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  • Writer's pictureChris Green

Spec Martin Memorial Stadium – Stetson Hatters


Photos by Chris Green, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43

Spec Martin Stadium 260 E Euclid Ave DeLand, FL 32724



Year Opened: 1941

Capacity: 6,000

 

Stetson Football Fun


The history of Stetson University Football is one that has a great span between its inception and its recent history, dotted with multiple stoppages in play. The most recent iteration of Stetson Hatters football features an enjoyable college football game day experience for fans with the beauty of a stadium situated in one of Florida’s quintessential small towns.


Food & Beverage 3

There isn’t anything terribly exciting or different to eat at Stetson Football games, but nothing on the menu will cost you more than $5. At the top of that range is the $5 cheeseburger, with hot dogs or pizza slices running just $3. Drinks range from $2 to $3 for soda, water, and Powerade. Snacks including chips, nachos, popcorn, peanuts, pretzels, and more range from $1 to $3. Beer also costs under $10, which is a steal for college football.


Atmosphere 3

The facilities at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium are quite nice for a lower-division college football program. That said, the venue is missing some of the creature comforts of higher end stadiums. The majority of the seats are backed benches and not individual seats. However, Stetson makes up for this in overall presentation. The facilities are spotless from top to bottom, and the in-game experience is comfortable and extremely family friendly.


The team’s band performs during the game and the cheerleaders are always present to perform and get the crowd going during breaks in the action. The team’s mascot roams the stadium throughout the game, taking photos with fans and interacting with kids. The south end zone features a pop-up team store as well. The Stetson Hatters have taken a bare-bones stadium and turned it into a comfortable and beautiful home for themselves with great ease.

Stetson Hatter Band, Photo by Chris Green, Stadium Journey


Neighborhood 4

Spec Martin Memorial Stadium may not be located on the campus of Stetson University but it isn’t far, and the venue is literally across the street from Melching Field, home of Stetson baseball. The football stadium is located just blocks from the heart of downtown DeLand, Florida – DeLand is known for being one of the quintessential small towns in Central Florida, featuring the quietness one would expect from such an atmosphere. In addition, the town is just a short drive up I-4 from Daytona Beach, only an hour from Orlando, and is surrounded by several state parks and great nature areas.


For those wanting to travel and see the sights, Blue Springs State Park is home to manatees upon manatees in the winter months. In addition, the NASCAR Racing Experience is not far away, located just north on I-4 in Daytona Beach. For hotels, Comfort Inn DeLand and Hampton Inn & Suites DeLand are the closest spots. For food, Shokudo 413 is a popular sushi stop just blocks away from Spec Martin Memorial Stadium, and Doug & Lil’s Potato Patch is a popular breakfast and brunch place near the venue.


Fans 4

The fans pack in Spec Martin Memorial Stadium for every game – fans are loyal and cheer on their team with as much fervor as is to be expected from a top-quality college football experience. That said, while they may not exactly be as loud and crazy as some of their FBS counterparts, the fans at Stetson are no less supportive and fun to be around. They are sport and team knowledgeable and they certainly enjoy the game day experience, from tailgating to the in-game traditions. Most of all, the fans here are welcoming, making for a very family-friendly experience.


Access 3

Getting to Spec Martin Memorial Stadium involves driving on some small-town roads; either exit 116 or 118 on I-4 will take you to DeLand. Once there, the facility is off US-17 and Euclid Ave.


Parking is plentiful on site and across the street, making finding a spot easy. Most lots are no more than $10-$15, even for on-site parking. Getting around the stadium is also easy, thanks to plenty of signage around to help you figure out where your seats are.


Return on Investment 4

Tickets to Stetson football games start at $20 for general admission and go up to $50 for the premium backed seats at mid-field. This, combined with the low cost of parking and concessions, means you can take a family of four out to the game for around $120, which is something that cannot be said for a lot of other college football experiences in Florida. Considering that the game experience is also enjoyable, it is easy to see why the return on the investment here at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium is so high.


Extras 3

Stetson’s stadium is constructed so that the upper level concourse runs from the two sideline grandstand’s upper levels around the north end zone, so the venue features great views of the playing field from all angles. The team also has a massive bell that they ring on the sidelines during pre-game intros, as well as every time the Stetson Hatters score a touchdown.

Stetson Hatters Bell, Photo by Chris Green, Stadium Journey


In addition, before the game a large tailgating area called Hatter Village is set up in the parking lot outside Spec Martin Memorial Stadium, complete with food trucks and fan displays – this is easily the best place to be to experience everything Stetson football has to offer before the gates open.


Final Thoughts

Taking in a game at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium is extremely enjoyable, and is definitely something of a hidden gem in the college football world of Florida. While many folks in Central Florida would look to UCF, USF, or UF for a local college football experience, Stetson is not to be missed – their facility is comfortable, located in a great town with plenty of local flair, and is pretty equidistant from many places in Central Florida that are hot spots for tourism.

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