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  • Writer's pictureLloyd Brown

Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium – Grambling State Tigers



Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium 100 Ballock St Grambling, LA 71245



Year Opened: 1983

Capacity: 19,600

 

Where Robinson Roamed


Grambling State University was founded in 1901. It originally was known as the Colored Industrial and Agricultural School. It was founded by African American farmers in the area who wanted a school for African Americans in their region of the state. The early years of the institution were focused on trades involving industrial and agricultural activities. Grambling achieved university status in 1974. Today it has a strong focus on rural education and teaching. The school offers nearly 70 degree programs and has an enrollment of 5,500 students.


The Grambling State football program dates to 1926.During its’ history, Grambling State has won 26 SWAC Championships. Its overall football record is 586-286-19 (as of the 2023 season). It is especially hard for visiting teams to come to Robinson Memorial Stadium, as the Tigers are 99-36-1 in home games played at the school.


The stadium is named for legendary Grambling State Coach Eddie G Robinson, the third winningest coach in NCAA college football history with 408 victories during his career. Coach Robinson had 41 winning seasons at GSU, winning 18 SWAC Championships and 9 Black College National Championships during his 57 years at the school. Robinson Memorial Stadium opened in 1983, and currently has a seating capacity of 19,600. It underwent upgrades during a renovation in 2017. This renovation included the installation of artificial turf and a new 22.5’ high X 47.18’ wide videoboard behind the north end zone.


Food & Beverage 3

Robinson Memorial Stadium offers a combination of general stands and stands operated by local vendors that serve specialty items like pizza, BBQ and wings. They are sold at stands located beneath the grandstands on both sides of the field.


The general stands offer the standard stadium fare, including popcorn, hot dogs, nachos, snacks, turkey legs and Coca Cola brand sodas. The specialty stands offer pizza, chicken wings, chicken fingers and ribs. No alcohol is served at Robinson Memorial Stadium.


Atmosphere 4

Robinson Memorial Stadium is nicknamed “The Hole” by fans who have attended games. This is because the venue is dug down from ground level. It has stands on both sides of the field, with berms at each end of the playing surface. This construction allows music and crowd noise to be amplified throughout the game. This gives a distinct home field advantage to the Tigers. Most of the home fans, the Tigers Marching Band and the student section are in the west stands, with visitors seated in the east stands. Make sure to get to the stadium before the seats fill up, as the east stands feature a terrific tiger stripe graphic that makes a great backdrop for a selfie.


A videoboard at the north end of the stadium provides replays of key plays in the game, as well as updated statistics throughout the game.


Neighborhood 2

The immediate neighborhood surrounding Robinson Memorial Stadium is the campus of Grambling State University. Outside of the campus are the towns of Grambling and Ruston, LA.


There are three hotels in Ruston, which is adjacent to Grambling. They include a Holiday Inn and Suites, a Country Inn and Suites and a Fairfield Inn. Two restaurants we recommend in town are Brister’s Smokehouse BBQ and Ponchatoula’s.


While Grambling is a very small community, there is one attraction you must check out while you are in town. The Eddie G Robinson Museum is on the Grambling State campus. The museum features a timeline of Coach Robinson’s more than 57 years on the Tigers sidelines. It also includes displays about Tigers practices and a mockup of the Tigers locker room. A very colorful feature is the professional jerseys of each of the Tigers who went on to play in the NFL. Make sure to take a selfie of yourself with the statue of Coach Robinson before you leave. Admission to the museum is free.


Fans 4

The Tiger Nation is very loud in its support of the home team. The GSU fan base turns out crowds of over 10,000 when games are at Robinson Memorial Stadium. The Tigers have very few games on campus, as they play two games each year at a neutral site, in addition to their away games.


The high energy level in the stands is maintained by Eddie, the Tigers mascot and the Tiger Marching Band, aka “The Best Band in the Land”. The band was chosen to play at the inaugural Super Bowl game, and has taken part in Coca Cola commercial’s, Presidential Inaugural parades, BET shows and the movie “Drumline”. We must admit that many folks who attend are simply “band fans” i.e., they are there simply to cheer on the band both before the game and at half time. After the halftime show these fans typically leave the stadium.


Access 2

Grambling State University is quite isolated as far as nearby large cities. It is more than 150 miles from either Jackson, MS or Baton Rouge, LA.


Shreveport is about an hour west of GSU via I-20.


Directions once at the campus: Continue on RWE Jones Street, past the Stewart Building and the Tiger Village clubhouse. Turn right at Central Avenue and continue past Adams Hall. Merge left at a small intersection just past the basketball courts and continue into the General parking lot.


There are six entry gates at Robinson Memorial Stadium. Students enter through Gate 4. Once inside the stadium, the concourses are underneath both grandstands. Most of the time the concourses have a good flow of fans, however it gets crowded shortly before the kickoff and during the halftime break.


Return on Investment 3

Tickets are available at the following price points. General admission seats are $30 in advance or $40 the day of the game. Reserved seats are $40 in advance and $45 the day of the game. GSU students are admitted free of charge by showing their GSU ID card.


General parking at Robinson Memorial Stadium is $25 cash on Tiger gamedays.


Extras 4

Grambling State has sent more than 200 players on to play in the NFL. Four players (Buck Buchanon, Charlie Joiner, Willie Brown, and Willie Davis) are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


GSU also sent the first black player (Tank Younger) to the NFL, as well as the first black QB in the NFL (James Harris).


The Tigers play two rivalry games each season, with both games taking place off campus. They play Southern University in the Bayou Classic at the Superdome in New Orleans and Prairie View A&M in the State Fair Classic in Dallas.


The area in the east grandstand between the 40’s features a dramatic graphic with the letters “GSU”, and tiger stripes emblazoned on it. Get there early before the stands fill to get a shot of this piece of Tiger art.


Final Thoughts

Every HBCU fan should make a pilgrimage to the “House that Eddie built”. Even though he died several years ago, the aura of his presence is still felt at Grambling home games. Tiger games are full of tradition, excitement, reverence, and great food. Make sure you include the Eddie Robinson Museum on your itinerary.

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