Photos by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
Monarch Stadium Joe Stout View Dr Fayetteville, NC 28311
Year Opened: 1989
Long Live the Monarchs
Monarch Stadium opened in 1989 and has seating for around 1200, with 800 plastic chairback seats on bricked steps dug into one hillside, and portable bleachers with extra seating in one end zone and on the visitor’s side. The Methodist Monarchs compete in NCAA’s Division 3, in the USA South Athletic Conference.
Food & Beverage 4
Monarch Stadium has several concessions stands located near the main entrance – available for purchase they have pizza, nachos, peanuts, pretzels, cotton candy, popcorn, pickles, packaged candy, crackers, fruit snacks, chips, and cookies, as well as Italian Ice from Sunset Slush, bottled water, soda, and Gatorade. Most items are $3 or less, with many items for $2, $1, or even less than a dollar. The stadium also offers baked goods as part of a fundraising effort – technically these are free but donations are accepted; the baked goods are available from baskets the staff walks around with during the game.
One unique feature at Monarch Stadium is that the band includes two electric guitars, which is not something you normally see in college marching bands. Another unique feature is the seats in the main grandstand in front of the press box – the chairback seats are very comfortable and have lots of legroom, so you have plenty of space to stretch out.
Methodist Monarchs Band, Photo by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey
In the area in front of each row of seats there is just plain grass, no cement or other flooring, and if you don’t like those seats you are welcome to sit on the grass next to the grandstand or sit in the temporary bleachers on the other side of the field or behind one end zone; a few fans even watch from the shade of the trees around the track which surrounds the field.
There is plenty of Methodist signage around the stadium, including an “MU” logo set in a bed of gravel in one corner, and a sign for the Monarch Maniacs near the front entrance. There is also a mascot, in the form of a student wearing a lion costume and Monarch’s jersey, who roams the grandstand interacting with fans.
Also, if you sit in the front row of the main grandstand you are less than one foot away from the cheerleaders, so you are close to the action here at Monarch Stadium, as close as you will probably ever be at a football game. The staff also plays some really fun music throughout the contest.
Monarch Stadium is located on Methodist’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 the weekend.
The two closest restaurants to the stadium, right on the other side of the street from the campus entrance on Ramsey Street, are Applebee’s and Burger King, but there are plenty of other choices further out. The area surrounding campus feels a little run down, but the campus itself is quite nice.
The closest hotel to Monarch Stadium is Fairfield Inn & Suites, also on Ramsey Street, but there are plenty of other options along Highway 210 closer to Fort Bragg, or along 401 closer to the town center. 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.
Monarch Stadium doesn’t draw many fans – at an average game, you will probably see less than a thousand fans in attendance. As such the crowd noise is not very intense but instead provides a rather relaxing atmosphere.
Methodist Monarch Fans, Photo by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey
Getting to Monarch Stadium is a walk in the park – just enter campus using the Ramsey Street entrance, park for free in the lot on the corner of Lowdermilk and Joe Stout, and you are less than a 5-minute walk from the stadium. Tickets are sold right in front of the stadium for $6 (there are no online ticket sales), and getting in and out of the stadium is very quick and easy. There is plenty of room to move around the concourse and short lines at the concessions. The only drawback may be the restrooms, which are in a white trailer near the south end zone, and not at the main grandstand.
Return on Investment 5
$6 tickets are probably the cheapest you will ever see for college football – add in free parking and low-cost concessions, and you get a great bang for your buck watching a game at Monarch Stadium.
The football field at Monarch Stadium has a track around it and is also used for lacrosse, so you can watch a lot of different Methodist sports at this facility. The static scoreboard doesn’t have any video capability but is large enough to easily be seen from the main stands. The guitars in the band are a nice touch, although the band is very small with only a few members. The “free” baked goods are also a plus, but I think the best part of watching a football game at Monarch Stadium is how close you are to the action – you can feel the sights and sounds of the game.
While it won’t stack up to most of the NFL or FBS/FCS football stadiums you may have been to, Monarch Stadium is great as far as D3 facilities go. If you are in the Fayetteville area I think Monarch Stadium is worth a look – relaxed atmosphere, easy in and out, and the chance to see college football up-close; what more could you ask?