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  • Writer's pictureEric Moreno

Jones AT&T Stadium - Texas Tech Red Raiders


Photos by Eric Moreno, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86


Jones AT&T Stadium 2526 Mac Davis Lane Lubbock, TX 79407



Year Opened: 1947

Capacity: 60,454


Texas Tech Red Raiders – Jones AT&T Stadium

Originally founded as the Texas Technological College in the bustling West Texas town of Lubbock, the now Red Raiders (then known as the “Matadors”) first took the field in 1925, and have since captivated the hearts and minds of Wreck ‘Em Nation. Throughout the team’s history, the Red Raiders have won 11 conference championships and have had scores of All-Americans, All-Conference players, and College Football Hall of Famers including Donny Anderson, Zach Thomas, Michael Crabtree, Gabe Rivera, Kliff Kingsbury, and Patrick Mahomes II.


In 1947, the Red Raiders moved into their current home, the then Clifford B. and Audrey Jones (named for a former President of Texas Tech and his wife who had established a trust to fund the construction of the venue) Stadium. It was renamed after undergoing renovations and receiving a significant donation from the then SBC Communications, now AT&T. The facility would undergo another renovation in 2014 which has brought Jones A&T Stadium up to its current look and feel, and made it a true palace of football out on the West Texas Plains.


Food & Beverage 4

One area where Jones A&T Stadium truly excels is in the sheer amount of available concessions stands that are available to attendees on game days. On the field level, there are dozens of options available to fans. As the Red Raiders tend to draw pretty large crowds, having a lot of open options is essential – most stands are dedicated to offering all of your traditional game day fares, including hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, soft pretzels, sodas, bottled water, hamburgers, etc.


Some items go beyond the norm, like deli sandwiches, turkey legs, and chopped barbecue nachos. Jones AT&T Stadium is also the first one that I have visited that has hopped on board the train/fad of selling alcoholic seltzers ($9).


One innovation that I found particularly refreshing is that some stands offer “Fan Friendly Pricing” on select items, like hot dogs, small fountain drinks, small boxes of popcorn, bottled water, and select candies. These are all $3 each and, for those on a budget or those attending as a family, this can be helpful for your wallet. Also, one last spot to be on the lookout for is the HTea0 kiosk. Serving fresh-brewed “traditional” and flavored iced tea, this is a true Texas original and a fan favorite.


Atmosphere 4

Make no mistake about it, a Texas Tech Red Raiders game at Jones AT&T Stadium is big-time college football at the highest of levels. Once you head into Lubbock and you get near the campus, there is a palpable energy in the air. As you head towards the stadium down University Avenue, your senses will be completely overwhelmed by the sea of red and black. This town lives and dies for the Red Raiders and on game days.


Once you get to Jones A&T Stadium, the entire area surrounding it is abuzz with the sights, smells, and sounds of the greatest of all football/sports activities: tailgating. As you walk through the parking lots, you start to see all the elaborate setups that college football is known for: tricked-out RVs, giant smokers, tent cities, etc. It’s a carnival-like atmosphere and it’s great.


Inside the stadium, it gets even better. From the Saddle Tramps ringing their cowbells and the Masked Rider to the fireworks after touchdowns and the tortilla toss after the opening kickoff (all of that and more will be covered in the Extras section), all add to one of the best college football atmospheres that I have personally experienced in my journeys.


Neighborhood 4

Lubbock itself was founded on the high plains of West Texas in 1890. Currently the 11th largest city in the state, it has become a hub city for many of the communities out west. Above all though, Lubbock is a great college town. The neighborhoods surrounding the campus have the look feel, sights, and sounds of any typical college town, and that is a good thing. There are bars, trendy eating spots, and cool hangouts, which are all great places to stop in before and after Red Raiders games.


When it comes to attractions, there are quite a few things for you to do before and after Tech games. If you’re looking for sports, your options are limited to Red Raider athletics, so plan accordingly for that. Otherwise, some spots to look for including the Museum of Texas Tech University, a diverse museum housing over eight million objects ranging in subjects from anthropology, art, clothing, and textiles to history, paleontology, and natural history. It is also home to the Moody Planetarium.


You can also take in exhibits on one of Lubbock’s favorite sons at the Buddy Holly Center. The Center “collects, preserves and interprets artifacts relevant to Lubbock’s most famous native son, Buddy Holly, as well as to other performing artists and musicians of West Texas”. Featuring the West Texas Walk of Fame and statue of the Lubbock Flash himself, Buddy Holly, the center offers exhibits on music and art and is open year-round.


Let’s talk about eating spots first and foremost. The previously mentioned University Avenue fronts the stadium and has a ton of options. Two spots that aren’t of the chain variety to be on the lookout for are One Guy from Italy and Spanky’s. One Guy from Italy, as its name might imply, sells pizza (which you can also get by the slice, which I always appreciate), subs, and legendary calzones. Spanky’s has been serving up some of Lubbock’s old-style hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and onion rings since 1982 and is a primo spot before and after games.


When looking for places to stay when attending Red Raiders games, Lubbock has lots of options available to you. If you want to stay near campus, however, a vacation rental site may be your best bet as the stadium is right on campus and there aren’t many options within walking distance. However, close by there are some manageable ones within driving distance – these include Overton Hotel & Conference Center and Hyatt Place Lubbock.


Fans 4

As they are pretty much the proverbial only game in town, the Red Raiders consistently fill Jones AT&T Stadium and are also consistently near the top of the conference in average attendance – the parking lots surrounding the stadium are filled with revelers in red and black hours before games. Inside the stadium, the fans are engaged from the opening tortilla-toss kickoff and chanting and cheering to the very end (this, of course, is always contingent on the team being competitive).


College football tends to lend itself to breeding this type of fanaticism, and it does not seem out of place in Lubbock. The fans love the Red Raiders and it shows every Saturday in the fall at Jones AT&T Stadium.


Access 2

If there is one area where Jones AT&T Stadium is lacking it is in this area. Lubbock itself is over five hours by car from both San Antonio and Dallas. By air, it is a lot shorter, at three hours from the Alamo City and a hair over an hour from DFW to Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.


Once you get to Hub City, as Lubbock is affectionately known, the stadium is located between state highways 84 and 82, off of University Avenue and Mac Davis Lane. While it is easy to find, it is not easy to get to, if that makes sense. The access is pretty much limited to two main entry points if you’re going to try and park near the stadium.


Parking for those that don’t have passes ranges anywhere from $15 to $55 depending on how close you want to get or how far you want to walk, so, bear that in mind. Another option is taking public transportation; Lubbock’s Citibus does make frequent stops in and around the Texas Tech campus, even on game days.

Again, one final caveat. Since there are just the two main entry points, these tend to get severely backed up the closer you get toward game-time – especially the one on University Avenue – so plan accordingly.


Return on Investment 4

Individual tickets for Texas Tech games at Jones AT&T Stadium range from $35 to $150 per person. This does tend to fluctuate depending upon the opponent that comes into Lubbock, but it is pretty much the average. For a Big 12 school that faces some top out of conference foes, this could be a pretty good bargain for some top-level competition.


As mentioned, concessions have reasonable prices and even better ones with their Fan Friendly Pricing options. This is great for the budget of families and large groups attending Red Raiders games at Jones AT&T Stadium. The one area where you will have to spend a penny or two is parking if you’re planning to drive. Still, when you factor it all together and couple it with the atmosphere of the stadium, it all makes for a great time in Hub City.


Extras 5

Another area where college football truly sets itself apart from other sports is in the extras you get on game day. The pageantry, the revelry, the pomp, and the circumstance all add to the excitement and energy of the on-field action to make college football games unique across the sports landscape.


Texas Tech games have traditions unlike any other in college football; sure they have their cheerleaders and dance team; they also have a costumed mascot patrolling the sidelines in Raider Red, and they also have one of the best marching bands in college football in the Goin’ Band from Raiderland. The Red Raiders also shoot off fireworks every time the offense scores a touchdown, and the fans sing the school song “Matador” before and after every game. All of these trappings are great, but they can be found in some form or another across most college football stadiums in the country.


But in Lubbock, they also have traditions all their own – this starts with the Saddle Tramps, a student organization that paints the campus red with crepe paper the night before games and constantly rings cowbells during the game. They are also sponsors of Bangin’ Bertha, a large railroad bell that rings loudly throughout the game. Tech games also start with fans flinging tortillas out onto the field with the opening kickoff; you can read about how this bizarre tradition started here.


Lastly, perhaps no tradition is more important to Texas Tech than their mascot, the Masked Rider. Looking like Zorro come to life, the Masked Rider sits atop a beautiful black steed and not only leads the team out onto the field before each game but rides after each Tech touchdown. It is truly something to see.


Final Thoughts

I have been to quite a few college football stadiums in Texas in my years; again, while it is nowhere near the biggest, I can honestly say that this was one of the most fun experiences that I have had. The atmosphere and fans are incredible; I would recommend any college football fan out there add Jones AT&T Stadium onto their bucket list of stadiums to visit. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.


Follow Eric Moreno’s Stadium Journey on Twitter at @EricMoreno6477.

Visit Eric Moreno’s writer’s portfolio site at ericmoreno.contently.com.

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