- Richard Smith
Ludwig Field – Maryland Terrapins
Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
Ludwig Field University Boulevard and Stadium Drive College Park, MD 20740
Year Opened: 1995
Fear The Soccer Turtle
Ludwig Field on College Park’s north campus is the home of the three-time men’s national champion Maryland Terrapins soccer team. Those championships occurred in 1968, 2005, and 2008. They are also often considered champions in 1958, but it was before an official NCAA championship was developed. Former Milwaukee Wave player Sasho Cirovski is in his third decade as the head coach of the program. He has led a dramatic improvement of the program during his tenure.
Former Terrapin standouts Omar Gonzalez and Graham Zusi competed as members of the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. There are many other soccer alumni playing in various levels of professional soccer.
The women’s soccer team has also touched some levels of success as they have made two trips to the NCAA Sweet 16 in recent years and were the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament in 2010.
Ludwig Field has been open since 1995 and sits within the Kehoe Track Facility. The combined facilities are named after former Maryland track head coach and Director of Athletics Jim Kehoe, and Bob and Louise Ludwig, long-time supporters of Maryland Athletics.
Food & Beverage 2
There is a single food stand called the Corner Kick Grill next to the permanent west stands that has a simple but nice menu.
Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches and veggie burgers are $5.75. A Nathan’s hot dog is $4.50. Fries are $5 while a box of Cracker Jack can be had for $4. Various Pepsi products are available for $4, with Gatorade costing $4.50. A Rita’s Italian ice temporary stand may also be in place for certain games, depending on the weather.
Two-thirds of the stands at Ludwig Field are extremely close to the action. The west stands are the permanent stands for the Kehoe track and field part of the complex and are pretty far from the field. If you don’t mind a track separating you from the action, as well as trying to see through the enclosed soccer benches, this is your section. The seats are bench seating only.
Being close to the action in other parts of the stadium means that the crowd is very much into the game action. The red bucket seats in those seats are generally comfortable but offer very little legroom.
The neighborhood is a mixed bag. Ludwig Field is located on the university’s north campus, so few businesses are close, except for a Subway (3711-E Campus Dr) and Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt (3711-B Campus Dr). The Adele Stamp Union is not too far away and has a food court with many options. The Maryland Dairy Ice Cream store here is a nice place to go ahead of the game.
The town of College Park is located directly south of the campus along U.S. Route 1. RJ Bentley’s Filling Station, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Jason’s Deli, Ledo Pizza, and Five Guys are all good options in this “downtown” area. Looney’s Pub and Bobby’s Burger Palace are two other great options, and are located in The Varsity building (8150 Baltimore Ave) north of the downtown area, and may be even closer to the stadium if walking.
The Sheraton College Park North Hotel at 4095 Powder Mill Road in nearby Beltsville is the best lodging choice, but it is not within walking distance of the campus.
You will always have the dizzying array of Washington, DC options to choose from. The College Park Station of the Washington Metro is close by, and is your best bet for getting to DC, as the traffic and parking situation is not ideal in the nation’s capital.
Since the seating sections are scattered in different areas around the field you may experience different fan support levels depending on where you are.
The east stands are where most people sit since it is close to the field and is at the main entrance. Fans are pretty well engaged here. The same cannot be said for the permanent track stadium stands on the west side. They are behind the benches and past the track so they are far away from the field and offer little way for the fans to get engaged.
The north and south end seating sections are small, but this is where The Crew student cheering section holds court. As is typical of University of Maryland student sections, they can be rowdy and rude. But they are always engaged into the action. But if you are offended easily you may wish to sit far away.
It will depend on the day and time of the game whether you will have any issue parking. On nights and weekends there should be plenty of spaces in a nearby lot, although one of the closest lots is closed often on weekends for shuttle bus training. Afternoon games will involve a much heavier search for parking. So plan accordingly.
The University of Maryland is not far from the Washington Beltway. But it is just far enough away that getting to the stadium is not too easy, either. U.S. 1 and University Boulevard are full of traffic lights, and will be very full of traffic.
The College Park stop on the Washington Metro is nowhere close to Ludwig Field. A shuttle bus is available back to campus for student usage but it would be quite a long walk for the general public.
Return on Investment 4
Adult tickets can be purchased for $10. Youth and senior citizens get in for $5. Parking should be free for most weekend games, but expect to pay per hour at some other lots and garages for weekday games, especially afternoon ones.
Depending on parking, the value is pretty good for the high level of soccer.
The Crew section and their “offerings” are not for everyone. But they are an entertaining way to experience the game flow.
The northeast and southwest corners of the field have signs that commemorate the 2005 and 2008 national championship teams.
Two national championships in recent years, as well as team alumni playing for the U.S. Men’s National Team shows that University of Maryland soccer at Ludwig Field offers a high quality of play at a decent price. It’s worth the trip if you’re in the area and appreciate collegiate soccer.