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  • Writer's pictureAaron S. Terry

TowneBank Stadium - Christopher Newport Captains

Photos by Aaron S. Terry , Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57

TowneBank Stadium 700 41st St Newport News, VA 23607

Year Opened: 2001 Capacity: 4,200


Captain, my Captain!

TowneBank Stadium in Newport News, VA is a wonderful enclave with old-school charm, surrounded by trees and beautiful brick campus buildings. The buildings are even adorned in the classic style, complete with gold-domed caps and Gothic columns.

The Christopher Newport University Captains take their name from the shipbuilding history of the city, home to Newport News Shipbuilding, which has been building US Navy ships for the past 135 years and is currently working on the Gerald R. Ford class of aircraft carriers, including 10 next generation carriers in total. CNU’s football team competes in the NCAA’s Division III as a football-only member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference, but the school sponsors many other sports as well; Christopher Newport (VA) and Salisbury (MD) are the only two non-New Jersey schools in the NJAC.

Food & Beverage 3

TowneBank Stadium offers a small selection of concessions items from two stands below the main concourse, and a third stand in the building near the visitor seating, but the prices are very reasonable – the costliest item is only $6 (nachos with chili and cheese), but you can get a slice of pizza for $3.25, a hot dog for $4, popcorn/candy/chips for around $3, and beverages for around $3. The low prices make up for the lack of choices, and you will find plenty to get you through the two to three-hour game.

Atmosphere 4

As mentioned above, TowneBank Stadium is a great facility – the surrounding campus buildings with their beautiful architecture, the greenery, and the brick-paved walkways leading to the facility create a wonderful backdrop for a football game. The giant scoreboard behind the north end zone includes a huge video screen to watch replays, and the scoreboard itself is large enough to easily be seen from even the furthest seats away (the Bojangles/Lexus hospitality deck behind the south end zone).

The Captains have a mascot and a huge band, as well as a large cheerleading squad, which give you all the pomp and ceremony you would expect from a college football game. The field itself is surrounded by a light blue (CNU colors) running track, and many of the seats on the home side are bucket-style chairbacks, so you can watch the game in comfort.

Neighborhood 4

TowneBank Stadium is located in the nicer part of Newport News, about five miles north of downtown along Highway 60/Warwick Blvd. One great attraction nearby is the Virginia War Museum, which is well worth a visit if you plan to be in town for the day or weekend – I didn’t go inside, but I had a fabulous time driving around the property looking at all the tanks, self-propelled guns, cannons, navy Big-Guns, anti-aircraft guns, etc. dotted around the park.

There are plenty of nice restaurants around, as well as several fast-food joints – Schooner’s Grill is a popular local establishment that has a wide selection of beer, wine, and mixed drinks, so could be a great choice to hang out before or after the game, but note they only sell food to go. There are also an almost endless number of hotels nearby, across all price ranges, most of which are along I-64 to the northeast of the university.

Fans 3

The Captains have a fabulous student section – they are very into the game and very loud, and cram their side of the main stands so full it is hard to get by; the students are seated right behind and next to the CNU band. The rest of the fans are also very into the game, and you will see a lot of CNU gear being worn – unfortunately, they shut down the merch stand during halftime, so you will need to go early if you want to grab any Captain's swag.

Access 3

Getting to TowneBank Stadium is easy enough – Newport News is on the water, so you may have to fight some traffic on the bridges and in the tunnels depending on which direction you are coming from, but there are several major highways near the venue, such as I-64 and Highway 60, making the university easy to get to.

Once you get to the facility, the general parking is a little bit of a walk from the stadium, but they do have shuttle buses from the tailgating areas that drop you off right next to the main stands. The grandstands and concessions here are a bit spread out, though, so you may have to do some walking if you need to use the restrooms, get some grub, or meet up with friends in another section.

Return on Investment 5

General admission tickets are only $10 each, and you can buy them at the gate (you aren’t forced to buy them online like at many sports venues nowadays). With the low-cost concessions, this represents a great return on investment for a sporting event, given how nice the facility is and the wonderful scenery.

Note that the ticket office closes at halftime (just like the merch stand), so you can get in free if you wait until then.

Extras 3

TowneBank Stadium is surrounded by some of CNU’s other athletic facilities, so you may be able to see the soccer team, for example, practicing in the distance while you take in the football game. The facility also has several different seating options to choose from, including the Bojangles/Lexus hospitality deck or the dark blue chairbacks, if you are willing to pay a little more for your ticket.

Final Thoughts

I would recommend a visit to Newport News for Captains football – the stadium is superb and modern, the crowd is great, and you won’t have to pay a fortune to experience it all. If you can make it happen, a visit to TowneBank Stadium is well worth the time.

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