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  • Writer's pictureMichael Davis

Amon G. Carter Stadium - TCU Horned Frogs

Photos by Michael Davis, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00

Amon G. Carter Stadium 2850 Stadium Dr Fort Worth, TX 76129

Year Opened: 1930

Capacity: 47,000

TCU Horned Frogs – Amon G. Carter Stadium

Amon G. Carter Stadium has been home to the Texas Christian University football team since 1930. The original seating capacity was for 22,000, but over the years the stadium has expanded to today’s current capacity of 47,000. The renovation in 2010 changed the old stadium into the current stadium as it was demolished and reconstructed – the latest upgrade was a $113 million addition completed before the 2020 season that opened a new section of luxury suites.

The Carter, as it has also sometimes been referred to, has been home to two claimed National Championships (1935 and 1938), one Heisman Trophy winner in Davey O’Brien, and scores of All-Americans and all-time greats, including Sammy Baugh and LaDainian Tomlinson. The stadium name is in honor, of Amon G. Carter, a prominent Fort Worth businessman, newspaper publisher, and city booster in 1930.

The renovated stadium’s brick-and-column facade sits well among the other campus buildings of the same façade and is a neighbor to TCU’s basketball arena, Schollmaier Arena. Besides TCU football, Amon G. Carter Stadium also hosts a post-season bowl game, the Armed Forces Bowl, in December.

Food and Beverage 4

The food and beverage selection at Amon G. Carter has received upgrades over the years. The stadium has similarly named concession stands throughout the stadium, so there is no need to go looking for a certain item. These are the basic concessions but more recently, TCU brought local food vendors to give the fans more of a selection – Chicken Express, Chick-fil-A, Bobby’s Fajitas, Railhead BBQ, Pardon My Steak, and the popular pizza near campus, Buffalo Bros, all now have concession stands inside Amon G. Carter Stadium.

The basic stand is called the Taste of Funkytown, a Fort Worth nickname. This concession stand provides beef nachos, chopped beef sandwiches, hot dogs, regular nachos, pretzels, peanuts, and popcorn, all priced under $10; the best deal for food is at these stands. TCU also has a happy hour that starts from the time gates open until 30 minutes before kickoff, where you can purchase the above food items, as well as drinks, for $3 each (except for the beef nachos and chopped beef sandwiches).

If you want to try the outside vendor food, Chicken Express has a combo meal for $18 (4 tender rolls and a 44 oz drink), while Pardon My Steak provides cheesesteak for $13. However, my favorite two vendors are Bobby’s Fajitas and Buffalo Bros – Bobby’s Fajitas has beef and chicken fajita nachos, quesadillas, tacos, and tamales, while Buffalo Bros has pizza and wings, which are reasonably priced for a sporting event.

Amon G. Carter Stadium serves Pepsi products, with the best value outside happy hour being their 44 oz soda. There is also Gatorade, water, and alcohol available besides soda. The alcohol selection is decent with typical sports venue prices of $10-$13 depending on your selection. Wine is served throughout the facility, but hard liquor is not available outside the clubs.

The concession stands and bars at all TCU venues are cashless; TCU Athletics will accept all major credit cards, Visa gift cards, and all forms of non-contact payment including Apple & Google Pay. Overall, the food and beverages are on par with other Big 12 stadiums, but the happy hour prices raise this section’s rating to above average.

Atmosphere 3

The atmosphere at TCU is similar to other campuses around the Big 12, but being a smaller school, the pre-game tailgating here is contained to areas right around the stadium. Tailgating begins 5 hours before kickoff when the parking opens, with Frog Alley opening for fans a couple of hours closer to kickoff. Frog Alley has food, drinks, TCU athletics team autographs, giveaways, and music. TCU football players enter the stadium with the Frog Walk, 2 hours before kickoff, and the gates open an hour and a half before game time.

Inside Amon G. Carter Stadium, the Frog Horn is blown every 30 minutes up to kickoff. The marching band walks through the concourse before entering the field, and then the pre-game festivities begin. The atmosphere is built up before the Horned Frogs take the field – the TCU Showgirls and band, along with the mascot Super Frog, get the crowd ready.

The TCU student section is in the lower bowl behind the visitor bench. They are actively involved with cheers of “Riff, Ram, Bah, Zoo” and their Frogs hand sign. The game has fireworks and Frog Horn sounds when TCU enters the stadium, as well as when the home team scores points. The Frog Horn also blows incessantly in the end zone during the game, much to the chagrin of opposing teams.

The upper deck of the stadium has reminders of 2 national championships, past bowl victories, and TCU’s 2022 college football playoff appearance. The atmosphere is on par with other college football games, but can become special when certain teams visit The Carter; the stadium is perfect for those games.

Neighborhood 4

Texas Christian University is located in the fifth-largest city in Texas, Fort Worth, just 4 miles away from downtown Fort Worth and located in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Amon G. Carter Stadium is on the TCU campus.

There are a few dining and lodging options near TCU – two popular spots on gameday and within walking distance from the stadium are Buffalo Bros and Dutch’s Burgers. Buffalo Bros serves pizza and wings, while next-door Dutch burgers cover the hamburgers. Both places will fill up quickly on gameday.

There are plenty of restaurants around Fort Worth, however, Heim BBQ and Joe T. Garcia’s are among the most visited by out-of-towners, and both provide great food. There are also various choices when it comes to lodging, from downtown hotels to the hotel at the Fort Worth Stockyards; the closest hotels are Hyatt Place Fort Worth and the Courtyard by Marriott Fort Worth.

There are plenty of things to do as well while spending your time in Fort Worth. The closest to TCU’s campus is the Fort Worth Zoo; the zoo is home to over 7,000 unique species and is located on University Drive across from Colonial Country Club, which holds a PGA event every May.

The Fort Worth Stockyards is another fun destination, where you can see cattle run during the day, replicating the end of the Chisholm Trail. There are also plenty of shops, but the most famous attraction is the world-famous Billy Bob’s Texas, proclaimed as the world’s largest Honky Tonk, which is famous for its live music and indoor rodeo and bull riding contests.

Downtown Fort Worth has the Water Gardens, or you can visit the hotel where John F. Kennedy spent his last night before he visited Dallas. Fort Worth has a lot to offer, but if you want more, Dallas is only a 45-minute drive away.

Fans 4

Texas Christian University has a small enrollment compared to other Big 12 schools, but the attendance at Amon G. Carter Stadium does not show it. In 2022 the Horns Frogs averaged 46,562 in their 46,000-seat stadium, then broke that mark with an average of 47,416 in 2023. TCU set their all-time attendance record of 53,294 (beating the previous mark of 50,000) in a game against the Utah Utes in 2009.

Most of the fans are engaged, especially on third downs – the heart of the fanbase is the student section, located along the first level behind the visitor’s bench. For big games, the fans will show up, and The Carter can become a wonderful home-field advantage for the Horned Frogs.

Access 4

In terms of Access, there are a few faults for Amon G. Carter Stadium. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is one of the largest and busiest airports and is only about a half-hour drive from campus. There is public transportation via Trinity Metro TEX Rail or the Metro 7 bus line to TCU, but watch their schedule as it is not a late-running bus service. If you stay anywhere downtown, it is a short Uber ride.

If you are driving there are eight official parking lots available at Amon G. Carter Stadium, but like other college sports venues, these spots are by permit only. There are three paid parking lots and two free parking lots, but those tend to fill up fast, especially the free lots located at Doxology Bible Church and Travis Avenue Baptist Church – the paid parking lots do have shuttle services to and from the stadium, however. Otherwise, there is plenty of paid parking throughout the neighborhood surrounding TCU, usually $20-$40 per spot, but if you get there early you can park in the neighborhood for free.

The entrances to Amon G. Carter are easy to find around the stadium. The concourse is wide and there is plenty of signage for first-time visitors – the facility is an easy venue to access compared to the larger stadiums in the Big 12.

Return on Investment 4

Single-game tickets for TCU Horned Frog games are a worthwhile investment, as tickets range from $45-$200 depending on the game and the seat; the higher priced ticket will be against in-state rivals such as Texas Tech and Baylor. Concessions are on average compared to other stadiums, but with the happy hour pricing before the game, a family can save on eating while at the game.

The parking is up to you, as there is free parking available, but even if you have to pay the price is not as high as at some Big 12 schools. The small confines of Amon G. Carter, and the low cost overall for a top-level college football program, make TCU well worth it money-wise for any fan.

Extras 5

Amon G. Carter itself is a beautiful facility and is a perfect setting for college football, showcasing the pageantry of college football with its tailgating, TCU Horned Frogs marching Band, TCU Cheerleaders, TCU Showgirls, and their beloved mascot Super Frog.

The Frog Horn was a gift from Burlington Northern Railroad; the horn is decked out in purple and blown before and during the game. There are also fireworks displays, military flyovers, reminders of past players throughout the concourse, plus an area to read about the history of Amon G. Carter – they are all part of the experience at TCU football games.

Add in the TCU student section with their frog signs, Riff Bam chants, and the visits from former players, and a game at The Carter is better than most. Amon G. Carter Stadium has everything good about college football and should be on any sports fan’s list of places to visit.

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