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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Howarth Field – Temple Owls


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43

Howarth Field 1228 N 13th St. Philadelphia, PA 19122



Year Opened: 2016

Capacity: 500

 

Give a Hoot for Temple Field Hockey

Opened in 2016, Howarth Field in Philadelphia is home to the Temple University Owls field hockey program. The stadium seats approximately 500 fans and is part of the Temple Sports Complex which also includes Temple's soccer stadium. The stadium is named after former Temple field hockey player Cherita Howard and her husband Greg, who donated $500,000 towards the construction of the new stadium.


Although Temple has competed in the American Athletic Conference in most sports since it split from the old Big East in 2013, neither the AAC nor the new Big East has enough full members to sponsor field hockey. As a result, it was agreed the conferences would sponsor field hockey jointly under the Big East banner.


Food & Beverage 0

There is no food or drink for sale at Howarth Field, but fans are free to bring their own, except alcohol. Many fans will set up tailgates before the match and can be seen bringing food in from it during breaks in the action, but these are only for people in their group. Nonetheless, it is nice to see a tailgating scene at what is not ordinarily considered a major sport.


Atmosphere 4

Howarth Field consists of a few rows of bleachers on one sideline. They are close enough that all seats have an outstanding view of the action. When Stadium Journey visited, part of the bleachers were taken up by the band, although we are told they are not always in attendance. When they are in attendance, they play the Temple fight song before the game and after each Owls goal. A band is a rarity at a sport like field hockey, so for them to even show up sometimes shows how much Temple cares about the atmosphere here.


There is a scoreboard behind one goal which also shows time remaining on penalty cards. Oddly enough, there is also a spot for team timeouts even though field hockey has not had timeouts for several years now. Before the match, the scoreboard is used to play a hype video showing Temple field hockey highlights and other clips to get the crowd pumped up for the game.





Neighborhood 3

Temple University is located in North Philadelphia near the intersection of Girard Avenue and Broad Street. Although this was once a very bad neighborhood, it has improved somewhat. There are a few restaurants located right across Girard Street from the stadium, including John's Seafood, Crown Fried Chicken, and Angie's Vietnamese Cuisine. The Met Philadelphia, a prominent concert hall, is a short walk away on Broad Street. You will find other options nearby as well, including Larry's Steaks, serving up the classic Philadelphia cheesesteak.


Fans 5

Although Howarth Field seats only 500, Owl fans routinely fill it near or even over capacity. Many of them are friends or family of the players, but there are other fans as well, not to mention the band, which forms a kind of student section not normally seen at college field hockey. They are loud and passionate, clapping along with the fight song and ringing cowbells after big plays. As the fight song goes, they "Fight! Fight! Fight! For the cherry and the white" and are among the most passionate fan bases in the sport. As mentioned above, they will arrive early and tailgate before the game, then head to the stands and cheer on the Owls to victory.


Given the Big East occupies a small geographic footprint, at least for field hockey which the midwestern members don't sponsor, you will often see a decent number of visiting fans as well. They will encounter no issues, but unlike at some places, this definitely will feel like a Temple home game rather than a neutral site contest.





Access 4

There are many highways in Philadelphia, so getting into town by car should prove no problem. Once you get to the stadium, you will park about a 5 to 10-minute walk away in the Temple Towers lot. Turn left on 13th Street when you leave the lot and follow the signs to the entrance.


Parking costs $20 and you pay by credit card when you exit. Cash is not accepted, so plan accordingly. If you are attending another event in the Temple Sports Complex on the same day, such as a soccer game, you do not need to pay twice. The $20 will have you covered no matter how long you park, as long as you leave by midnight.


The Girard Station on SEPTA's Market-Frankford subway line is also located just around the corner from Howarth Field, giving an easy opportunity to arrive by public transit.


Restrooms are available in a building in between the field hockey and soccer fields, although as numerous signs tell you, you will enter the restrooms from outside the building and are not allowed in the building itself through the main doors. They are of a more than sufficient size for the crowd, even if it gets large.


Return on Investment 4

Admission to all Temple field hockey games is free, with the possible exception of Big East and NCAA Tournament games. However, if you arrive by car, you will pay $20 for parking, which is a bit much. That being said, with such a great atmosphere here, and the tremendous energy of the crowd, a Temple field hockey game is still a pretty good value. You can maximize your value even more by attending a soccer game in the complex on the same day at no additional cost.

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Extras 4

The band is worth an extra star here even if they're not at every game.


Look for the banners honoring Temple field hockey and lacrosse successes.


The pregame hype video is worth a star as well. Most field hockey teams don't even have a video board, let alone a hype video.


A fourth and final star for the chance to see multiple events in the Temple Sports Complex in one day.


Final Thoughts

One might not expect college field hockey to be a big deal, but in the case of the Temple Owls, they would be wrong. It is obvious the school puts a great deal of effort into the matchday experience here, and it shows in the turnout. Between the band, the tailgating scene, the fans, and everything else that is going on here, Howarth Field is one of the elite field hockey experiences in the country. As the seasoned stadium traveler will know, great experiences can be found in unexpected places, and Howarth Field is certainly one of them.



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