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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium - Navy Midshipmen Lacrosse


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium 550 Taylor Ave Annapolis, MD 21401

Year Opened: 1959 Capacity: 34,000

 

Navy Blue and Gold Lacrosse

Located on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis, Maryland is home to the US Naval Academy. Although Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is better-known for hosting Navy's football team, it is also home to the Midshipmen's lacrosse program. Although Navy lacrosse has never won the NCAA Championship, they are one of the most successful college lacrosse programs of the pre-NCAA era, having won a whopping 17 championships.


Food & Beverage 2

While there are several concession stands at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, most of them are closed for lacrosse games, and the two that are open have limited selections. Hot dogs ($4), nachos ($6), candy ($3), chips ($1), popcorn ($5), pretzels ($5), and caramel corn ($5) are your only options to eat. Soft drinks and bottled water are also available.





Atmosphere 3

Just walking into Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium will tell you this is the home of Navy Athletics. The logo is painted all over the place and the walls lining the field list all the areas of the world that the US Navy has fought over the years. When the Navy team runs out onto the field before the game, they do so waving an American flag to remind you of where you are.


Alas, there isn't much else going on during the game other than the game itself. There are no distractions or march-ons of the Brigade of Midshipmen or anything else that you would see here for Navy football. Some lacrosse fans may like that, while others will be disappointed. Music is played after Navy goals, but that is about it.


It is worth noting that only the lower level of the Blue (west) side of the stadium is open for Navy lacrosse games due to the small crowds. About 60% of these seats are chairbacks, while the remainder are bleacher seats. The bleacher seats are reserved for the Brigade of Midshipmen during football games, and as they typically stand for the whole game, presumably the athletic department did not see any point in installing chairbacks. However, student presence is minimal at best at lacrosse games, so fans can sit wherever they want.


Neighborhood 5

Annapolis is a small-sized city of about 40,000 people, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. There’s a shopping center located across from the stadium with a few basic restaurants, but you can find far better food a short drive away. Annapolis being located on the Chesapeake Bay, there are plenty of great seafood restaurants nearby, including Buddy’s Crabs & Ribs, The Boatyard Bar & Grill, and the Sailor Oyster Bar, all located within a couple miles of the stadium. If you want an authentic sweet treat after your meal, The Boatyard sells the official state dessert of Maryland, Smith Island Cake, which is made fresh on Smith Island daily and brought up by ferry.


The real attraction, though, is the U.S. Naval Academy itself. The grounds are beautiful, and there’s so much history, so be sure to take a tour while you’re in town. Keep in mind, however, that driving onto Academy grounds is prohibited without proper military clearance. Fans can board a shuttle from the parking lot to take them onto Academy grounds.



Fans 4

Attendance at Navy lacrosse games can vary significantly. For an early season game against a non-conference opponent, Navy will likely draw under 1,000 fans. For a game against a regional rival like Loyola or Johns Hopkins or their archrival and fellow service academy Army, they will draw several thousand, perhaps over 10,000. The experience here varies depending on where you go more than at many other schools.. Attendance has also trended downward since COVID, even as restrictions have been gone for several years now. It remains to be seen if this trend will continue.


Fans in attendance are your typical bunch and range from passionate to subdued. They can get into it after Navy goals, but as they tend to be spread out throughout the large stadium, despite the fact that many sections are closed off, it still will rarely get that loud here unless the Mids are playing a rival.


Access 4

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is located just off U.S. Route 50. Take Exit 24 for Rowe Boulevard, and the stadium is just up ahead. Parking is available in a lot next to the stadium for $10, which is a bit pricey but not outrageously so. Both cash and credit cards are accepted.


Once inside, it is easy to move around the concourses and other areas, as they were designed for much larger football crowds. The lines at the concession stands will rarely get very long, although it might be different at more in-demand games. Likewise, the restrooms designed for football crowds are more than capable of handling lacrosse ones. .


Return on Investment 3

Tickets are $10, which is about typical for lacrosse in this area. They may be more expensive for games against rivals like Army, but for most games $10 will be the price. Concessions are affordable if limited, but $10 to park is as much as the ticket itself. All of this makes a trip here an average value to see a lacrosse game, nothing more, nothing less.


Extras 3

Look for the Blue Angel plane outside the stadium as you come in.


There is a marketing table on the concourse with giveaways such as roster cards and yearbooks, all of which are free.


A third and final star for the team store, known as the Goat Locker, which sells Navy merchandise during the game,






Final Thoughts

Lacrosse is very popular in the state of Maryland - in fact, it's the official team sport. Navy is just one of several highly successful lacrosse programs in the state. For the best experience, we suggest visiting one of the games against a regional rival, or the Army-Navy game in years when it is held here, even though the price may be slightly more expensive. However, whenever you visit, you can enjoy taking in lacrosse in this historic setting.

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