RA-Lin Field at University Stadium – West Georgia Wolves
Photos by David Welch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
RA-Lin Field at University Stadium 1500 Lovvorn Rd Carrollton, GA 30117
Year Opened: 2009 Capacity: 10,000
University of West Georgia Wolves
The football history at the University of West Georgia is relatively young when looking at the storied programs throughout the South. Starting in 1981, West Georgia wasted no time making their presence felt, winning the NCAA Division-III National Championship in just their second year of existence. Their stay at the D-III level would be short-lived as the then-named Braves would move to the Division-II level for the 1983 season, where they have remained for 40 years.
Current members of the Division-II Gulf South Conference, the Wolves will be making the jump to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) as football members of the United Athletic Conference (UAC), a partnership between the Western Athletic Conference and the A-Sun at the start of the 2024 season.
Food & Beverage 3
The ordinary concession stands are not overly exciting when it comes to the choices fans have. Chick-fil-A sandwiches, hot dogs, slices of pizza, and nachos with cheese are the primary options, with popcorn, chips, and candy to complement them.
Concessions are very well priced with the Chick-fil-A sandwich costing the most at just $5. University Stadium also sells soft drinks from the Coca-Cola family, Power-Ade, and bottled water, each for $3.
University Stadium does sell beer and seltzers, but this is limited to the Touchdown Landing at the northwest corner of the stadium. Fans can choose from a handful of Truly seltzers, Michelob Ultra, Miller Lite, and Yuengling Lager. There is also a full selection from the local Carrollton brewery Printer’s Ale Manufacturing Co.
Concessions are pretty standard as to what would be found at most stadium stands, but they are at least priced very reasonably.
The large tower of glass-fronted suites gives the stadium a somewhat modern feel. The interior concourse continues that modernism with several large blue arched support structures throughout.
The interior concourse opens to split-level seating. Alternating tunnels lead to an upper seating area that consists of both aluminum bleachers and a midfield section of reserved seats with chair backs, which run between the 30-yard lines on each end of the field. The lower-level tunnels bring fans to a wide exterior concourse that wraps around the seating bowl. Prime seating options will mostly depend on the time of the game – late afternoon and evening games will put the home side stands in the shadows rather quickly, which depending on the time of year could provide relief or create the need for a jacket during colder weather.
Not enough can be said about the role the band plays in creating the classic college football atmosphere. The Marching Wolves of West Georgia are ready with situational blasts of music for 1st downs, calling for 3rd down stops, and of course the school’s fight song following scoring plays.
There is not a lot when it comes to entertainment during breaks in the action, but the band paired with the music played over the speakers helps fill the time until the game starts back up.
In all, the game experience is about everything you would expect from a typical college football game. Fans are actively into the game’s flow and its highs and lows.
The University of West Georgia is located less than 3 miles from downtown Carrollton, Georgia. Carrolton is on the outer reaches of the western suburbs of Atlanta, approximately 50 miles from Georgia’s largest city.
The Carrollton town center is full of shops, restaurants, and a handful of breweries. Fans coming to Carrollton from out of town will find several hotels just off the downtown square. Being so close to campus, this is a great place to grab a pint or bite to eat before a late afternoon game, or have dinner following a noon kickoff. Maple Street, which runs along the front of the West Georgia campus, also has several eateries to choose from.
University Stadium, along with the school’s soccer and softball fields, is just west of the main campus. Despite not being directly part of the rest of the West Georgia facilities, the football complex is close enough that it does not feel as if it is removed from campus.
Games usually draw between 2,000 and 3,000 fans per game, and fans are typically engaged throughout. Wolves fans get loud during pivotal parts of the game – if in need of a defensive stop, or trying to will the ball carrier to an extra yard for a first down, the Wolves backers know to amp up the volume. The Wolves faithful also recognize good and not-so-good football plays and respond accordingly. Fans do not necessarily create a hostile atmosphere for the visiting team, but they are appropriately supportive of their Wolves.
What is a bit disappointing is that while the University of West Georgia has an enrollment of just over 8,500 undergraduate students, the student section is rather sparse with supporters. This is unfortunate because the stadium has the potential of being a great fan atmosphere when paired with the alumni and local fans, as well as the work the marching band does throughout the game.
The University of West Georgia is about an hour from downtown Atlanta, and less than 30 minutes from the Georgia-Alabama state line in Carrollton, Georgia. The most direct route is via Interstate 20 which runs east-west through the state. Once off the interstate, there is still another 20 minutes to reach Carrolton; it is not necessarily the most direct of destinations to get to.
University Stadium is just off the West Georgia campus. Most GPS directions to the stadium will have fans entering the area through a rather non-descript entry point with little sign of a college campus nearby, but there is signage signifying the West Georgia Athletics complex.
There is plenty of parking surrounding the stadium. Lot A, a large grass and gravel lot, sits across from the west entrance to the stadium and is easy to get in and out of before and after the game.
University Stadium has multiple entry points, most of which sit along the west side of the stadium. Fans seem to extend their tailgating right up to kickoff, so the lines to get in are rather short.
Once inside fans are treated to a wide internal concourse under the home side seating area, with enough room that concessions lines do not interfere with those trying to pass through. The field concourse makes its way around the seating bowl but as mentioned, the walkway does not make its way around the entirety of the stadium.
Return on Investment 5
Tickets for West Georgia football games start at $10 for general admission seats and $20 for reserved seats with seat backs. Reserved seating runs between the 30-yard lines on the western side of the stadium. Tickets for “The Porch” at the south end of the stadium offer a more exclusive football experience – starting at $65 for a single ticket, packages can be upgraded for families and can also include babysitting services.
Parking in Lot A, the grass lot next to the stadium, is free. Reserved parking starts at $10 in the blacktop lot just to the north.
When considering the extreme affordability of concessions prices and $10 tickets, it would be hard to find a more affordable college football experience in the area.
The pre-game pep rally around the wolf statue atop the small hill behind the visiting team stands is a great rallying point for fans as they await players disembarking buses for the pre-game Wolf Walk.
The large University of West Georgia logo on the exterior of the tower in the stadium pays homage to the university’s history. Before being rebranded as Wolves in 2006, the University of West Georgia had been known as the Braves since West Georgia’s inception in 1930. The large piece of art on the stadium's exterior depicts the current Wolves mascot, with a brave in the background.
In addition, after the final seconds tick off the clock and the teams shake hands, the players, coaches, and cheer squads gather in front of the band to sing the school’s alma mater. It is these traditions, new or established, that make the college game so special.
West Georgia football might not have the tradition and grandeur that many of the larger programs in the region might have, but it is an overall positive football experience.
The move to the FCS level should help in providing more resources for West Georgia to continue improving University Stadium and build on the current game day ambiance. The most glaring omission right now is a vocal student fanbase that would create a truly electric college football atmosphere – at the end of the day the athletic teams are an extension of the student body, and more involvement from them will do nothing but bolster the strong foundation that the University of West Georgia football experience sits on.