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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Reeves Field – American Eagles


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.14

Reeves Field

3701 University Avenue

Washington, DC 20016



Year Opened: 1949

Capacity: 700

 

Fly, Eagles, Fly

Reeves Field is located on the campus of American University in Washington, D.C., and has been the home of the Eagles soccer team since 1949. The stadium is named after John M. Reeves, who served on the University’s Board of Trustees for 23 years. The stadium also contains a track which serves as the home of the Eagles’ track and field programs.


Many professional and national teams have used Reeves Field as a practice facility while they visit D.C., including Major League Soccer teams such as the San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders, European teams such as FC Barcelona and A.C. Milan, and national teams from the United States as well as foreign countries like Bolivia and Portugal.


Food & Beverage 1

There is one small food cart at Reeves Field, and the selection is extremely limited. Water and Powerade are $3, soda is $2, and assorted chips, candy, and other snacks are $1. There is nothing you can make a meal out of. Outside food and beverage can be brought into the stadium, so we recommend doing so or eating before the game.


Atmosphere 2

Reeves Field seats only 700 fans, so there is not a bad seat in the building. After entering, you will walk around the track to the bleachers on the far side of the field. You can also choose to just stand along the track and watch from there as some fans do. The bleachers are pretty much the only part of the field in the shade during the day, as they lie under some trees. This is nice on late August afternoons when the heat can be scorching, but once you get into the fall, it can be annoying to have leaves landing on your head during the game. The trees also tend to attract a lot of pesky insects. There is a large scoreboard located in one of the corners, which also shows shots on goal and corner kicks.


Unfortunately, the university really doesn’t do much to keep fans engaged or even interested here. There is very little promotion of AU soccer, and the university puts almost no effort into the game day experience. For soccer purists, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as you can often hear the players and coaches shouting on the field, but fans looking for an atmosphere like they’d get at an Eagles’ basketball game will be sorely disappointed.


Neighborhood 5

American University is located in the Tenleytown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. This is several miles from the center of the city, but don’t let that discourage you from visiting. There are a number of restaurants nearby, including local favorites Z Burger, District Taco, and, of course, a number of chain restaurants. Tenleytown is a safe neighborhood to walk in, but due to its distance from downtown, you may be better off driving.


Of course, this being the nation’s capital, there is plenty going on elsewhere in the city as well, and the great thing is that most of it’s free. The National Mall and all of its monuments and memorials are absolutely gorgeous on a fall afternoon, and if it’s a rainy day, you can stop into one of the many museums. All government-run attractions are free of charge, though some privately-owned ones are not. Just keep in mind if you want to tour the Capitol or the White House, you will need to schedule that in advance.


Hotels are extremely expensive in DC itself, at least the ones of decent quality, so if you’re staying overnight, your best bet is to stay in the Virginia or Maryland suburbs and drive over.


Fans 1

As with most minor sports, the fans in attendance are mostly friends and family of the players. There is often a strong contingent of visiting fans as well, as most of the Patriot League schools are a day trip away from Washington. Unfortunately, the AU fans usually aren’t that into the game, and many times are drowned out by visiting fans. They do cheer when the Eagles score a goal, but that’s about it.


Access 3

Although we gave Reeves Field an average rating in this category, that certainly does not tell the whole story. For weekend games, it is easy to access the stadium. Just park in the garage above Bender Arena, take the elevator down to the lobby, and Reeves Field is a short walk around the corner and down a hill. Parking is free and plentiful, although the spaces can be pretty tight. If you drive a large vehicle, be warned.


On weekday afternoons, the parking situation is completely different, and since Reeves Field does not have lights, all weekday games will be in the afternoon. At these times, parking in the garage above Bender is reserved for permit holders, so you will need to park in the School of International Service Garage on the entirely opposite side of campus. This will also cost you $2/hour. We recommend visiting on a weekend for this reason.

Although there are no restrooms at Reeves Field itself, nearby buildings are open during the matches and you can use the restrooms there.


Return on Investment 2

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors. This is above average for college soccer, and most of the schools that charge this much are power-conference programs like nearby schools Maryland and Georgetown, not American’s fellow Patriot League schools. In fact, most Patriot League schools don’t charge at all for admission to soccer games, so it is disappointing to see AU charge so much.


To maximize your value, we recommend you go on a weekend so at least you don’t have to pay for parking.


Extras 1

There is a free program available at the entrance. That is about the only extra here.


Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, college soccer is not a huge deal at the vast majority of schools in this country. While some manage to draw big crowds, American University is definitely not one of them. Part of that is because of lack of interest, but part of the blame lies with the athletic department as well – lack of promotion combined with ticket prices that are disproportionately high for the level of play lead to people not showing up. That is a disappointment because Reeves Field is a nice, intimate stadium, and if the school could actually promote the team and get people to show up, it would be a great place to watch a soccer game.


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