus Henry’s Popcorn Shop, as well as funnel cake, fried Oreos, and Favor Desserts, which offers various selections of cupcakes – you will not go hungry when attending an Aggie football game.


Atmosphere 4

BB&T Stadium is a fantastic place to take in a game, and the electric atmosphere starts even before you enter the stadium’s gates. The Aggie Fan Zone outside the stadium is packed with tailgaters playing music and grilling up some southern classics, including amazing chili. Because my most recent visit was the final game of the season against the hated rival North Carolina Central in the annual Aggie-Eagle Classic, there was an extra buzz around the stadium despite heavy rains pounding the Aggie Faithful throughout the afternoon. If the weather had held up, they were expecting a sold-out or even an overflow crowd at the stadium, however, the heavy rains led to a little more than half-full stadium, which on every another occasion would result in a lower score, but there was still a lot of energy throughout the game, and the fans in attendance made it clear that it would take a lot more than inclement weather to slow down the cheers of Aggie Nation.


If Mother Nature had held up its end of the deal, the score would no doubt be a five, as alongside the fans, the great PA Announcer not only enthusiastically announced first downs and touchdowns, but they also heralded the Aggie Defense after third downs. The cheerleaders are fantastic, and the Blue & Gold Marching Machine are among the best college marching bands I have ever heard, adding to a truly wonderful home-field advantage.



Seating is bleacher seating, with a nice-sized video board in front of the Joseph and Kathleen Bryan Wellness Center, all behind the north end zone. There are no seats on this side of the stadium but there is seating behind the south end zone, with a basic scoreboard as well in that area.


Neighborhood 4

BB&T Stadium is located on the north end of North Carolina A&T’s campus. The stadium is about a mile and a half east of downtown Greensboro, and the area around the stadium is filled mostly with campus buildings and some fast food restaurants The main places to check out are going to be in downtown Greensboro. However, if you don’t want to venture too far, there are a couple of choices near the stadium – Fox Pizza and Subs serves up a variety of specialty pizzas and gourmet sandwiches, along with pasta, burgers, and more, while Mrs. Winners Chicken and Biscuits serves up some southern favorites, including chicken sandwiches and boxes plus a variety of breakfast biscuits and sides, including potato wedges, macaroni and cheese, and coleslaw.


In downtown Greensboro there are numerous places to grab a bite to eat and drink – Crafted: The Art of The Taco offers twelve different tacos, including my personal favorite, the Big Truck, which includes pulled pork, mac and cheese, tobacco onions, scallions, and is topped with bacon BBQ sauce. For those who don’t like tacos, the restaurant also offers eight different kinds of burgers, and starters including various types of chips and dips, such as nachos and Mason of Bacon, which is literally a mason jar filled with bacon. Or just down the road is a Greensboro institution, Natty Greene’s, which is known for having multiple beers on tap from their own brewery; this restaurant also serves up delicious appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, and salads.


Finally, a true hidden gem, if you are in Greensboro beyond Saturday’s game day is Cincy’s, which is open from 11 to 2 Monday through Friday, and is located around the corner from Elm Street, the main street in downtown where the aforementioned eateries are located. Cincy’s serves up authentic Cincinnati Style chili, both on hot dogs and over spaghetti in two, three, four, and five ways, depending on whether you want to add cheese, beans, or onions. It is one of the few places to get authentic Cincinnati chili at a restaurant in NC. They also have sandwiches, burgers, and wraps, if you’re not feeling the chili.


Besides its restaurants, Greensboro has tons of other places to check out – those who have a need to shop should check out Friendly Center and Four Seasons Mall, both ten minutes away from the stadium. With nearly three hundred stores between the two, there is something for everyone. For those with children, the Greensboro Science Center and Greensboro Children’s Museum, fifteen minutes and less than five minutes away from the venue respectively, will provide hours of entertainment for the young ones. Greensboro is also home to the ACC Hall of Champions, ten minutes away from NC A&T, a museum that honors the best of the conference and its fifteen member schools, including in-state Wake Forest, Duke, UNC, and NC State. Also, five minutes away from BB&T Stadium in downtown Greensboro is the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, at the site of the Woolworth’s, where in 1960 four North Carolina A&T students sat at a segregated lunch counter to help bring about change and integration.


The majority of Greensboro’s hotels are not in downtown, but around Greensboro Coliseum, which is a few miles west of BB&T Stadium. There you can find plenty of chain hotels such as Best Western, Embassy Suites, and Holiday Inn. There is also a Hyatt in downtown, and if you are looking to stay closer to the university there are a couple of bed and breakfasts, like Haynes and Double Oaks, if you’re looking for something a little bit different.


Fans 4

It’s no secret that Aggie Nation ranks among the best fans among the many passionate fan bases at HBCUs, and even across North Carolina. A&T may not play in the bigger conferences like other in-state schools such as UNC, NC State, App State, or ECU, but with a large alumni base and a student body of more than 12,000 that bleeds Blue and Gold, the Aggies can hold their own. Fans are loud and proud, and a football Saturday is always an event. The last two seasons the Aggies have averaged about 15,500 fans per game, or a little more than 70% capacity, and while there is definitely room for growth, the atmosphere around BB&T Stadium during the game pushes the Aggie team to play among the best. With the team’s recent success, the hope is for the venue’s attendance to continue to grow.


Access 4

Getting to BB&T Stadium is not a painful process with its location close to downtown. Several Greensboro Transit Authority buses will take you close to the stadium including the 6, 10, and 14. Traffic, if you choose to drive, is not too tough even around the BB&T Stadium, and there are a number of parking lots throughout campus.


If you’re not looking to spend any money on parking, then parking in one of the many lots on East Market Street across campus from BB&T Stadium might be to your advantage, as shuttle service is offered from lots 12, 16, 17, and 42. Even if you’re not in one of those lots, you’ll be very close to the shuttle regardless, as the lots are close together. There are also lots closer to the stadium but to park in either the pink or orange lots, you’ll need to pay twenty dollars, and the adjacent lots are reserved for those with a credential or permit. Handicap parking is available in the pink lot on the corner of Benbow Road and Sullivan Street, but those spots tend to fill up. However, in the event they do fill up, there are spots in the general parking lot across campus with shuttle service available.


There are a few gates around BB&T Stadium, and the lines are never too long, though it is recommended that you buy your tickets in advance, as lines at the box office outside the stadium on game day can tend to get a little long. The concourses are fairly wide but can get fairly crowded at times, but lines for concessions and the bathrooms are never too long; the bathrooms are clean and well-kept as well.


Return on Investment 4

The average ticket price for Aggie Football is around twenty-five dollars per ticket, but you can sometimes find tickets for less on the secondary market – for this particular game against rival NC Central, tickets were averaging forty-five dollars each. The food prices aren’t terribly high, but not super cheap either, but if you choose to take the complimentary parking option and attend a game other than the biennial Aggie-Eagle Classic, attending an Aggies game won’t set you back too far. If you’re okay with spending a little more, however, getting to the big rivalry game is worth it if you’re in Greensboro in late November of an odd number year.


Extras 5

First, a point for the great tailgating scene outside BB&T Stadium, packed with music, food, and lots of students and alumni decked out in Blue and Gold. Point number two for the excellent PA Announcer, getting excited at all the right times and hyping up the already enthusiastic Aggie fans in the stadium. A third point for the incredible amount of merchandise available for purchase at the stadium – most stadiums have a place to buy the home team’s gear, but here there are stands selling everything from soaps and shampoos and other goods to various t-shirts, as well as visiting team gear (there are lots of places to buy Aggie gear too, of course). It is not often that you can do your Christmas shopping at a football game, but at an Aggies game you can do just that.


Another point for the Wall of Fame with various Aggies that have excelled in their various sports, prominently placed in the stadium’s concourse, and finally a point for one of the best college bands I have ever heard, the Blue & Gold Marching Machine. It was also nice to see that North Carolina Central’s band, the Marching Sound Machine, was able to make the trip and play as well, as they are a great band in their own right.



Final Thoughts

North Carolina A&T State University has been one of the football powerhouses in the MEAC and throughout HBCU Football, and have a passionate fan base to match. The campus is decked in Blue and Gold with chants of Aggie Pride coming from the more than twelve thousand students, and thousands more alumni throughout the season, including at large events such as the annual GHOE (Greatest Homecoming on Earth) and Aggie-Eagle Classic. Between the fans, band, and the recent championship-winning seasons, attending a game at BB&T Stadium should absolutely be on your list of college football games in North Carolina.

417 views0 comments

Comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page