Photos by Jared Goodman, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29
1018 N College Dr
High Point, NC 27262
Year Opened: 2007
Hit the Vert
Vert Stadium has consistently been ranked as one of the best track & field, soccer, and lacrosse facilities in the country and the venue lives up to that standard each and every gameday. Reopened in 2007, “The Vert” has been a big draw for High Point University, serving primarily as the permanent home of HPU’s lacrosse and soccer programs. The venue is named for Dick Vert, a 1960 graduate who ran cross country and middle distance at the institution, and later became an HPU trustee.
Several upgrades have been made to Vert Stadium in the last few years, the most recent of which came in 2011 when one of the best artificial turf systems on the market was installed. The Mondo 3NX turf, developed in Italy, is able to reduce heat by 30 percent and has the best shock absorption of any available artificial turf.
The main program that plays on the state-of-the-art turf is the men’s lacrosse program, debuting in 2013 as part of a $2.1 billion initiative focused on growth. The team has clinched Southern Conference championships three times since its inception, most recently in 2018, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2015
Food & Beverage 3
The Vert offers several different concession choices, including the typical stadium fare, available at two stands on either side of the concourse. With virtually no lines and quick and friendly service, the concessions are top-notch for such a facility. An added bonus is that both stands accept credit cards as well as cash.
While the prices may be a little steep for a Division I lacrosse venue, there are some bargains to be found. A refillable popcorn bucket, which can be replenished an unlimited number of times during the match, is just $9. Some cheaper options include a hot dog ($3.75), a pretzel ($4), nachos ($4.25), and even half and whole Dominos pizzas ($4 and $8, respectively). Bottled Coca-Cola products are also available for $3.50 each. Alcohol is not served at the venue.
Families and groups can take advantage of the Family Pack Combo option, which includes 4 hot dogs, 4 chips and 4 drinks for just $22. Other Combos are also available, giving fans a chance to save a few bucks while they’re at the game.
Because Vert Stadium does not have a large seating bowl, the entire grandstand offers a great view of the playing field. The pitch of the seating area is so gradual that almost the entire field can still be viewed from the back of the concourse, despite being behind 10 rows of seats. The very first row isn’t right on top of the field either; an eight-lane track surrounds the artificial turf and thereby separates the seating area from the field.
The seats themselves, painted in HPU purple, are very wide and each seat has an affixed cup-holder. There isn’t a bad seat in the house, as each seat offers a great view of the action. Rocking chairs, practically a requirement anywhere in High Point, are also available at the top of the concourse near the ADA seating.
Despite being a small venue, both the PA announcer and the music blasted during stoppages in play are unreasonably loud. They’re so loud, in fact, that for the duration of the game the sounds can be heard in echo as they bounce off residential homes across the street.
A sizable video board sits at an angle on the right side of the field, directly opposite the seating area. It doubles as a scoreboard from which fans can glean stats such as goals, shots, saves, and penalties for each team.
After every goal made by the Panthers, a purple HPU t-shirt is tossed into the crowd and one of the concessionaires steps onto the concourse, blows a horn, and attempts to pump up the fans. Autographed merchandise is also given away during intermissions.
Because most men’s lacrosse matches start at noon, the sun is usually overhead for most of the game and doesn’t present an issue visually. After Daylight Savings Time begins, the sun may be in your eyes for at least the first half of the game. While the sun isn’t usually a factor during colder months, when temperatures start to rise it can become a scorching nuisance. The Vert doesn’t offer much relief; however, because the seats face east, a slight bit of shade does fall over the concourse when the sun starts dipping into the west. Six picnic tables, complete with large umbrellas, are also located on the concourse.
The Witcher Athletic Complex is located off University Parkway on the north side of campus, just a few miles from downtown High Point.
While there aren’t any restaurants within walking distance of campus, there are several decent eateries just a short drive away. North Main Street is about a mile from the Vert and that’s where you’ll find most of the familiar chain eateries. The Biscuit Factory is a gem for folks looking for breakfast before noon games.
After the match, fans can hit up Sammy G’s Tavern, which often runs promotions when HPU wins, located about 4.5 miles off-campus in the Deep River area. The joint is a bit pricier than some of the chains you’ll find off Main Street but it offers typical American fare and makes a good stop for a post-game bite.
Fans looking for something to do after games can take the short drive into downtown High Point and explore the shops and eateries available there. The High Point Museum is about half a mile in the other direction and presents a history of the High Point region, including highlights of the area’s deep furniture roots. The museum is free and is open until 4:30pm daily except Sunday and Monday.
The Courtyard by Marriott, a sponsor of High Point athletics, is the nearest hotel at 1.5 miles away. The property is just off I-74, making it both convenient and affordable.
Anyone who’s ever attended a lacrosse game will know that even the smallest crowds can be intimidating. Home and away fans are typically evenly balanced in High Point, since most fans have a personal connection with the players on the field. In other words, the away team always travels well. When the Panthers do well on the field, the home fans can get very involved and loud, but the same is true for the away team. If you’re not paying attention to the action, it’s often hard to judge by the crowd which team has just made a goal or a save. The most energetic fans, either home or away, like to stand for the whole game at the front of the concourse to cheer on their team.
While Vert Stadium never usually fills to capacity, it typically does draw a decent crowd. On most game days, the seating area will be two-thirds to three-quarters full
Vert Stadium is only accessible by car, but the complex does offer several parking options, all of which are free. Fans who arrive at least a half-hour before the opening face-off should be able to secure a spot in the Witcher Athletic Complex parking lot right in front of Vert Stadium, located off of Panther Drive. Late-arriving fans may have to park a little further away in the College Village Shopping Center parking lot, an approved HPU lot, and take the short 10-minute walk to the stadium. Both options are free of charge and there’s usually a parking attendant on hand to answer any questions.
High Point, as one of the cities of the Triad region, is accessible by several interstates and highways. Interstate 74 is the closest major highway to campus at just 1.5 miles away; it comes from Winston-Salem in the north and heads to Asheboro in the south. I-74 also provides a connection to Interstate 77 near the Virginia state line. Interstate 85 is the busiest nearby road and is a direct link to some of the largest cities in the state. Just 15 minutes to the north is Greensboro, while Charlotte is 1.5 hours south on I-85. Another major thoroughfare, Interstate 40, provides connection to Raleigh/Durham in the east and Asheville in the west and can be accessed off either I-85 or I-74. The nearest airport is Piedmont-Triad International, about 20 minutes to the north in Greensboro.
Tickets can be purchased online in advance or day-of-game at the box office; regardless of which option you choose, you will end up with a paper stub as there are no online ticket options. There are also no security measures in place at Vert Stadium.
Handicapped guests have many parking spaces available to them in the parking lot and once inside the Vert, there are about 12 ADA seats available at the top of the seating bowl. Should those seats be full, there are plenty of additional spots on the concourse that offer good views of the action.
Vert Stadium’s restrooms are some of the cleanest I have ever seen at a sporting venue. The space is large, beautifully decorated and features an extension of the PA system, an added bonus.
Return on Investment 4
With general admission tickets priced at just $5, a family of four can easily enjoy a fun afternoon at the Vert as well as a decent snack for about $40. Parking is free.
One downside is that fans are not allowed to bring their own food and drink into the venue, something typically allowed at other DI lacrosse facilities.
Fans looking to cheer on High Point’s lacrosse team for the entire season are able to purchase a season pass for $25 per person. This is a great deal if you plan on attending six or more games in a single season. Youth season passes are $15 each.
Aside from the gameday experience at the Vert, there isn’t too much going on. Roster sheets and posters are given away for free during each game.
High Point’s men’s lacrosse program, though fairly new, has garnered quite a following in the area, and this helps to increase the university’s profile in the community. HPU is already woven into the fabric of the city, as you’ll find the color purple splashed throughout High Point, from fire hydrants to street signs. The top-notch athletic facilities at High Point University, and the experiences they offer, continue to build that image and keep the fans coming back time and again.