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  • Writer's pictureLloyd Brown

Harlen Hunter Stadium - Lindenwood Lions


Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.29

Harlen Hunter Stadium 209 South Kingshighway

St. Charles, MO 63301

Year Opened: 1975 Capacity: 6,000

 

The Mane Attraction

Lindenwood University is a private university located in St. Charles, Missouri. It is the second oldest higher education institution west of the Missouri River, as it was founded in 1827. The university has an enrollment of 6,900 and offers degree programs in more than 80 areas of study.


Lindenwood’s athletic teams are known as the Lions. The school has steadily progressed through various competition levels to Division I status in 2022. They began at the NAIA level (1999-2011), moved up to Division II level (2012-2021), then up to Division I status in 2022. The teams are not eligible for NCAA Championship tournaments until 2025. Lion athletic teams compete in the Ohio Valley Conference, which includes teams including the University of Missouri-Little Rock, Eastern Illinois, Morehead State, Southeastern Missouri, Southern Illinois, Tennessee State and Tennessee-Martin.


The Lions football program is relatively young, as it first fielded a team in 1990.It was very successful at the NAIA level, making the playoffs four times (2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010). Lindenwood played in the 2009 NAIA National Championship game, which it lost.


The home of Lindenwood Lions football is the on-campus Harlen Hunter Stadium. It opened in 1975 as the preseason training facility for the St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL, and has a capacity of 6,000 seats, including three sections of club seats. It is named for Dr Harlen C. Hunter, a prominent physician, and the founder of the St. Louis Orthopedic Medicine Clinic. The facility stays busy throughout the year, as it hosts football, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, men’s and women’s lacrosse and rugby.


Food & Beverage 4

Hunter Stadium has one main concession stand, with 5 single item stands located along the concourse areas of the stadium. These stands include Chick-fil-A, Pepsi, Kona Ice and Shamrock Brewing Company.


The main stand offers pretzel bites ($3), popcorn ($2), nachos ($3), hot dogs ($3), grilled brats ($4), Italian beef sandwiches ($5), potato chips ($2) and frozen custard ($3). Drinks offered at the central concession stand include Pepsi brand sodas ($3), Gatorade ($3), bottled water ($3), coffee ($3), and hot chocolate ($3). Beer is available at the Shamrock Brewing stand only.


The number of concessions stands at Harlen Stadium has been increased in anticipation of larger crowds at the FCS level of NCAA football.


Atmosphere 4



Harlen Hunter Stadium offers a very enjoyable experience in which to watch football. The seats are predominately bleacher seating and are close to the action on three sides of the field. The stadium offers a striking graphics package, with a huge lion logo at the 50-yard line and a gold and black color scheme in the two end zones. A large videoboard is located behind the south end zone, while a more basic scoreboard that provides the time left, the score and the location of the line of scrimmage is hung above the student section in the north end zone.


Due to multiple sports being played in the stadium, the field features an artificial turf surface, which prevents the game from becoming a mud bath.


The field also features a state-of-the-art lighting system, as well as a two-level press box.


Neighborhood 4

Lindenwood University is in St. Charles, MO, a town of 65,000 located on the west bank of the Missouri River. It is located 24 miles west of St. Louis via I-70. St. Charles was one of the first settlements west of the Missouri River, as it was settled in 1769. It served as the starting point for the Lewis and Clark expeditions and was the home of Daniel Boone before he moved to Kentucky. As you can imagine, St. Charles has a large and active historic district, with many attractions.


Among the sites you will want to visit while you are in town are the Lewis and Clark Boathouse and Museum and the Frenchtown District. The Schlafly Bankside Brewpub is in the Historic District as well. It is designed to look like a pub of the 1700’s vintage. While in town, you’ll want to visit the many shops and restaurants in the Historic District. Both the Fairfield Inn and the Comfort Inn offer reasonable rates are close to both the Lindenwood campus and the St. Charles Historic District.


Fans 5

Lindenwood parents and students are thrilled to be playing at the Division I level. They are very welcoming to visitors, as the school has a strict code of conduct. They will be happy to answer any questions you might have once you arrive at the campus.


Fans arrive early for games, as tailgating begins three hours before kickoff. A Lion Pride Tailgate offers Lion fans an opportunity to meet, eat and drink before the games. The tailgate is held in front of the Fieldhouse. There are several vendor tents, including Royal Liquors, Bougie Bites, Luxury Bash Services, the St. Louis Ambush, and Pepsi. Shortly before the gates open, the tailgating crowd is fired up by appearances by the Lions Cheerleaders, the Lion mascot Leo, and a performance by the Lion Pride Marching Band.


Once the games get underway, the Lions fans show that even if they are new to Division I, they’re not newbies when showing their support for the team. The parents and the alums are very vocal, as are the students at the school. The student section (known as the Uproar section) is set behind one of the end zones and is sponsored by the Raising Cane restaurant. We think this name is very appropriate in describing what the students do throughout the game.


Access 4

Getting to and from a Lindenwood football game is quite easy. The school is easily accessed from either I-70 or I-64, the two major interstates in the area.


From I-70 (St. Louis area): Take I-70 W across the Blanchette Bridge over the Missouri River. Take exit #228 and turn right onto First Capitol Drive. Go ¾ mile to the intersection with Kingshighway. Turn left onto Kingshighway and enter the Lindenwood campus. Volunteers will direct you to the appropriate parking lot.


From I-64 (Chesterfield, MO area): From Chesterfield take I-64 and travel west across the Daniel Boone Bridge over the Missouri River. Take exit #10 and turn right on Highway 94. Head north and cross over I-70. Highway 94 becomes First Capitol Drive. Proceed to the intersection with Kingshighway and turn left. This will bring you into the Lindenwood campus. Volunteers will direct you to the appropriate parking lot.


Gates open 60 minutes before kickoff, leaving you plenty of time to get to your seats.


Return on Investment 5

Going to a game at Harlen Hunter Stadium will not break your budget. All single game tickets are considered general admission seats. The tickets cost $15 a game. There are three sections (104,105 and 106) that feature chairbacks and are considered season ticket holder/ box seats. The general admission seats are bench seating.


The concession stand prices are very reasonable.


There is no charge for parking on the Lindenwood campus on gamedays.


Extras 4

In addition to Lindenwood University athletic events, Hunter Stadium has hosted the Women’s NAIA National Championship Game in soccer in 2001 and 2002 and hosted the National Championship Game for Women’s Lacrosse as well. The venue was also the site of a soccer friendly between St. Louis FC and the Chicago Fire of the MLS.


A student -athletic center was recently added to the area behind the south end zone. This facility provides locker rooms, training areas and meeting space for all the sports teams at Lindenwood.


Five players from Lindenwood have gone on to play in the NFL.


Lindenwood will soon begin a tradition of rivalry games, as they will be playing two opponents (Eastern Illinois and Southern Illinois) from the nearby state of Illinois, as well as an in-state rival in the form of Southeast Missouri State University.


Final Thoughts

Division I football has returned to the St. Louis metropolitan area for the first time since 1949 in the form of the Lindenwood Lions. The school is thrilled to be in Division I, and they look forward to creating an uproar in the Ohio Valley Conference. Harlen Hunter Stadium is a wonderful place to watch the Lions games.

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