Photos by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29
Centennial Bank Stadium 2180 Aggie Rd Jonesboro, AR 72401
Year Opened: 1974
Home of the Arkansas State Red Wolves
Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, Arkansas is home to the Red Wolves football team at Arkansas State University. The venue opened in 1974, and currently has a capacity of 30,406 in grandstands on three sides, with the ASU Football Facility taking up the south end zone. The Red Wolves currently compete in the Sun Belt Conference.
The playing surface at Centennial Bank Stadium is GEO Surfaces field turf, and was installed in 2010; the multi-use nature of the field allows it to be used by other teams at Arkansas State besides football. Other recent renovations include the construction of the aforementioned football facility in the south end zone, which was built in 2002, and the newly renovated press box on the west side. The press box is named after donor Johnny Allison, an A-State alum, and the renovation increased its size from ~7K square feet to ~36K square feet; the renovations to the press box were completed in 2016.
Food & Beverage 5
Centennial Bank Stadium has a whopping 21 different concessions stands under the seats on the east and west sides. These stands sell almost anything you can think of, and the prices are very reasonable; the only hard part is deciding what to get!
Main dishes include 3 different types of hot dogs, 5 different flavors of brats (for example mango habanero), and smoked sausage, all with a host of available toppings, as well as barbecued pork, barbecued chicken, or barbecued bologna sandwiches, brisket sandwiches, turkey legs, burgers with or without cheese, chili, and/or bacon, corn dogs, chicken tenders, Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches, 3 types of pizza from Godfather’s, nachos with several different types of meat, and rib tips.
Other items include regular popcorn, kettle corn, packaged candy, snow cones, dill pickles, chips, pretzels, fries, and funnel cake. Prices for main dishes range from $4 to $10, while snack items cost between $1.50 and $7. For the most part, the different stands each offer different items, but there is a map at the entrance to help you find what you’re looking for.
The drink selection at Centennial Bank Stadium is more limited than the food selection but is more than adequate, and most of the drinks can be found at all of the stands. Choices include bottled water, PowerAde, soda in bottles or from the fountain, sweet tea, hot cocoa, and coffee. All drinks are $3, except the fountain sodas and sweet tea, which are $5 for a large souvenir cup. There is no alcohol allowed in Centennial Bank Stadium.
At a typical game, Centennial Bank Stadium will draw a decent crowd, and the staff does some fun things to improve the experience. For starters, the mascot Howl leads the team onto the field riding a motorcycle, and later the Red Wolf's other mascot, Scarlet, also makes an appearance. Also, throughout the game, you will hear wolf howls in celebration of big plays.
As mentioned above, the facility has regular seating on three sides, with only box seats in the south end zone, inside the ASU Football Facility. The press box is on the west side, along with additional boxes, while the students and band sit on the east side (the north end zone is general admission).
The scoreboard/video board is above the football complex in the south end zone, so fans sitting anywhere in the stadium should have a great view of it. Most of the seats in the stadium are aluminum bleachers without chair backs, but there are plastic chairbacks in sections D, E, & F (in the middle on the west side), and padded chairbacks in sections CC, DD, R, & S (in the middle on both the east and west sides). You can also rent seat backs for $5 that attach to the bleachers.
Two other interesting features to note about Centennial Bank Stadium are that, first, there is an arch above the sidewalk as you approach the main entrance, under which there are bricks inlaid into the sidewalk to commemorate ASU lettermen, which is a nice nod to players past. Second, there is a berm area in each corner of the venue (in the gaps between the stands), but no seating is allowed there; this may provide room to expand Centennial Bank Stadium, however, should attendance eventually get high enough.
Jonesboro, Arkansas is not a large town, so there is not a ton to do in the area if you come for the day or weekend. However, there are a few good places to eat, the most popular of which is JTown’s Grill, located practically across the street from Centennial Bank Stadium; you can even sit on the patio and see the field. Recently opened, JTown’s offers traditional bar & grill fare such as pizza, burgers, steak, nachos, and sandwiches, as well as local favorites like spinach and crawfish dip.
If you are planning to be in town overnight, there are plenty of hotels south of campus along I-555. The options in this area range from higher-end accommodations like Holiday Inn to more budget-friendly choices such as FairBridge Inn & Suites.
The average attendance at Centennial Bank Stadium is a little over 20K, or about two-thirds full. Depending on the opponent, of course, this number could increase or decrease quite a bit. Even though there is a decent amount of crowd noise here, however, way too many fans leave early, even during a close game, and the student section is a little lackluster, with very few students in attendance.
The students that do show up are pretty diehard though, especially the ones who show up with chests painted in support of their team, the same group you might see at football stadiums all across America. This passion is not limited to body decoration; the students here also have a fun kickoff ritual. The way it works is that every time the Red Wolves kick-off, the students link arms and sway back and forth in unison. This is the same ritual that Aggies fans do every weekend at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field but on a much smaller scale.
Getting into and around Centennial Bank Stadium is a breeze – fans without passes can park at the nearby basketball arena for only $10, and enjoy a very short walk to the football field. Once you get to the stadium, there are entrances on three sides; two on the south end and the third in the northwest corner, and none of them are crowded.
Moving around the concourse is easy as well, since there are so many concessions stands, and more than enough bathrooms to accommodate the crowd size, so lines are non-existent. Also, for those who need it, there is disabled seating at the top of the stands on each of the three sides, and there is a sidewalk with a gentle slope that connects them. The only oddity about access at Centennial Bank Stadium is that they seem to close some of the bathrooms early, so make sure you go early in the fourth quarter if you need one.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets to conference games at Centennial Bank Stadium start at just $10, which is a great deal for college football, and you may even be able to get free tickets from “scalpers” outside the venue. Complement that with $10 parking and reasonably-priced concessions, and a day of A-State football is an awesome value for the money, even if you have a large group.
If you would prefer a chair-back seat, you are probably better off sitting in the cheap seats and renting a seat back for $5, because the chair-back sections start at $35 per ticket. Also note that tickets to non-conference games are about $5 higher per ticket than conference games, so you can save money simply by picking a different game.
The arch and bricks commemorating lettermen are a nice feature, and it is fun to watch the mascot tripping around on his motorcycle. Having a second, female mascot is also a plus, and it is nice to see so much school décor.
Visiting Centennial Bank Stadium would be a great way to spend a Saturday (or possibly a weeknight, as the Sun Belt often has games on Tuesdays and Wednesdays). The recent renovations have helped the venue become a little more modern, the tickets are very low cost, and there are plenty of great concessions to keep you satisfied while you cheer on the Red Wolves.