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  • Writer's pictureAaron S. Terry

Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium – Fayetteville State Broncos


Photos by Andrei Ojeda, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium 1401 Murchison Rd Fayetteville, NC 28301



Year Opened: 1949

Capacity: 5,520

 

Wild Rides in Fayetteville


Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium is located in Fayetteville, NC, and is home to the Fayetteville State Broncos football team. Fayetteville State opened in 1867 and is an HBCU that is part of North Carolina’s university system. FSU’s football program began in 1924, but the old stadium was completely renovated in 2003 at a cost of over $2.5MM, and now seats 5,520 fans after the removal of seating in the end zones. The most recent renovation occurred in 2021 with the installation of new artificial turf, namely AstroTurf’s RootZone 3D3 blend system.


The facility is named after the late Luther R. Jeralds – Jeralds played football at NCCU and in the NFL, and later served in the North Carolina House of Representatives and in the North Carolina General Assembly; there is also a middle school in Fayetteville named after him.


Food & Beverage 3

There are two concession stands at Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium; one under the main stands and another next to the visiting stands. These stands offer the basics, i.e. Chick-fil-A sandwiches, nachos with chili and/or cheese sauce, hot dogs, peanuts, packaged candy, chips, bottled sodas, and bottled water. The prices are pretty reasonable, with nothing over $3 except the Chick-fil-A sandwiches ($5) and the nachos ($5 plus $1 for cheese sauce plus another $1 for chili if you want both). The nachos seem slightly overpriced at $5 for chips alone, but all the other prices are a pretty good deal as sports venues go.


Atmosphere 3

Fayetteville State football games are a lot of fun – the student section is inspired by a mascot wearing a blue bodysuit; the mascot spends most of the game in front of the student section dancing and moving around, and the student section is pretty loud and into the game. The team also comes onto the field through a tunnel and waving the team flag, and like most HBCUs Fayetteville State has a great marching band, who swagger onto the field in full costume.


The stadium itself is surrounded by a low brick wall and has two grandstands, one on each side – the main stands under the press box have bleachers with chairbacks in the center, and bleachers without chairbacks on both ends. The visiting stands only have bleachers without chairbacks, but the stadium should be empty enough that you can sit wherever you want, even if you don’t have tickets on the correct side or in the correct section. There is also a team gear stand in one end zone if you want to get your Broncos swag on.


Unlike many stadiums, during COVID times the staff does require you to show proof of vaccination before you enter Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium.


Neighborhood 4

Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium is located on Fayetteville State’s campus in Fayetteville, NC, which is a military town (home of Fort Bragg). As such the city is large enough that there are plenty of things to do if you are in town for the day or for the weekend.


The stadium sits on the northwest corner of Fayetteville State’s campus, while the closest restaurants are to the south and southeast of campus – I recommend either the Fried Turkey Sandwich Shop or New York Restaurant, but there are other options as well, such as Saigon Bistro or Fowler’s Southern Gourmet – technically some of these are within 1 mile of the stadium, but I recommend driving as that is a pretty good walk on foot.


The closest hotels to Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium are WoodSpring Suites and American Eagle Inn, but there are plenty of other options along 401 closer to the town center, or along with Highway 210 closer to Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg itself also has a visitor’s center you can visit to learn more about the base, or you can go to the Zipquest Waterfall & Treetop recreation center for some ziplining fun.


Fans 3

The student section is the highlight of the fan base at Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium – you can hear the student section chanting and cheering, and see them dancing and moving around for most of the game, led by the team mascot. The fans in the other sections are less intense, although things can get pretty heated on the visiting side, depending on which opponent the Broncos are hosting that day.

Faithful Fans, Photo by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey


Access 3

The biggest drawback in terms of access to Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium is the lack of signs directing traffic – the stadium is easily visible as you drive by campus via Langdon Street or Murchison Road. However, finding parking is a lot more difficult – the best thing to do is enter campus via W. T. Brown Drive (turn left or right from Murchison Road), and park in the lot of the corner of W. T. Brown and Mary T. Eldridge; there is no cost to park here.


This means a bit of a walk to the stadium, but unless you have a special parking pass you can’t really get any closer, and you can waste a lot of time driving around campus trying to find anything better. Also note that when you leave campus a lot of the roads are blocked off, so you can also spend a lot of time trying to find a way out if you are not careful to go back the exact same way you came in.


Once you get to the stadium itself, however, access at Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium is pretty smooth sailing – there is plenty of room to move around, plenty of restrooms, and concessions lines move very quickly.


Return on Investment 3

Tickets to Fayetteville State games are $20, and can be purchased at the gate or online (but there will be a few dollars added in fees if you go the online route) – there is a QR code posted at the gate which you can use to purchase tickets if you don’t want to wait in line, but the line to purchase tickets is shorter than the one used to scan tickets since after you purchase your ticket you can use a different entrance which has no line.


Extras 3

Fayetteville State has a great dark blue color scheme, and some great décor in the form of bronco statues set up outside the stadium – for example, a brownish-red one facing the street outside the facility, and a white and blue outside the main entrance to the stadium. The mascot is also very unique – this is the first time I have seen a body-suited character as opposed to someone wearing an anthropomorphic animal costume. The brickwork around the stadium also gives a good aesthetic, and the trees around the venue bring a cozy feel.


Final Thoughts

While smaller than some of the venues you may have visited in the past, Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium offers a fine atmosphere for a relaxing night of college football. The band does a great job, the stadium is modern with some great recent updates, and you can get really close to the action on the field here.

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