top of page
  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Fred P. Rullo Stadium - Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71

Fred P. Rullo Stadium 631 S College Ave Newark, DE 19716

Year Opened: 1998 Capacity: 2,000

 

Fred's Turf in Newark


Located on the University of Delaware campus in Newark (pronounced New-ARK with the accent on the second syllable), Fred P. Rullo Stadium is home to the Blue Hens' field hockey program. The stadium opened in 1998 and seats roughly 2,000 fans.


The Blue Hens have been one of the more successful teams in the CAA (Coastal Athletic Association, formerly the Colonial Athletic Association) in recent years. Heading into the 2023 season, the Blue Hens had won nine conference titles in ten years, although that streak will come to an end this year as the team failed to qualify for the conference tournament. The high point of the Blue Hens field hockey program came when they won the national championship in 2016, upsetting number one overall seed Duke and perennial power UNC on their home turf along the way.


Food & Beverage 2

Food and drink are available for sale at Fred P. Rullo Stadium at a small table by the entrance. Beef hot dogs are available, as are assorted snacks such as beef jerky, hot pretzels (Philly style), cookies, Rice Krispie Treats, and potato chips. Soda and bottled water are also available to drink. Prices are reasonable - the beef jerky bag costs $9 and a one-liter bottle of water costs $6 (with smaller bottles available for less), but nothing else costs more than $4.


In addition to the usual options, there will occasionally be promotions with free food giveaways. Once a year, fans can get free ice cream from the UDairy Creamery, made right here on campus. Check the schedule for more information.


Atmosphere 4

Fred P. Rullo Stadium has a basic layout, with a large set of bleachers on one side of the turf field. None of the seats have backs, but some fans in the top row can lean against the press box. All seats offer a good view of the action, although the top rows are higher up than they would be at most field hockey stadiums.


The Blue Hens offer many promotions and giveaways throughout the season to keep fans engaged, something you don't often see in college field hockey. After every Blue Hens goal, the fight song plays over the PA system as fans celebrate the accomplishment. It is good to see the school keeping fans engaged. Field hockey is not a major focus of the athletic departments at many schools, but it is here.



Neighborhood 3

Newark is a typical East Coast college town. Your best option is to head downtown to Main Street, which offers numerous options including Grotto Pizza and the Deer Park Tavern. You can also head towards Christiana Mall or check out The Border Café, known for its Tex-Mex food and large “EAT” sign. Fans will also want to check out the UDairy Creamery, which makes ice cream right on campus.


Fans 5

Although Blue Hens fans will rarely fill the 2,000-seat stadium, they show up in numbers and are a rowdy bunch. They cheer on the team throughout the game and regularly engage in call-and-response chants such as "BLUE! HENS!" to cheer their team on to victory. It can get quite loud here, louder than most college field hockey stadiums, despite the fans being spread out over too large an area.


Coordinated chants are not something you often see at college field hockey games, but they show just how impressive this fan base is. The Blue Hens have one of the best fan bases in the country, perhaps the best outside the traditional power conferences, and it shows in the matchday experience.


Access 4

The University of Delaware campus is located just off I-95. If coming from the north, take Exit 1, the last exit in Delaware, and the campus will be right there. If coming from the south, you are better off taking Exit 109B in Maryland. Although this will add a couple of minutes to your trip, it will save you the $4 toll that you will pay when you enter Delaware.


Once you get on campus, there are several lots near the stadium where you can park. There is one lot in front of Bob Carpenter Center and another one behind the stadium, by the soccer and softball fields. Either way, parking is free and it's a very short walk to the stadium.


There are no permanent restrooms at Rullo Stadium, but there are a few port-a-potties on the concourse behind the bleachers. Real restrooms are available next door in the Bob Carpenter Center for fans who would prefer to use them.


Return on Investment 5

Admission to all regular season Blue Hens field hockey games is free of charge. There may be a charge for conference or NCAA postseason events as those are organized separately. Concessions are affordable and parking is free. This makes a Blue Hens field hockey game a great value.


Extras 3

Look for the banners along the fence honoring the Blue Hens' conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances, as well as their national championship in 2016.


A second star for the various promotions the Blue Hens offer throughout the season. Events include ice cream giveaways, free t-shirts, and more. Check the athletics website for more details.


A third and final star for how engaged the fans are. It's not often you see such organized chants at college field hockey, but Blue Hens fans are some of the best in the country.


Final Thoughts

Fred P. Rullo Stadium is a field hockey venue well worthy of Delaware's recent successes. The Blue Hens have a loyal and passionate fan base and a stadium to match. With large crowds and high fan engagement, the Blue Hens have built something special here and look to maintain it for years to come. This is one of the best college field hockey experiences in the country, and perhaps the best outside of the traditional power conferences.


Comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page