- Lloyd Brown
Jack Stallings Field at J.I. Clements Stadium – Georgia Southern Eagles
Photos by Andy Mantsch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14
J.I. Clements Stadium
2476 Southern Dr
Statesboro, GA 30458
Georgia Southern Eagles website
Year Opened: 2005
Where Eagles Soar and Score
Georgia Southern is the largest institution within the Georgia University System in South Georgia. It was founded in 1906 and is in the small town of Statesboro, Georgia. GSU has a student body of more than 20,000 students and it offers over 100 major areas of study.
Baseball has a long and glorious history at Georgia Southern as the program first got underway in 1930 and ran through 1935. It was resurrected after World War II in 1947 and has been played continuously ever since. Even though the football team at GSU rightfully gained recognition for its immediate success upon reviving their program, the baseball program’s success predates that and has a longer string of winning seasons. The team won the NAIA National Championship in 1962 under Coach Jack Stallings and appeared in two College World Series (1973 and 1990). They won eight Southern Conference Championships and four Trans American Athletic Conference Championships. In addition, the Eagles baseball squad has appeared in thirteen NCAA regionals, winning two of them. Over the last 20 years, Georgia Southern has averaged over 30 wins per season, and 15 players have gone on to play professional baseball.
Food & Beverage 4
The concessions program at Clements Stadium offers a better than average variety of foods at very reasonable prices. Items include hot dogs ($4), hamburgers ($5), 4-piece chicken fingers ($6), onion rings ($4), pretzels ($5), nachos ($4), boiled peanuts ($4), popcorn ($4), cotton candy ($3), kettle corn ($5) and candy ($2).
Beverages consist of Coca-Cola brand products and bottled water at $4. Alcohol is not available at Clements Stadium.
Winning consistently brings great stability to a program and creates an atmosphere of high expectations. Coach Rodney Herron has been with the school for 20 seasons and the home of the Eagles is evidence that the school rewards success with great facilities. Clements Stadium opened in 2004 and has received upgrades in both 2005 and 2017. The renovations include the expansion of the stadium to 3,000 seats, the construction of a combination clubhouse / dugout facility along the third baseline, along with a batting cage building. Other major renovations have included the installation of an LED video board in left field and the 24-foot Blue Monster in right field. The press box has also seen some upgrades, including two suites that can be reserved on a game by game basis. Finally, the outfield wall was replaced in 2017 due to the heavy damage it received from Hurricane Matthew.
The atmosphere of high expectations for the program can be evidence by looking at the front of the press box and the clubhouse, where all the championships are noted by pennants or in a numerical list.
Statesboro is a city of 30,000 people located 80 miles northwest of Savannah, Georgia. It offers the typical small town Southern charm with local shops and restaurants that are still going strong after more than 80 years and some great local attractions to check out.
On the food front, a stop at Vandy’s Bar-B-Q is a must. It has been in business since 1929 and has one of the last open air BBQ pits in the country. A food related attraction is just a few miles away in Vidalia, Georgia. The Vidalia Onion Museum salutes the Vidalia Sweet Onion, an especially sweet onion that can only be grown in the soil in this area.
You can end your day with a drink at the Eagle Creek Brewing Company, before heading for bed at the Hampton Inn near Paulson Stadium.
Because of these great traditions and the resulting wins, it’s no wonder that the GSU fan base is one of the loudest and most loyal in the Sun Belt Conference. The baseball boosters are one of the largest sports support groups on campus and they hold frequent get togethers prior to the Eagles weekend home games. They proudly wear the navy and gold colors of the Eagles and typically fill the stadium even when batting practice is still underway.
The on-campus location of Clements Stadium makes it very easy for the student body to get to games with no need for a shuttle. The youth baseball programs in the area are also big fans, as a separate team is chosen to take the field with the Eagles squad for the National Anthem.
Georgia Southern is not the easiest campus to access as it is more than 15 miles from the closest interstate, I-16. The closest airport to the campus is in Savannah, more than 80 miles away.
From I-16 North (Savannah): Take exit 127 (Statesboro/Highway 16) and turn right. Turn right at Georgia Highway 67 and follow it for 12 miles. Turn left at the second entrance after Herty Drive traffic light into the free baseball parking lot.
From I-16 South (Macon/Atlanta): Take exit #116 (Highway 301) and go left for 11 miles. This will bring you to the main entrance for Georgia Southern University. Turn right at the entrance onto Southern Drive. Proceed to the GSU manicured bushes and turn left. The baseball parking will be straight ahead.
Once inside Clements Stadium you will find the accessibility to be excellent. There is a wide concourse atop the seating bowl and ample restrooms and concessions areas to keep any lines moving as soon as possible.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets are $8 for reserved seats for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. The 530 seats directly behind home plate and are chair back seating. The remaining 2,470 seats are considered General Admission and sell for $6 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. Parking is free of charge. Concessions are very well priced and of excellent quality.
You must earn a home run to right field, as Clements Stadium has a 24-foot-high wall known locally as the “Blue Monster.”
Both Georgia Southern University and Georgia State University in Atlanta are members of the Sun Belt Conference. Each year they meet in the “GSU Games” which carries the bragging rights of being “The GSU” in the state for whoever wins the series for the season.
The only two GSU numbers that have been retired are those of Coach Jack Stallings for his years of service and the winning of the NAIA National Championship and Todd Greene, the school’s only All American, who went on to a successful 10-year career in the MLB.
This is one of the premiere facilities in the Sun Belt Conference if not the entire Southeast. It boasts of a clubhouse./ dugout complex most larger programs are envious of. GSU believes in setting high expectations for its baseball program and in return rewards the team with the tools they need to compete.