Seibert Stadium – Samford Bulldogs
Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57
Seibert Stadium 800 Lakeshore Dr Homewood, AL 35229
Year Opened: 1958
Bulldogs, Bowdens and the Baptists
Located just 5 miles south of Birmingham, Alabama is the suburb of Homewood and the home of Samford University. Founded in 1841, the school is affiliated with the Baptist Church and has a student body of 5,206. It is a liberal arts school with a highly regarded School of Law. Some of its most famous graduates include Cordell Hull, a former US Secretary of State and Nobel Prize winner; Charlie Crist, former governor of Florida and two members of the US Supreme Court.
The Samford sports teams are known as the Bulldogs and they compete in the FCS- level Southern Conference. Home games are played at Seibert Stadium, a 6,700 seat on campus facility. Since opening in 1958, the stadium has been a difficult venue for visiting teams, as the Bulldogs have a .681 winning percentage in home games. The stadium features stands on both the east and west side of the field, with a majority of the seating being aluminum benches. There is a section of 200 theatre type seats along the 50 yard line on the west side for major athletic contributors to the university. Seibert Stadium is utilized for multiple sports and for that reason the field uses a synthetic surface.
A majority of the stadium’s services are located in the Bashinsky Press Tower on the west side of the field. The ground floor houses the main concession stand as well as the largest restroom facilities. The second floor provides for 60 indoor seats for major donors, while the top floor is used for the press and stadium operations. A stadium store is located separately on the concourse atop the west stands. The latest addition to Seibert Stadium is the Sullivan Cooney Family Field House, which houses the locker rooms, coaches' offices and training facilities for the team. A second floor terrace is used to entertain prospective recruits for future Bulldog squads.
Food & Beverage 3
The food and beverage items served at Seibert Stadium are basic football fare. There is a permanent stand at the base of the Bashinsky Tower and a temporary stand set up on the concourse of the east side / visitor’s side of the field. Items available include hot dogs ($2.50), nachos ($3), cracker jacks ($2.50), peanuts ($3), chips and candy ($1.50), and large cookies ($2). Beverages include PowerAde ($3), Gold Peak Tea ($3). Coca-Cola beverages ($4), coffee ($2) and bottled water ($2).
A historical plaque on campus near the stadium provides an overview of the program. The Bulldogs play a very tough schedule, as their non-conference schedule typically includes at least one SEC school or power school each season. In the past few years, these opponents have consisted of Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, the University of Georgia, Louisville and Georgia Tech.
Samford University football is often seen as a “cradle of coaches” as it has given many famous college coaches their start, especially if your name is Bowden. FSU legend Bobby Bowden played at Samford (then known as Howard College) and later became the first head coach to lead the team at the brand new Seibert Stadium. A statue in his honor is located just outside the stadium. His record overall was 31-6 before he moved on to West Virginia. His son Terry also coached at the school and holds the record for most wins at Samford during his tenure. His next stop was at Auburn University. Chan Gailey also coached the Bulldogs for several seasons. He later went on to head coaching positions with Georgia Tech, the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills. Auburn Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan served as the Bulldog’s leader for a 7 year period. Present FSU coach Jimbo Fisher served as an assistant coach at the school under Bobby Bowden.
Though located in the suburb of Homewood, the Samford campus is located about 4 miles from the center of town. A car will be necessary to reach area restaurants and lodging facilities. The area surrounding the campus is primarily residential and both Homewood and its neighbor, Mountain Book are noted for their beautiful homes and great shopping choices.
A majority of the services a visitor would need when attending a Bulldog game will be found along Lakeshore Drive. The two closest lodging choices are the Courtyard Marriott Homewood (1.2 miles from the stadium) and the Hilton Garden Inn Homewood (4 miles from the stadium at the I-65 exit # 255.) Popular restaurants in the area include Landry’s Seafood House and the Hickory Tavern. Great shopping can be found at the Brookwood Village just east of the campus. One other attraction worth your time is the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, located just two miles from Samford.
Football is a religion in Alabama and the Baptists of Samford University are no different. Even though the school is small, its long and successful football history has earned it a very dedicated fan base. Having the stadium on campus guarantees a good turnout by the student body and the alumni turn out in large numbers as well. Samford plays many of its home games on Thursday nights so as to not compete against the larger state school powerhouses located to its west and south.
Samford has also picked up some new fans in the Birmingham area during the University of Alabama – Birmingham’s two year hiatus from football. The community in general realizes that Samford offers quality football on the field, a very convenient location with free parking adjacent to Seibert Stadium and low ticket and concession prices compared to the bigger schools.
Getting to a game at Seibert Stadium is very easy. Simply take exit #255 from I-65 (Lakeshore Drive). Go east for two miles. The Samford campus will be on your left on the hillside. Once on the campus, go left to reach Seibert Stadium. There are plenty of parking lots available to you on campus.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets to a Bulldogs game are $28 for a reserved seat in the West (home team side) stands and $20 for General Admission seating in the East (visiting team side) of the stadium. Children 12 years old and under must have a ticket, but it is free through a grant from Alabama Power Company. Parking on the Samford campus is free on game days. The concession prices at Seibert Stadium are very reasonable. A tour around the beautiful Samford campus costs nothing and it is well worth it to see the manicured grounds and the tremendous architecture found in many of the academic buildings.
Samford University is credited with the creation of the college homecoming. The tradition was begun in 1866 after the Civil War to welcome alumni back to their alma mater.
The school celebrates athletic wins and championships by raising the Victory Flag on the school circle in front of the Administration Building.
Samford is the first school in the nation to offer a program in Sports Analytics. Its Center for Sports Analytics uses statistical data in order to gain a strategic advantage in sports competitions.
Even though Samford is a small, private school, it offers a great game day atmosphere. The school has a long tradition in college football, as it first fielded a team in 1906.