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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

JMU Field Hockey Complex - James Madison Dukes


Photos by Gregory Koch Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.71

JMU Field Hockey Complex 1251 Carrier Drive Harrisonburg, VA 22801


Year Opened: 2003 Capacity: 500

 

Dukes Field Hockey

Nestled in the scenic Shenandoah Valley town of Harrisonburg, Virginia is the campus of James Madison University. JMU’s athletic teams, known as the Dukes, compete in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Dukes’ field hockey program plays at the appropriately named JMU Field Hockey Complex, which opened in 2003 and seats 500 fans.


Food & Beverage 0

There is no food or beverage for sale at the JMU Field Hockey Complex. Fans are free to bring their own, but cannot bring it onto the track if they choose to watch from there (more on that in a bit.)


Atmosphere 3

Walking into the JMU Field Hockey Complex will put you on a small concourse above some metal bleachers. Fans can also walk down the bleachers to a track that surrounds the field and watch from there to get a closer look. All in all it is a very basic layout, with a scoreboard in the corner also showing the most basic information.


The Dukes’ mascot, a dog named Duke Dog, sometimes will make appearances at the beginning of the game. He is always a fan favorite when he shows up.



Neighborhood 4

Harrisonburg is a beautiful college town nestled in the scenic Shenandoah Valley. Although it is not large, there is a lot to do here. Macado’s is a regional restaurant chain with several locations in the Valley and surrounding area, including one right here in Harrisonburg. They are known for their burgers, wings, and delicious hot sandwiches, as well as their large collection of local sports memorabilia. The Magpie Diner on West Gay Street is open for breakfast and lunch and is a local favorite. There are several hotels in the area long Route 33, including a Doubletree, a Clarion, and a Candlewood Suites.

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Fans 3

The Dukes only draw a couple hundred fans a game, but for a stadium that only seats 500, that is about half full. Those who do show up are mainly friends and family of the players, JMU students, or those with some other connection to the university. They are passionate and cheer on the Dukes throughout the game. It can get quite loud here despite the crowd size, particularly after Dukes goals. The fact that most of the fans pack into a few sections rather than spread out adds to the atmosphere as well


Access 3

The JMU Field Hockey Complex is located a short drive off Interstate 81 via exit 247A. Once you get off the highway, some GPS apps will attempt to take you to the wrong side of the stadium. If the GPS allows, we suggest navigating to Lot C-10 or C-12, which is where you will need to park anyway – the stadium is right in between the two lots.


There are small restrooms in the stadium located in a trailer on the concourse. They are clean but smell about like you would expect restrooms in a trailer to smell.



Return on Investment 4

Admission is free, parking is free, and you won’t spend any money on concessions because there aren’t any. But there isn’t enough here to earn the top score.


Extras 2

Free programs are available at the fan marketing table as you come in.


There is a giant inflatable Duke Dog that the players enter under during pregame introductions




Final Thoughts

College field hockey is just not a huge deal at James Madison. Their football program has won the FCS Championship recently and their basketball program just opened up a shiny new arena, but few seem to care about the field hockey team. This is unsurprising, and those who do follow the team are passionate about it, making a visit to the JMU Field Hockey Complex a better experience than one might expect at this level.



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