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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Busch Field - William & Mary Tribe

Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00

Busch Field 600 Brooks Street Williamsburg, VA 23188

Year Opened: 1990

Capacity: 2,271


Home of the Tribe

Located in Williamsburg, Virginia, the College of William & Mary is one of the oldest universities in the United States. Founded by King William III and Queen Mary II of England in 1693, William & Mary predates the founding of the country by almost a century. Only Harvard University is older. W&M’s athletic programs are known as the Tribe, and they compete in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The Tribe’s field hockey team has called Busch Field home since 1990. Anheuser-Busch Corporation donated a sizeable sum of money to build the field, and the name reflects that gift. It was previously the home of the soccer and lacrosse teams, although they now play at a different venue.

Food & Beverage 0

There is no food or drink for sale at Busch Field. According to the Tribe website, outside food & beverages are prohibited, but this rule is ignored by everyone including security. However, you may run into trouble if you attempt to bring alcohol in despite the stadium effectively being sponsored by a brewing company.

Atmosphere 3

Busch Field has one large set of bleachers on the far side of the field from the entrance. The front rows of the seats will be obstructed by the top of the scorers' tent, so most fans choose to sit high up. However, many of the seats at the top are underneath trees that hang overhead. While this will be nice on a hot day early in the season, once the leaves start falling it can get annoying.

Fans can also watch the game from the Tribe Terrace, a rooftop overlook behind one of the goals. This provides an unobstructed view of the action, but there is very limited seating so you will probably have to stand. Some fans enjoy this, while most choose to sit in the bleachers.

The Tribe's mascot, the Griffin, will often make appearances at the game. With the head of an eagle and the body of a lion, the griffin is a unique mascot within the world of college sports.

Neighborhood 5

Williamsburg is a great city, and William & Mary's historic campus is right in the middle of it all. Colonial Williamsburg is about a five-minute drive away while the Busch Gardens amusement park is 15 minutes away. Williamsburg seems to have an inordinately large number of pancake houses for its size, so if you come in the night before, you will certainly find somewhere to grab breakfast. Originally, hotels catering to tourists did not serve breakfast and would instead recommend nearby pancake houses. While many hotels do now have restaurants, the pancake houses remain.

Fans 4

William & Mary draws a few hundred fans a game for field hockey. While friends and family of the players certainly make their presence known, the stands are also filled with William & Mary students, longtime fans of the program, and youth field hockey groups from the Williamsburg area. The fans can get quite involved in the match, with some of them starting chants and encouraging the rest of the crowd to join in. Although the stands are much larger than they need to be, the crowd tends to cluster in the top few rows so this does not have the detrimental effect it otherwise would.

Access 2

The William & Mary campus is conveniently located just off I-64 in Williamsburg. Once on campus, you will likely park in the lot next to Kaplan Arena and walk about 3-5 minutes to Busch Field. Parking in this lot is $2.50/hour on weekdays but free on weekends. There are some spaces closer to the stadium labeled Faculty/Staff Only. When Stadium Journey visited on a Sunday, these spaces were almost full, presumably with people other than faculty. While a couple of fans managed to park here without issue, most drove around in circles looking for a spot before giving up and parking in the arena lot. We recommend just heading there to start and saving yourself some time and gas.

Standard restrooms are located underneath the Tribe Terrace behind the goal. Getting around from one part of the bleachers to another often requires going up and down some stairs, but it is easy to figure out what you need to do.

There is a clear bag policy in effect, which is absurd for this level and brings this rating down significantly. Given the small crowds, there is no reason for this policy to exist.

Return on Investment 5

There is no cost for admission to any William & Mary regular-season field hockey games. There may be a charge for conference and NCAA tournament events, as those are set by the organizers. Parking is free on weekends, so we suggest attending then to maximize your value.

Extras 2

One star for the banners around the stadium honoring William & Mary field hockey.

The Tribe Terrace provides a unique vantage point to watch a game and is worthy of a star here too.

Final Thoughts

William & Mary field hockey fans truly value their team, and the school has spent a lot of money and effort improving Busch Field. The result is a strong experience that any field hockey fan will greatly enjoy. Whether you are a fan of the Tribe or just a field hockey fan in general, Busch Field is well worth a visit on a fall afternoon.

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