Pioneer Field – Tusculum Pioneers
Photos by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71
Pioneer Field 131 Shiloh Rd Greeneville, TN 37745
Year Opened: 1965
A Trek to Pioneer Field
Home to Pioneer Soccer since the facility was built in 1965, and home to Pioneer football since 1991 when that sport was brought back to campus, Pioneer Field received a major upgrade in 2000 when a new press box was constructed, along with new lighting, new concessions areas & restrooms, and updated seating. The venue now holds 3,500 fans – 2,500 on the main side and 1,000 on the visitor’s side – and includes a Bermuda grass field and a brand-new fieldhouse behind the west end zone.
New Press Box at Pioneer Field, Photo by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey
Food & Beverage 3
Pioneer Field offers concessions on the south side of the field only (meaning fans in the visitor section will have to walk all the way around), including Chick-fil-A sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, and candy bars, ranging in price from $2 to $6. They also sell bottled water and bottled Coke products for $3. Concessions lines move pretty quickly, and the food is high quality.
Pioneer Field has a great atmosphere and a beautiful setting – most notably I love the Tusculum décor splashed all the way across the field, including the word ‘Tusculum’ stretching from 30-yard line to 30-yard line and the Pioneer logos at the 25s. The trees surrounding the field are also a great touch, providing a great rural feel especially during night games. I would also mention the unique brick architecture, including brick columns embedded in the fencing around the field – when you walk up to the stadium you can’t even really tell it’s a stadium, which is a great design feature, as the facility blends smoothly right into its surroundings.
Tusculum also has a great mascot to entertain fans during games. Named Zeke and reminiscent of Daniel Boone, he can be found walking around the main stands interacting with fans. There is a cheerleading squad as well, and team gear can be purchased near the main entrance if you want to get your Pioneers swag on. This is a really great facility overall; the only downside is that the venue doesn’t have a videoboard yet (just a static digital scoreboard) – a videoboard will be a great addition when it comes.
Tusculum Pioneers Mascot, Photo by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey
Tusculum, TN is not a large town, but there are plenty of restaurants a few miles away from Pioneer Field along Highway 321 – a couple local favorites include Old Oak Taproom, Whistle Stop, and Fatz Café, which is a small local chain with locations in TN, NC, and SC. One tourist stop you should also check out while in town is the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in nearby Greeneville – now run by the National Park Service it consists of four different sites: the visitor’s center, the early home, the homestead, and the cemetery. And if you need a hotel while you are there, there are several hotels near Pioneer Field such as Hampton Inn and Quality Inn.
Pioneer Field has great fans, averaging around 2,000 per contest, including a decent number of opposing fans, which is more common at this level of football given how close the schools tend to be to each other. At the game I most recently attended there wasn’t much of a student section, as a lot of the students were working the race events at nearby Bristol Motor Speedway, but at a typical game you will see a lot of energy from the students.
There are few football stadiums that are easier to get into and out of than Pioneer Field – located only a few miles from the larger city of Greenville, there is free parking right in front of the facility and plenty of room to move around the concourse. The concessions on the south side face the field, so you won’t miss any of the action, and the lines there are short. There are also more than enough bathrooms to accommodate the size of the crowd.
The only downside in terms of access at Pioneer Field is that the home stands (south side) and visiting stands (north side) are not connected, so you must walk all the way around if you want to sit on the visitor side, which as a reminder doesn’t have any concessions either. However, there is plenty of room on the south side so you are welcome to just stay there – the main stands have orange chair backs in the first few rows in the middle, orange seats without backs above that, and bleachers without backs on the ends, while the visiting stands only have bleachers without backs.
Return on Investment 5
Tickets to Tusculum football are just $15, which is a great deal for the beautiful facility you get to enjoy – the trees all around, the great décor, the unique architecture, the free and close parking, and the low-cost concessions.
A big plus for the great music played by the PA announcer, including some great dance music. There is also tailgating in the parking lot in front of the stadium, most notably the large white tent sponsored by the Pioneer Club, but also plenty of individual fans soaking up the pregame atmosphere.