Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86
Bulldog Stadium Loop Road Bowie, MD 20715
Year Opened: 1958
Home Of The Bulldogs
Bowie State University is a public Historically Black College and University (HBCU) located in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Bowie State is Maryland’s oldest historically black university and one of the ten oldest in the country, opening in 1865. In 1963, Bowie State College was officially named and in 1988 became a university. It is now a member of the University System of Maryland. The school has 22 undergraduate majors, 19 master’s programs, two doctoral programs.
A few members of the singing family, the Braxtons, have attended Bowie State. Christa McAuliffe, one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, got a Master’s degree at Bowie. Sports teams at Bowie are called the Bulldogs. They compete in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, at the NCAA Division II level. Bulldog Stadium has a seating capacity of 2,964. A new field house was opened in 2015 within the stadium.
Food & Beverage 3
The new field house in the end zone has a pretty nice concession stand located next to it. It is strangely hidden, but the food options and prices are all quite good. There are simple food options for a stadium but I was fairly impressed. I had eaten before the game, but I would have had no problem grabbing a hot dog, nachos, or another snack at this well-stocked stand.
There is a lot of space around the stadium interior for other food options that seem to happen depending on the game and the expected crowd. I got the feeling that at the annual homecoming game there are plenty of additional food options.
As with every HBCU football game I have ever experienced, the atmosphere is always quite special. From the entrance of the small but loud band to the cheerleaders and majorettes, the crowd should be fired up from the experience.
Even so, Bulldog Stadium does suffer from feeling a bit like a high school-type atmosphere. The stadium is not very big and it feels like that kind of stadium experience. This is not necessarily negative, but you can tell that it is not a Division I football game.
There is one main grandstand on the home side and a small visitors’ grandstand on the other side. The visitors’ stand is tall but not very wide and looks kind of funny.
Overall the seating seems far from the field and that is even with no track as part of the stadium. That is a bit of a negative.
There is nothing too exciting about the residential Bowie neighborhood near the university. Not too far away is a major highway (US Route 301) and is near many shopping centers and fast-food restaurants. Baltimore is 30 miles away, DC 18 miles away, and Annapolis 15 miles away, so you should not be limited by the uninspiring suburban choices right near the school.
Poncho n’ Pepe’s Cantina at 1651 Maryland Route 3 in Crofton doesn’t have the most exciting food selection, but is a colorful restaurant with many foods and drink specials for pre and post-game gatherings. Rip’s Country Inn (3809 Crain Hwy, Bowie, MD) is a longtime family restaurant that is very close to the stadium. If you need solid quality good food, this is a great option.
Comfort Inn is at 4500 Crain Highway across US Route 301 from the stadium and offers some game package deals.
Bowie State has pretty decent fan support. Unfortunately, it does have quite a few commuters and professional-level students who likely do not make it to that many games. Quite a decent number of alumni attend the games. There did not appear to be as many students attending the games as I expected.
Access is good at Bowie State. Sitting near US Route 301, US Route 50, and State Route 3, one should have no problem getting to the game. Traffic can be a bear at times, as this intersection is right between the triangle of Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington, DC. Plan a little leeway in timing for early evening games.
Parking is all around campus and there is a charge when you get to the campus entrance. You will have to walk a bit to get to the stadium if you park in one of the main university lots. There are some lots nearer to the stadium. Ask at the gate when paying the parking cost for the best lot.
Return on Investment 3
The ticket prices are not too bad starting at around $20. The parking seems a bit more expensive at $10. Parking and ticket prices will go up at Homecoming so be prepared. You can also pay $100 for tailgating for that game only. The tailgating prices will also include 2 tickets to the game.
The Symphony Of Soul Marching Band, majorettes, and cheerleaders are pretty awesome to watch. The band puts on a great show and you should make sure you are at the game early enough to watch their entrance. The stadium has a tree-lined setting that is a nice little extra when watching a game in the busy Baltimore-Washington corridor.
Bulldogs Stadium is not fancy. But the good level of Division II football put on display here at this nice stadium is worth the small price of admission.