Higgins Soccer Complex – Villanova Wildcats
Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29
Higgins Soccer Complex North Rd Philadelphia, PA 19085
Year Opened: 2014
Located on Villanova University’s West Campus in the Philadelphia suburbs, the Higgins Soccer Complex is a 1,000 seat soccer stadium that opened in 2014. The stadium has an artificial turf field and is located adjacent to a practice field that is also used by the soccer program. Villanova’s soccer team, like most of the school’s athletic programs, plays in the Big East Conference. Until recently, they had not enjoyed much success, but they have made two NCAA Tournaments since 2016.
Food & Beverage 2
Food and drink is available for sale out of a food truck in a parking lot behind the goal at the Higgins Soccer Complex. However, only snacks are available, so it may be best to eat beforehand. Takis (rolled, flavored tortilla chips) are available, as are popcorn, chips, candy, soda, and water. Nothing is more than $5 and most of it is less than that.
The Higgins Soccer Complex has bleacher seating along one side of the field, taking up most of the sideline. There are about five or six rows of bleachers and for many home games they can be close to full. Villanova creates many incentives for fans, especially students, to attend soccer games even though they are not a “major” sport, such as free giveaways, a t-shirt toss at halftime, and more.
As in most soccer venues, the fans really create their own atmosphere here. It is very rare in most of the country for a college soccer game to have a capacity crowd, but Villanova did when Stadium Journey visited. This significantly enhances the atmosphere here.
Higgins Soccer Complex is located on Villanova’s West Campus, a short drive away from the main part of the college. There are a few options closer to the main campus but few options within walking distance of the soccer field. The Refectory is a popular restaurant, Campus Corner is a popular pizza place with local students, and there are numerous other options a short drive away including Minella’s Diner. There is really no need to deal with traffic and city parking to head into Philadelphia.
As mentioned above, the fans at Higgins Soccer Complex create tremendous energy, in large part because of the incentives the school creates to get them to attend. Although the stadium has a small capacity, the bleachers are often packed, particularly with students, who cheer on the Wildcats to victory. They will come decked out in the school colors and can get quite loud. A few fans, particularly students, tend to leave early but most stay for the entire game.
Parking is available in several lots on the West Campus adjacent to the stadium. When driving onto campus, ask the guard and they will provide you with directions if you don’t know where to go. If the lots fill up, which they will if you don’t get there early, additional parking is available on the street outside the stadium. There are no real restrooms on site, but there are a couple of port-a-potties in the parking lot.
Return on Investment 5
Admission to all Villanova soccer games is free, although the policy may be different for Big East or NCAA Tournament games. Concessions are affordable, and parking is also free. Considering the great atmosphere, this is an excellent value and well worth it.
One extra star for the excellent atmosphere created by the fans here. This shows what happens when you give fans, especially students, incentive to attend sporting events that aren’t thought of as “major.”
There are very few college soccer venues in the country that draw capacity crowds. Granted, the capacity of Higgins Soccer Complex is only 1,000 fans, but the Wildcats do often fill the place up. Even though college soccer isn’t thought of as a huge sport, Villanova actively encourages attendance and creates incentives for students to do so. This massively improves the atmosphere and the school should be commended for it. For any soccer fan in the Philadelphia area, a visit to Higgins Soccer Complex to take in a Villanova soccer game is well worth it.