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  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

Reese Stadium - Yale Bulldogs Lacrosse

Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43

Reese Stadium 75 Central Ave. West Haven, CT 06515

Year Opened: 1981

Capacity: 1,250

Welcome to the Doghouse

Originally named the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium, the home of Yale’s soccer and lacrosse teams was renamed in 2011 in honor of brothers Jason and Jon Reese, both of whom were Yale alumni, members of the lacrosse team and donors to the stadium.

Yale was one of the first schools to play lacrosse in the late 1800s, and was an early power in the sport. They are credited with the 1883 national championship. In college lacrosse’s modern era, the Bulldogs have qualified for ten NCAA tournaments, two Final Fours and have won one championship, in 2018. Seven Yale alumni are enshrined in the Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

Food & Beverage 4

There is a surprising variety of concessions available at Reese Stadium for Yale lacrosse fans. While Reese Stadium has no permanent concessions, the place makes due (most impressively) with a variety of temporary sites.

On the Kempner Family Plaza outside Reese Stadium temporary stands sell assorted snacks, candy and Coca-Cola products. Local favorite Amity Brick Oven Pizza sells assorted slices, including an interesting mashed potato and bacon pizza.

The greatest variety comes from The Mixed Grille food truck that sets up on the far side of the grounds in front of the Coxe Cage. Among the offerings here are chicken wings, pulled pork sandwiches and bacon cheeseburgers.

Atmosphere 4

Generally speaking, lacrosse games are not the big events that sports such as football or basketball games are. That said, lacrosse games are fun to attend. The fans here are really enthusiastic about their favorite teams and there is more than enough action to keep even a casual fan entertained.

At Reese Stadium there is a giant video scoreboard in the east end zone that provides basic game stats and highlights. Music plays over the PA system during play stoppages, and Yale goals are announced with great enthusiasm.

Neighborhood 3

Reese Stadium is not located on the school’s campus in downtown New Haven, but about a mile and a half away in neighboring West Haven. Also located at the sports complex are the Yale Bowl, Yale Field, Coxe Center and the Connecticut Tennis Center. Visiting fans will want to explore the Yale campus, renowned for its unique Gothic architecture. New Haven is developing a reputation as one of the country’s best small cities for foodies, with excellent restaurants and pubs located throughout the downtown.

A couple of spots in particular may be of interest to visiting fans. Just blocks from the Yale campus is Louis’ Lunch, which claims to be the birthplace of the hamburger. New Haven is also home to a unique brand of brick oven pizza, called apizza by locals. Local legends Frank Pepe’s and Sally’s Apizza, located just over a block apart on Wooster Street, are world famous for this pizza style. Many locals tout a third location, Modern Apizza,

located only a half mile from campus.

Fans looking for lodging during their visit to New Haven will not find many choices near Yale Field, but there are no shortage of options around the Yale campus. A detailed list of area hotels can be found here.

Fans 4

Yale lacrosse draws good crowds to games at Reese Stadium. Crowds generally number between 700-1,200 per game, increasing over the course of the season as the weather warms up. A 2019 NCAA tournament game drew 1,700 fans to the facility, which has a listed capacity of 1,250.

Lacrosse fans are generally very enthusiastic and vocal in support of their favorite team, and the Bulldog fans in attendance at Reese Stadium are no exception. It’s not surprising to see a bunch of youth lacrosse players wandering around the grounds with their sticks, playing catch or bouncing balls off the brick walls of Coxe Cage.

Access 4

Reese Stadium, located alongside several of Yale’s other athletic facilities, is fairly easy to get to. Simply take exit 44 off of Interstate 95, follow Ella T. Grasso Boulevard for about a mile and a half, take a left onto Derby Avenue, and a right onto Central Avenue. Reese Stadium will be on your right. Driving directions to Reese Stadium can be found here.

Parking is available in the many fields and lots that surround Reese Stadium and the Yale Bowl. There is ample parking here for even the largest lacrosse crowds.

Seating in the Reese Stadium grandstand is in the form of metal bleachers without backs. There is a walkway along the front of the grandstand, meaning that if you are sitting in the first few rows, your view may be obstructed by fans passing in front of you throughout the game. Sitting a few rows up is recommended. With the grandstand raised about ten feet above the playing surface, all seats offer excellent views of the action.

There is additional seating at ground level on the far side of the field, as well as in the western end zone. There is standing room all around the field.

Surprisingly, there are no rest room facilities at Reese Stadium. The bathrooms at the Yale Bowl are open for lacrosse games, and are located a short walk from the facility.

Return on Investment 3

Tickets to Yale lacrosse games cost ten dollars for adults, with children and seniors admitted for half price. Buying tickets on game day will increase the price by two dollars. Yale does not place a surcharge on online orders, making it worthwhile to order in advance.

Parking in the lots near Reese Stadium costs an additional ten dollars. With affordable concessions, an afternoon at a Yale lacrosse game will certainly not break the bank.

Extras 2

An extra point is awarded for the plaques on the exterior of Reese Stadium honoring lettermen in both soccer and lacrosse.

An additional extra point is awarded for the festival-like atmosphere outside big games at Reese Stadium. Between the tailgating, the concessions along Kempner Family Plaza, and the open courtyard at the Yale Bowl, there’s a great atmosphere before and during Yale lacrosse games.

Final Thoughts

Reese Stadium provides Yale lacrosse fans with an excellent venue at which to catch a game. The Bulldogs, the 2018 national champions, enjoy great support and an excellent game day atmosphere. Pair a lax game with a baseball game at historic Yale Field next door, then head downtown for some apizza, and you’ll have a great day!

Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter and Instagram @PuckmanRI.

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