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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

St. Anne's-Belfield Stadium - Charlottesville Blues


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey



Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14

St. Anne's-Belfield Stadium

799 Faulconer Drive Charlottesville, VA 22903


Capacity: 1,800 (estimated)

 

A Sea of Blues in Charlottesville

The Charlottesville Blues are one of the newest soccer teams to join USL League Two, having been founded just this year, in 2024. USL League Two, confusingly, is the fourth division of American men's soccer and is a semi-professional league played over the summer consisting mostly of current and recently graduated college players. Pay is structured in a way that allows athletes to retain their amateur status.

The Blues play their home games at the St. Anne's-Belfield School, a private boarding and day school in Charlottesville. Although their stadium is officially known as Frank G. Addonizio Field (after Howie Long's father-in-law), the Blues' marketing materials simply refer to it as St. Anne's-Belfield Stadium, so that is the name we will use as well.

In addition to the League Two team, a women's team in the USL W League competes under the Blues' name. This review will focus on the League Two experience, but the two teams regularly play doubleheaders.

Food & Beverage 5

There are several food and beverage options to choose from at a Charlottesville Blues game. A small concession stand is located at the top of the seating area and offers bottled water, soda, chips, candy, and other snacks, including Honey Stingers, an energy waffle that also sponsors the Blues' kits. A Honey Stinger is like a stroopwafel, only with the added "energy" of an energy bar. Pizza slices are also available here. Prices at this stand are very reasonable, with nothing costing more than a few dollars.

However, there are better options, sold out of tents from local vendors (which the Blues refer to as "food trucks" even though there are no trucks.) A local barbecue place sells freshly made pulled pork, barbecued chicken, and steak and cheese sandwiches as well as homemade sides of mac and cheese and cole slaw.

Another stand sells ice cream bars in unusual flavors like raspberry cheesecake. Prices here are on the higher end but not too outrageous - a meal and a side at the barbecue place will cost about $15 for a large amount of very good food. Beer is also available from local Three Notch'd Brewery for $8 a can to those of age.


Atmosphere 5

Seating at a Blues game mostly consists of bleachers with backs, located underneath some trees. You will have a great view of the action from here as there are only a few rows. There are some seats on the field in what is called the "Fox Hole". These are flimsy plastic chairs that are not any more comfortable than the bleachers and, while they offer a great view, you are far removed from the energy of the stands as there is a literal brick wall in between. Therefore, we recommend you save money and just get general admission seats.


That being said, a Blues game is an excellent atmosphere, which is often not the case at this level. The PA announcer is enthusiastic and entertaining without being too over the top. There is a section behind one goal known as the Fox Den which serves as a Supporters' Section. We will have more on this in the Fans section but this is where the Blues' most loyal and passionate fans stand and cheer on their team for the entire game.


This is open to all fans regardless of what ticket they hold, but there are no seats, so you will be standing the entire game. Additionally, as this is a section for Blues fans, soccer etiquette dictates that if you are a fan of the visiting team, you do not go in here. There is no reason you would want to as a fan of the opponent except to cause trouble.


Although soccer provides few breaks in the action, the Blues do have some on-field activities during halftime. Kids compete in contests such as bouncing a soccer ball on their feet as many times as they can for the chance to win prizes from local merchants.



Neighborhood 4

Charlottesville is a beautiful college town known mostly for the University of Virginia. Once you head into town, you will find many options to choose from. Boylan Heights is a popular bar just off the UVA campus and serves up good food as well. It is just one of many places to eat, drink, or have fun along University Avenue ranging from bagel bakeries to bars to sushi restaurants. History buffs may also want to check out Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. Keep in mind that many of the places near the University may offer limited hours during the summer when the Blues play, as the UVA students are not on campus.

Fans 5

Although St. Anne's-Belfield Stadium isn't large by any means, the Blues have mostly filled it during their first two games. Despite being a new team, the Blues already have a large, loyal, passionate fan base who comes out to their games decked in blue and cheers on their team for 90 minutes.

As mentioned above, the Supporters' Section is known as the Fox Den and consists of the Blues' most loyal, passionate fans. They stand behind one goal for the entire game, cheering, shouting, and banging upside-down buckets as improvised drums. After the Blues' goals, they set off blue smoke in celebration.

The section is small in number for now, but even in the game Stadium Journey attended, it grew throughout the night as more fans decided to head down there, so it should continue to grow during this inaugural season and beyond. You don't usually see this kind of dedication down in League Two, which makes this all the more impressive.

Access 2

Unfortunately, this is the one area where the experience at a Charlottesville Blues game isn't so great. To the stadium, you will take US 29 or I-64 to US 250, and the campus and stadium are a short distance away. Make sure you are setting your GPS to the Belfield campus of St. Anne's-Belfield and not the original St. Anne's campus that may come up if you just enter the St. Anne's-Belfield School.

There are signs directing fans to the general vicinity of the stadium, but none directing them where to park. There is a VIP lot right next to the entry gate, but most fans will not be able to park there. Instead, you will turn down an unmarked gravel road next to the soccer stadium (this is the soccer stadium where St. Anne's-Belfield plays - the Blues play in the football stadium) and then park along the side. If this fills up, fans will park on the other side of the school and walk around. If you miss the turnoff and head to the stadium, you will then have to drive around the school as there is a one-way loop;

After the game, getting out of the gravel area can be difficult with cars and pedestrians going in every direction. There is staff directing traffic at the end of the path, but they can only do so much. Fortunately, you will not need to drive around the loop to get out, as a small portion is two-way.

Restrooms are located at the top of the seating area behind the concession stand, and there are also some port-a-potties at field level by the entrance.

Return on Investment 5

Tickets are just $10 for general admission seats or $20 for Fox Hole seats pitchside. As mentioned above, the Fox Hole seats are not worth the extra $10, but the general admission seats are a great value. Concessions are affordable as well. With the fan experience here, a Charlottesville Blues game is an affordable way to spend an enjoyable evening watching soccer, and the return on investment is high.

Extras 3

There is a merchandise stand at the top of the seating area, in the same area as the food and beer tents.

A second star for the Fox Den and the energy they bring. It is rare to see any kind of Supporters Section at the League Two level, and the Fox Den is passionate and rapidly growing.

A third and final star for partnering with local businesses on concessions, promotions, and giveaways. In an era where sports have become increasingly corporatized, it is good to see local vendors being given attention over multibillion-dollar corporations.

Final Thoughts

Despite being a low-level soccer, a Charlottesville Blues game is a great experience. Soccer fans in the Charlottesville area will want to make the trip to St. Anne's Belfield over the summer to check it out - a Blues game is fun for everyone, adults and children alike.

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