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  • Writer's pictureChris Green

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium - Military Bowl

Photos by Chris Green, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71

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

Year Opened: 1959 Capacity: 34,000


Bowl Game Football in Maryland

Nestled on the coast of Maryland, the historic home of Navy Football plays host to the Military Bowl every year. Under the blue skies of the Atlantic coast fans gather to watch teams battle it out for bowl season glory. Pitting AAC and ACC teams against each other, this matchup usually delivers excitement and close competition. Also, thanks to its location, this may be one of the more under-appreciated bowl games of the year.

Food & Beverage 3

While most food concessions stand at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium are open during the Military Bowl, some are closed, meaning you’re down on some selections. Nonetheless, the food choices are solid enough for a sports stadium. Beer prices are what would be expected, ranging from $9 to $11, with other beverages including coffee or hot cocoa ($4), bottled water ($5), and Gatorade or bottled soda ($6). Food options include hot dogs ($4), pretzels ($5), nachos ($6), popcorn ($5), candy ($3), and more.

Atmosphere 3

Navy-Marine Corps Stadium is a mixed bag in terms of the overall aesthetic. Opened in 1957 it has seen some updates while also keeping some of its original characters The northwest end zone features general admission seating on a raised berm, as well as grassy areas for the fans to watch from. These areas run all the way up to the end zone wall, meaning you can get close to the action.

The northeast and southwest sidelines offer two-level seating, though only the lower bowl is utilized during the Military Bowl, depending on ticket demand. The southeast end zone features a large scoreboard with limited end zone seating, as well as several multi-level suite boxes with viewing patios.

The overall stadium itself is solid enough but lacks anything overwhelmingly modern. Restrooms are small and the passages under the grandstands are equally as cramped when a full crowd tries to navigate them at the same time.

Neighborhood 5

Annapolis, the state’s capitol, is a beautiful town located on the shores of the Severn River’s exit into the Chesapeake Bay. It is located almost equidistant from both Baltimore and Washington D.C., providing easy access to two major metropolitan cities full of shopping, dining, and major airports. The area around the stadium is quaint and features many historic sites, including the Maryland State House. Shopping and dining are plentiful downtown near the Annapolis waterfront area as well, and fans can find plenty to entertain themselves there.

Fans 4

The matchup for the Military Bowl pits teams from the ACC and American conferences against each other – this means a close matchup is likely each year, and the fans are more than ready for it. While the lower bowl is usually the only seating being used for the game, the fans nonetheless are loud enough with each big play. The game also has a very family-friendly feel to it, and there is a real camaraderie in the grandstands among the fans in attendance.

Access 4

To get to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium you simply need to drive on US 50 from the DC area, or on I-97 to US 50 from the Baltimore Area; these two routes will both drop you steps from the stadium. Once you’re there, parking is plentiful – official stadium parking is $40 for pre-purchase or $50 on the day of, with numerous lots in the area ranging from $20 and up. Signage in the stadium is plentiful as well, making it easy to get around and navigate the facility.

Return on Investment 4

Tickets to the Military Bowl range from $40 to $100, with plenty of flexibility depending on your budget. With that in mind, this is great pricing for a bowl game offering a solid matchup. The weather is great in Annapolis in December, and the area is right next door to some major sights and cities. Without a doubt, this is one of the more affordable bowl games on the schedule, making this a solid option for those who want the bowl season experience without the playoff prices.

Extras 3

The northwest end zone features the Navy goat statue as well as a memorial garden for the military, which showcases plaques and memorial statues from the Navy’s past. Also of interest is the Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet on display outside the stadium, which is a popular photo spot for fans. Finally, the stadium’s ring of honor features historic and notable Navy battles instead of former player names.

Final Thoughts

The Military Bowl is a matchup that many may overlook when planning their bowl game travels. Should your favorite team make it to this game, or should you be looking for a great game option for a visit, the Military Bowl no doubt is a solid one when deciding where to go. Affordable tickets and parking with plentiful seating in a great location make this a perfect match for college football fans.

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