- Richard Smith
Charger Park Soccer Field – Alabama-Huntsville Chargers
Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14
Charger Park Soccer Field 851 John Wright Dr NW
Huntsville, AL 35805
Alabama-Huntsville Chargers website
Charger Park Soccer Field website
Year Opened: 1973
Getting a Charge Out of Soccer
The University of Alabama in Huntsville, or UAH to locals, is a state university that is part of the University of Alabama System. The school began in 1950 as an extension of the University of Alabama but drastically changed in 1960 when Wernher von Braun, a German rocket scientist brought to the United States under Operation Paperclip, after working for the Nazi regime, helped create a research institute to provide advanced engineering and science curricula to NASA scientists and engineers. This set forth a more scientific path for this institution.
UAH offers 89 degree-granting programs, but Engineering is the largest college program at the university. UAH is known for engineering and science programs, including astrophysics, atmospheric science and aerospace engineering. It is a Space Grant university, and has a history of cooperation with NASA at the Marshall Space Flight Center, and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal.
UAH sponsors eight men’s and eight women’s varsity athletics programs and is a member of the NCAA Division II, except for men’s ice hockey, where it is Division I. In most sports they are a member of the Gulf South Conference. Unlike many southern schools, there is no football team at UAH.
Dr. Stromecky was the founder of the UAH Soccer team in 1969, as well as their first coach. Throughout his career he lead the UAH Soccer team to 16 NAIA District Championships, and six NAIA National Tournaments.
Charger Park Soccer Field has been around for awhile, but was integrated into Charger Park, built in 2010, which is also the home of the baseball and softball teams.
Food & Beverage 2
For many games there may be no food stands in operation. If the small stand is in operation expect a very simple menu with very good prices for hot dogs and similar items.
The field is a beautiful and immaculate soccer pitch. Fans watch the game either from standing or sitting in their own chairs along the sideline or by sitting in the small, simple metal bleacher. The setting for games is nice, if unremarkable.
Huntsville is now the largest city in Alabama (Birmingham has a larger metro area) with a population of 194,585 people. The area is home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command nearby at the Redstone Arsenal, and the state-owned US Space & Rocket Center. The replica Saturn V at the center can be seen quite aways away, especially on the nearby UAH campus.
Nearby University Drive going west towards Madison has a plethora of food options, from both chains to small operations. Phil Sandoval’s Mexican Restaurante, Shaggy’s Burgers and Tacos, ChopChop and TopGolf are some of the best options in that area. One should also look at the numerous brewpub options around the area.
Downtown Huntsville is also becoming a nice quaint place for a stroll. There will be a few food and drink options down there as well. The Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment complex is an old factory and mill that houses numerous small artist studios as well as food and drink from options like Piper & Leaf Artisan Tea Company and Alchemy Lounge.
The fans are also very knowledgeable about the game and action. Many of the fans in attendance will be family or friends of the players.
Huntsville is served by several U.S. Highways, including 72, 231, 431, and an Interstate highway spur, I-565, that links the two cities of Huntsville and Decatur to I-65. The UAH campus is off of Sparkman Drive, just south of I-565. There should almost always be plenty of parking found by the soccer field. Check the signs for games that happen during normal class times.
Return on Investment 3
The games are free to attend currently as they are being sponsored by a local credit union.
Drive around the campus of UAH and check out the beautiful surroundings, as well as the intimidating nature of the learning what happens in places such as the Optics building and the Von Braun building. See if you can see the Saturn V rocket from the soccer pitch.
The University of Alabama in Huntsville has managed to make a very basic, although pretty, setting into one of the better soccer fields in the area. If in the area, make sure to stop in and see if you can catch a match.