Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.71
UMBC Stadium 5523 Research Park Drive Baltimore, MD 21227
Year Opened: 1976
Retrieve the Fans
Although UMBC athletics is best known for the basketball team’s shocking upset in the NCAA Tournament over Virginia in 2018, the men’s lacrosse team has been one of the school’s most successful programs over the years. The Retrievers won the America East Conference regular season title five years in a row from 2005-2009 and have made the Division I Tournament seven times.
The Retrievers play on campus at UMBC Stadium, which is part of a larger complex which also includes the baseball and softball fields. The soccer stadium and UMBC Event Center are located nearby as well.
Food & Beverage 3
There is one concession stand at UMBC Stadium located at the far side of the bleachers in an out of the way location that you wouldn’t find unless you knew to look there. The selection and prices are decent and include candy ($2), chips ($1), hot dogs ($3 or $6 with chips and a drink), pulled pork sandwiches ($6 or $9 for the combo) and grilled chicken sandwiches. Water, soda, and Powerade are available for $3 each.
UMBC Stadium has one set of metal bleachers, located on the far side of the stadium from the main entrance. Although the stadium seats 4,500 fans, it rarely comes close to filling up and the Retrievers could probably achieve a better atmosphere in a smaller, more intimate stadium. There isn’t much going on here other than the game itself, with no mascot like at UMBC basketball games. Goals and penalties are announced over the PA, but the sound can be hard to hear and often they won’t bother to announce penalties at all, leaving fans to guess as to what was called.
UMBC Stadium is located on campus in the Baltimore suburbs, and there is not much going on in the immediate vicinity. Even elsewhere in town, there isn’t much other than a few chain restaurants. UMBC won a hard fight with the US Postal Service to get a Baltimore mailing address, but it isn’t actually located in the City of Baltimore. Your best bet is to make the short drive to the actual city, perhaps to the Inner Harbor neighborhood, where you will find many restaurants and other entertainment options.
Although UMBC rarely comes close to selling out its games, this is more because the stadium is too big than because the crowd is too small. The fans who do show up are passionate, involved, and attentive to the game. They are familiar with all the players and with the game of lacrosse. The atmosphere would be better if the stadium weren’t far too big, but that isn’t really the fans’ fault.
Free parking is readily available in several lots near the stadium. The closest lot is Lot 28 behind the Event Center, but this is small and fills up fast. If it’s already full, you can park on the other side of the Event Center or along Hilltop Circle. Note that some GPS systems will attempt to route you to the UMBC Research Park. While this is a short distance from the stadium, and may actually be closer than some of the other lots, parking here is restricted to Research Park visitors and employees, and anyone else who parks there risks being towed.
Keep in mind that early in the season when there is a basketball game at the Event Center, the parking situation may be different.
Return on Investment 3
Tickets to UMBC lacrosse games cost $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and children 6-12, and free for UMBC students and children six and under. This is a bit pricey given the value here, but the free parking and affordable concessions makes up for it a bit.
Being part of the UMBC Stadium Complex, the UMBC Stadium is basically three venues in one. Fans can also check out the softball and baseball venues while they’re here.
Despite UMBC lacrosse’s success on the field, their stadium is still very basic and far too big for the crowds it draws. However, with several other Division I lacrosse teams in the Baltimore area, visiting fans can easily see four or more games in a weekend if they time things right. While UMBC Stadium isn’t overly impressive, it’s still a chance to see Division I lacrosse in a city known for its success in that sport.