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  • Richard Smith

Johnny Unitas Stadium – Towson Tigers Football


Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Johnny Unitas Stadium 7500 Osler Dr Towson, MD 21252



Year Opened: 1978

Capacity: 11,198

 

Johnny U Stadium at Towson U


Johnny Unitas Stadium was known as both Towson Stadium and Minnegan Stadium from its opening in 1983 until a remodel in 2002 when they added 6,000 seats and rebranded it to honor Baltimore Colts legend and Towson supporter Johnny Unitas. The field itself still honors the late Donald “Doc” Minnegan, former coach and athletic director at Towson.


Towson University is the second-largest public university in the State of Maryland. Located just north of Baltimore, it is home to approximately 21,000 college students, of which 18,000 are undergraduates. The university began as the Maryland State Normal School in 1866. The university has 60+ undergraduate majors, 30+ master’s degree programs, and a handful of doctoral programs.


The Towson football played for the Football Championship Subdivision National Championship in 2013, falling short against North Dakota State. Towson is also known for their impressive gymnastics program. They have been the 1968 AIAW Division II National Champions, 1995 and 1998 USA Gymnastics NIT Champions, 3-time Calloway Invitational Champions, 15-time ECAC Champions, and 2007 USA Gymnastics National Champions.


The lacrosse team also reached the finals of the 1991 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship, and reached the semifinals of the 2001 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship. Tigers have been the sports teams name at Towson since 1961 replacing The Golden Knights, Indians, and the Teachers as names that were used by various sports. There are four tiger statues around campus, with one across the street in front of SECU Arena (where Towson gymnastics, basketball, and volleyball compete).


All of the major athletic teams at Towson compete in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Since joining the CAA in 2001-02, the Tigers have won 16 league championships. Gymnastics competes in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League.


Food & Beverage 2

The stadium really has subpar food offerings. There are four main concession stands offering no real variety. The concourse is open and has plenty of space for additional offerings if they so wished.


Prices are okay, but not great. Beer is available around the stadium, and there is a temporary tent on the east part of the track run by a local pub.


Atmosphere 3

The stadium is split into two distinct sections. The main side is on the same side as the old Minnegan Stadium grandstands used to sit. That side also has a press box.


A walkway around the top of the horseshoe hill takes fans to the opposite side grandstand, where the students, band and most of the opposing fans sit. When some CAA teams, especially Delaware and James Madison, are the opponents expect to see many of their fans in attendance throughout the whole complex.


A track separates the grandstands from being too close to the action. The Towson Marching Band, Towson Dance Team, and cheerleaders all do a good job entertaining the crowd, and a tiger mascot, Doc, roams the stadium.


Neighborhood 3

Besides SECU Arena and the old Towson Center Arena, there is nothing right by the stadium.


Even though you may have to drive to other places, Towson is a semi-urban environment with a very large shopping mall and numerous restaurants in the area. Try the Charles Village Pub in the heart of downtown Towson for good food and drinks. Some other great options are The Crease, Glory Days Grill, and Sushi Hana.

Baltimore is also a quick drive away. Check out the Federal Hill neighborhood, south of the Inner Harbor. There are a few fun restaurants and bars here. Abbey Burger Bistro is one great choice. The beer selection is good, and they offer a dizzying array of burger choices, which are all likely to satisfy.


Fans 3

This is a work in progress. For many years, Towson was known as a commuter school. But in the last couple of decades, there has been an increase in residential students. Students are starting to come to games in larger numbers helped by a free convenient shuttle to games.


Unitas Stadium, as well as the neighboring SECU Arena, is located at the far end of the campus, not near any of the residence halls, so it will not always be a destination for too many students. It has improved over time in this regard.


Access 4

Towson is located right off the Baltimore Beltway/I-695. The only negative is that Towson is a maze of roads getting to the Osler and Auburn location of the sports complexes.


Parking is plentiful. But the best bet is to park on the central part of campus and walk over to beat the crowds.


Return on Investment 4

The ticket prices for adults start at around $25. For the high level of football, the prices are acceptable but still maybe a bit high.


Extras 3

The team store is located in the grandstands underneath the press box. There are usually a few bits of merchandise on sale on game days.


The Towson Dance Team is nationally recognized and provides great entertainment during games. In addition, Doc the Tiger is a good mascot, providing entertainment for all ages.


The Towson University Wall Of Excellence displays the school’s accomplishments in a variety of sports.


Final Thoughts

Johnny Unitas Stadium is a nicely designed stadium that has many well-designed fan amenities. The large separation between the sections of the stadium, along with the track, is the only thing that keeps the facility from being a more intimate and louder stadium.

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