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  • Gregory Koch

Cooper Field - Georgetown Hoyas


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86

Cooper Field 37th St NW & O St. NW Washington, DC 20057


Georgetown Hoyas website

Cooper Field website


Year Opened: 1994

Capacity: 3,750


 

A-Hoya, Mate, it's Georgetown University Football

Georgetown University has called many stadiums home over the years, but currently plays its home games at Cooper Field in the middle of its Washington, D.C. campus. The history of Cooper Field is a complex one. It originally opened as Harbin Field, a soccer facility, in 1994. In 2003, the Hoyas’ football program began to play there as well, but it wasn’t until 2005 that it was properly converted to a football facility. Known at the time as Multi-Sport Field, the venues played host to several other Hoyas’ teams as well, and still is home to the field hockey and lacrosse programs.


Renovations to Multi-Sport Field had been planned for many years, as it was sorely lacking compared to other FCS facilities, and they finally occurred during 2018 and 2019 thanks to a donation from Peter and Susan Cooper. The stadium was renamed in their honor and expanded from 2,500 to 3,750, and permanent restrooms, concessions, and a concourse were added.


Food & Beverage 3

There is one concession stand located just inside the entrance to Cooper Field. Hot dogs are $6, while hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and smoked sausage are $7. Snacks include cotton candy ($5), candy ($2), hot pretzels ($6), and churros ($7 for two.) Drinks include bottled water and soda ($3), iced tea and Powerade ($4), and hot chocolate and cider ($3.) The lines can get long during the game, so we suggest getting food early if possible.

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Atmosphere 4

Although once regarded as one of the worst venues in FCS, the experience at Cooper Field has improved significantly since the renovations. A proper concourse is now located under the bleachers, and fans can walk up steps or a ramp to their seats. All seats are bleachers which can get a bit uncomfortable, but as the stadium is small and the front rows are elevated, you will have a great view of the action from anywhere. A small scoreboard is located behind the end zone to the left of the bleachers.


Cooper Field Scoreboard, Photo by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


The Hoyas have a small pep band, although they do not march on the field like at many other football stadiums. They do play music during breaks in the action, but it can often be hard to hear, especially since they will sometimes play music over the PA system at the same time.


As the stadium is located in the heart of the Georgetown campus, many of the historic buildings are visible from the stadium. Some fans elect to watch the game from the walkway outside the McDonough School of Business rather than enter the stadium and watch from the bleachers.


Neighborhood 5

Cooper Field is located in the middle of the Georgetown campus, and you’ll probably have to head off campus to really do anything. However, the Georgetown neighborhood (which lends its name to the school, not the other way around) is one of the best in D.C. There are numerous restaurants ranging from casual sandwich shop Booeymonger’s to luxurious upscale restaurants such as 1789, and everything in between. Georgetown Cupcake sells exactly what its name implies, Clyde's of Georgetown is a locally popular American pub and bar, and Chaia is known for its fancy vegetarian and vegan tacos. All of this is located just a short walk or drive away from the University.


If you’re willing to head downtown to the National Mall area, the District has so much more to offer, and the best part is that most of it is free. Whether it’s taking in the sights and monuments on the Mall itself, or visiting one of the many museums such as the various Smithsonians, there’s something for everyone. All of the government-run attractions are free, but some of the private ones are not. Just keep in mind if you wish to tour the White House or Capitol, you will need to book in advance. .


Fans 5

Although Cooper Field only seats 3,750 fans, one of the smallest Division I venues in the country, Hoya fans pack the bleachers and the stadium is nearly full every game. Some of the fans come decked out in the Georgetown blue and gray, while others are just looking to take in a football game at a more affordable price than what you’d pay for the professional team in DC. This means that the fan base will range in knowledge from those who know every player on the team to those who could be heard telling their kids that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones played football at Georgetown, which he most certainly did not. Regardless of their familiarity with the Hoyas, the fans are passionate and will cheer for Georgetown, particularly following big plays. The attendance numbers may be small, but they do not tell the whole story. The fans at a packed Cooper Field can be as good as anywhere else, even if there aren’t that many of them in absolute terms.


Access 4

Parking is conveniently available in a garage that is right at the stadium if you use the right elevator to exit. Unfortunately, this bank of elevators isn’t clearly marked, but even if you use the wrong one, you shouldn’t have to walk more than a minute or two. Parking in this garage used to be free on Saturdays, but now costs between $15 and $25 depending on what time of day you get there. For an early afternoon start, it will cost $25, but if the game starts in the evening, you may be able to get away with paying only $15. The concourses are easy to navigate and a massive improvement on the way it used to be here. Restrooms are available off the concourse and are of a sufficient size for the crowd, though some toilets were not working by the end of the game when we visited.


Unfortunately, the Washington Metro does not run to the Georgetown neighborhood and the closest stops are several miles away. There are buses that stop nearby, but your best bet is to drive or take an Uber or Lyft if driving is not an option. Georgetown is nowhere near downtown and is just across the river from Virginia, so you do not have to worry about city traffic coming in.


Return on Investment 4

Tickets are only $10, and just $5 for youth, and concessions are affordable as well. However, the parking that can cost more than twice what a ticket does brings this down a notch. A family of two adults and two children will pay almost as much to park as they will for their tickets. For smaller groups or fans traveling alone, the price to park may make up the majority of the cost of going to a game here.


Extras 2

One bonus star for the gorgeous setting of Cooper Field in the middle of Georgetown’s campus. The field is surrounded by historic buildings which remind you of the college setting.


A second and final star for the Jack the Bulldog statue near the entrance. Jack is the Hoyas’ mascot, and although neither the live nor costumed versions made an appearance during our visit, the statue is a nice touch.


Jack the Bull Dog Statue, Photo by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


Final Thoughts

When most people think of Georgetown athletics, they think of the men’s basketball team once led by Patrick Ewing as a player, and now led by him as coach. Few think of the Hoyas’ football team, and many don’t even realize they have a football team. Part of this is because the Hoyas are among the worst teams in FCS, and until recently their stadium was among the worst in the country. Although the team still ranks near the bottom of the country, the stadium experience has vastly improved since the renovations. Although Cooper Field is small in size, and not particularly fancy, a visit here is still a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon watching football at an affordable price.


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