Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71
Musselman Stadium 300 N. Washington St. Gettysburg, PA 17325
Year Opened: 1965
Gettysburg’s Football Address
Gettysburg College is a private, four-year liberal arts college founded in 1832. From its founding until 1921 it was known as Pennsylvania College.
Author Jerry Spinelli, Carson Kressley from Bravo TV’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” and former Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul are graduates of the college. The area is more known for the July 1st through 3rd 1863 military engagements, as well as Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The area is very busy nearly all times of the year as tourists flock to the battlefields, as well as the commercial endeavors that surround the area.
Sports teams at the college are known as the Bullets and there are 24 NCAA Division III men’s and women’s teams. The Gettysburg College women’s lacrosse team won the Division III National Championship in 2011. The Bullets play in the Centennial Conference.
The 1964 football team won the University Division of the Middle Atlantic Conference championship with a 7–2 record for the first and only time in school history. The 1966 football team also played in the MAC University Division and captured the coveted Lambert Cup, emblematic of northeastern collegiate supremacy, again for the first and only time in school history. Both teams have been inducted into the Gettysburg College Hall of Athletic Honor as Teams of Distinction.
Their stadium, Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium, is also home to the school’s field hockey, lacrosse, and men’s and women’s outdoor track & field. It was dedicated in September 1965 with a ceremony attended by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Food & Beverage 2
There is no permanent food stand at Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium. That is a bit shocking because of the relatively large-sized facility. There is a temporary stand at the north end selling cheap food and drinks and it is usually manned by another of the college’s sports teams.
The stadium is quite large. That can make the atmosphere seem a bit more subdued than needed, except when a large crowd is in attendance. The field is also surrounded by a track which means fans will be a bit further from the action. There are two grandstands, but the east side one is temporarily looking for construction. The west stands are permanent. They are pretty simple concrete stands, with simple metal bleachers attached to them. The west stands are also quite large with a good number of seats.
Gettysburg is a great small town. There is almost always traffic in the town as tourists flock to the area all of the year. In the summer months it can be almost unbearable to drive through the area, so make note of that. Because so many people travel in the area expect to see numerous food options. But not all of them are good so make sure to check reviews so that you do not waste time in tourist dumps.
My favorite restaurant choices are Hunt’s Battlefield Fries, Tommy’s Pizza, and The Garryowen Irish Pub. The fresh-cut fries at Hunt’s are a must. A couple of home-style options are Hoss’s Steaks and the Lincoln Diner. You can’t go wrong with their simple, but tasty offerings
There is also a very good outlet mall right outside of town called The Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg. With no taxes on clothing in Pennsylvania, it is a popular attraction on its own.
The football program is not always the best lately, but the fans still turn out fairly heavily for home games. The fans are decent and seem to be involved in the game action.
Gettysburg is close to many things. Washington, DC is 75 miles away and Baltimore is 55 miles away. The main east-west road through Gettysburg is U.S. Route 30, and U.S. Route 15 runs south towards Frederick, MD, and Washington DC, as well as north to Harrisburg, PA.
The only real problem is the traffic in the area. The college is located in a small neighborhood north of downtown and it won’t be very hard to get to the college, but expect to venture on many small roads to get there. Parking is usually pretty OK, but the larger the event more likely it is that parking will be at a premium. You can always park downtown and walk to campus.
Return on Investment 5
Football games are generally free, although they could charge for some larger games. Parking is also free unless you have to park downtown. Either way, the value and return on investment are very good here at Gettysburg College.
There is a nice veteran’s memorial just outside of Musselman Stadium. Stop in and think of those who gave all to this nation before seeing a game here. It will be well worth the visit.
The architecture of the college is worth noting. Make sure to wander around and see the marvelous buildings on campus. The John F. Jaeger Center for Athletics, Recreation, and Fitness is a pretty spectacular architectural building with its unique glass tower. There is a nice hall of fame and historical exhibits of the Gettysburg College athletic program located here.
The Gettysburg Battlefield and all that surrounds it are worth a couple of stars themselves. Yes, it is a tourist attraction, but one must stop in and see it. There is a multitude of historical markings, statues, and attractions in the area.
Besides being on hand upon this stadium’s opening, Dwight D. Eisenhower is a popular name on the campus and the region. He retired to his working farm adjacent to the local battlefield. The Eisenhower Institute is also a part of the college and develops and sponsors civic discourse on significant issues of domestic and international public policy.
Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium is quite a nice facility. It is much larger than one would expect from a Division III program, but it is a great place to see high-quality sports teams.