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  • Lance Sutehall

Cramton Bowl - Camellia Bowl

Photos by Lance Sutehall, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Cramton Bowl 1022 Madison Ave Montgomery, AL 36107

Year Opened: 1922 Capacity: 25,000


Camellia Bowl At The Cramton Bowl

When a stadium is over a century old it tends to have a lot of stories to tell and Montogomery, Alabama’s Cramton Bowl is no exception. Opening in 1922 its legacy includes hosting the Blue-Gray football classic, occasional Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers football games, Philadelphia Athletics spring training, and the deciding game of the 1943 Negro League World Series.

In the last decade, the Cramton Bowl has added to its legacy by hosting ten editions of the Camellia Bowl. The Camellia Bowl tends to be a matchup between programs from the Sun Belt Conference and the Mid-American Conference. Of the ten editions played, nine have been decided by one possession or less so odds are it's going to be a very competitive matchup.

Food & Beverage  3

Outside the stadium, there are several vendors selling foods such as boiled peanuts ($5), chicken, pulled pork, brisket sandwich plates($12-$16), and 16 oz. beers ($8). At the concession stands inside the stadium, the options include cheeseburgers ($8), hot dogs ($5), nachos ($7), pretzels ($6), water ($5), Powerade ($5), and Coke product sodas ($7). Cash and cards are accepted.

Atmosphere  3

The Cramton Bowl is a glorified high school football stadium that is typically not close to one of the teams so the hope is that the fans of the teams playing bring a lot of atmosphere. This was the case in the 2023 edition when both sets of fans seemed to be excited about playing the Camellia Bowl. It also helped that the weather was great which is not normal for an Alabama December.

I would have liked to have seen some entertainment during some of the breaks in game action. Perhaps have an emcee, have opposing fans participate in a trivia showdown, pit the fan bases against each other to see which one was louder. It should not be all on the fanbases to provide the atmosphere for a bowl game.

The fireworks during each team’s intro and the confetti during the trophy presentation were a nice touch and are worth a point in my opinion.

Neighborhood  4

Attached to the South end of the stadium is the Multiplex which hosts several volleyball and basketball events for high schools and smaller colleges and serves as a premium space during the Camellia Bowl. The Cramton Bowl is across the street from Patterson Field, the former home for minor league baseball in Montgomery.

The Cramton Bowl is 5 blocks away from the Alabama State Capitol building and the Confederate White House. Go down Washington Avenue and you will pass the Civil Rights Memorial before hitting up the Freedom Rides and Rosa Parks museums. 

Keep going towards the Riverwalk and you will find the Hank Williams Museum before seeing Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium, the home of the Biscuits minor league baseball team.

If you are planning on spending a couple of days in Montgomery the Riverwalk area provides lodging options such as DoubleTree, SpringHill, and Embassy Suites. For a bite to eat, stop by Bibb Street for pizza, Jalapenos for Mexican, or Wintzell’s for seafood. There are several bars around this area to check out if you are looking for a drink. 

Fans  3

The stadium was only half full during my visit and it is not a large stadium but the fans that do show up get behind their teams. The fans dress in their team colors, each fanbase takes over one side of the stadium, and the fans cheer when their teams do a good thing during the game. 

Access  3

Parking across the street by Patterson Field requires purchasing a parking pass for $20 in advance online. Street and public garage parking is free on weekends. There is a public parking garage at 100 N Union Street four blocks away from the Cramton Bowl.

Once inside the stadium, the walkways are plenty wide enough and there are a couple of bathrooms on each side of the stadium. 

Return on Investment  4

Tickets start at $33 ($30 for the ticket, $3 ticket fee) for seats between the end zone and the 30-yard line while midfield seats cost $43. You also have the option to pay $100 for a suite in the north end zone or $150 for access to the ESPN Lounge in the Multiplex with both providing parking and food.

If you buy a $30 ticket, pay $20 for parking, and purchase a cheeseburger and a Coke you will spend about $70 solo, $120 for a hangout/date, or $220 for a family of four. This is for a competitive bowl game between MAC and Sun Belt programs.

Extras  2

The night before the game each team had a pep rally at the Riverwalk. This is part of a fanfest with music, food, and drinks.

The FCS kickoff game is played at the Cramton Bowl and helps kick off the College Football season during Week Zero in August.

Final Thoughts

The Camellia Bowl is what it is. It’s played at a stadium that is mostly used for high school games. However, it will likely be a great game between two teams looking to cap a season with a bowl victory and will be a great way to spend an afternoon, especially if the weather is nice.

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