Veterans Memorial Stadium – Troy Trojans
Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71
Veterans Memorial Stadium 5000 Veterans Stadium Dr Troy, AL 36082
Year Opened: 1950
The Trojan Wars
Troy University was founded in 1887 and is the third largest university in the state of Alabama. It has more than 20,000 students and offers more than 110 undergraduate degrees and 50 graduate areas of study. The school has had a long tradition of offering classes in conjunction with the Fort Rucker Army Base located nearby to both the soldiers and the families who are based at the fort. This relationship with the military played a major role in “Trojans” being selected as the team name. The Trojans were known as fierce warriors who outsmarted their enemies.
The school has a long and illustrious football history at three different levels. It began as an NAIA school and won a National Championship, then moved up to the NCAA Division II level and winning National Championships in 1984 and 1987. The program joined the FBS level of play in 2004 as a member of the Sun Belt Conference, where it has six conference championships. All total the Troy football program has won 20 conference championships and participated in six bowls since joining Division I. They have had winning records in 25 out of the last 27 seasons.
Food & Beverage 3
There are five concession stands located within Veterans Memorial Stadium. Two are positioned on each side of the field at the concourse level and one is in the entry plaza area in the end zone. The concourse is open towards the field, so you will not miss any of the action while waiting for your food.
The concession stands offer your typical stadium fare, including nachos, hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza slices. Pretzels, peanuts, chips and popcorn are all very reasonably priced snacks. Veterans Memorial Stadium sells Coca-Cola brand beverages at $4 for a medium drink and $3 for a bottled water. Beer is available at the stadium and sells for $8.
Troy University and Veterans Memorial Stadium can be a very intimidating place to play for opponents. First time visitors travel through town to get to the campus and see a sleepy southern town. When they reach the campus, their first view is the 30,000-seat stadium looming over them. Veterans Memorial Stadium is the largest stadium in the Sun Belt Conference, with two decks on each side of the field. Built in 1950, it has undergone multiple expansions over the past few years. Today it features a six-story press box with 27 sky boxes and a booster’s level than can handle more than 1,000 fans. It boasts an excellent electronics package, with a state-of-the-art sound system, a 1,250 square foot video board and ribbon board on both sides of the field. If that is not enough to impress the visitors, a wall at the entrance to the stadium lists all the Trojans championship seasons.
Troy, Alabama is a small southern town of 20,000 residents. Its main employers are Troy University and the nearby Ft. Rucker Army Base. Most of the activity in town revolves around the town square or along US Hwy 231. Three popular dining options in the area are Sips on the Square, Hooks BBQ and Sister’s Restaurant. The main attractions in Troy are the Johnson Center for the Arts and the Pioneer Museum of Alabama. All the lodging choices are found along US Hwy 231. These include the Quality Inn and the Best Western Troy.
Troy University is located adjacent to the downtown area and features a well-manicured campus made up of several quad areas. The academic buildings are primarily red brick. Veterans Memorial Stadium is on the eastern edge of the Troy University campus. It is in the Athletics Complex, in between the Trojan Arena and Riddle-Pace Baseball Field . The Tailgate Terrace pregame area is just outside of the stadium.
The fans play a crucial role in the Trojans success, as sellouts are commonplace. However, the game day experience starts well before the fans enter the stadium. The tents go up on Friday nights along the Touchdown Terrace just outside of the stadium gates. Everyone is decked out in their finest red and black outfit and the table decorating contest is as fierce as the football game. A few hours prior to the game, a parade begins on the main quad with the cheerleaders, the Sounds of the South Band and the drill team escorting the team through the crowd and into the stadium.
Once inside the stadium it is a sea of red, with little space for the opposition. The student section and the Sounds of the South Band are strategically seated on the visitor’s side of the stadium. This guarantees the visiting team will have difficulty in communicating from the sideline out to the field. The band seems to have a different rift for nearly every situation that occurs in a game and the crowd willingly follows their lead.
The only drawback to Troy is if you aren’t from there… it is hard to get there. The town is located approximately 40 miles south of Montgomery in southeastern Alabama. From I-85: take the Taylor Road exit (exit 9) and go south on Taylor Road until it ends at US Highway 231. Take Highway 231 south for 40 miles towards Troy. Once you reach the city limits of Troy, turn right on George Wallace Street and Veterans Memorial Stadium will be impossible to miss on your right. You will turn right at the entrance to the campus before you reach the stadium.
Friendly volunteers do a great job of pointing you to the appropriate parking area on campus. Shuttles will provide rides to the front of the stadium as the street immediately in front of the entrance is closed after 5pm the day before a game.
Return on Investment 4
The Trojans will not plunder you budget-wise. Tickets are $24 for reserved seats or $15 for General Admission. Parking on the Troy University campus is free. The concession pricing is quite reasonable, and a hotel stay in the area is just under $100 a night.
The Trojans are not afraid to play the big boys. In recent seasons they have defeated both LSU and Nebraska on the road.
Nearly 60 Troy football players have gone on to the NFL. The best known are Demarcus Ware and Lawrence Tynes.
The Sound of the South Marching Band has won numerous national honors over the years and deserves its own extra.
There is always a large contingent of soldiers from Ft. Rucker at each game. Make sure you show your appreciation for their service during the game.
Alabama and Auburn may get all the attention, but the Troy Trojans are dangerous, especially when playing at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Like their fabled Trojan Horse, the enemy takes Troy lightly at their own peril.