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  • Writer's pictureAaron S. Terry

Younts Stadium – North Greenville Crusaders

Photos by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86

Younts Stadium 7801 N Tigerville Rd Tigerville, SC 29688

Year Opened: 2005

Capacity: 5,000


On a Crusade in Tigerville

Younts Stadium has a modern, clean look with beautiful brickwork and plenty of NGU signage – the logo includes the signature classic broadsword, instantly symbolic of the Medieval crusaders from which the team takes its name. The facility was built in 2005 and currently seats 5,000. The Crusaders football program began in 1994, and the team now participates as a member of the Gulf South Conference in NCAA Division II.

Food & Beverage 4

Younts Stadium has concessions stands on both sides of the field, something which is lacking at many similarly-sized stadiums. In addition, while the selection is slightly limited, this is made up for by the very low prices, making for an affordable outing even if you are bringing a large group. Nachos, hot dogs, Papa John’s pizza, popcorn, chips, and candy bars are all available with nothing priced over $4. You can also find bottled water, canned soda, and Gatorade.

Younts Stadium Concessions, Photo by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey

Atmosphere 4

If the above doesn’t sound like enough variety, however, there is another great option at Younts Stadium – unique across college and pro football, North Greenville now offers tailgating inside the stadium itself (yes you read that correctly). On the hill above the north end zone, and wrapping around part of the west stands, there are tents sent up which can be rented out for the season. With these seats, fans can drive their trucks and cars into the stadium, and bring their grills and lawn chairs out to watch the game in style. Now, plenty of venues have tailgating outside the stadium, and some even have it set up close enough you can peek in and see the game a little. But this is the first time I have seen people grilling out right around the gridiron itself.

Besides the tailgating on the hill, Younts Stadium has two grandstands – the larger one is on the east side and includes the press and president’s box, while the smaller one is on the west side and is mainly used by visitors. The stands on the east side all have the chairback rails, which is a much more comfortable option than you will usually see at a college football game, and since all seats are general admission, you are welcome to sit there instead of on the west side if you choose. You can also bring a lawn chair or blanket and sit and watch from the top of the hill on the west side if you prefer a slightly more elevated view of the action.

The only real downside is that there is no video board for instant replays – just a regular static scoreboard – so you won’t be able to re-watch the highlights (unless of course, you brought along your Smartphone).

Neighborhood 2

Younts Stadium is located on North Greenville University’s campus, which is in a very rural area of northwest South Carolina not far from the NC border (about half an hour north of Greenville, SC). Surrounded by golf courses, picturesque wedding venues, wilderness areas, and even a covered bridge, there isn’t anything in terms of restaurants and hotels in the immediate vicinity – the closest hotels (Best Western, Hampton, and Swamp Rabbit Inn) are about 15 minutes southwest of campus, toward Greenville. There is a Papa John’s and a Chick-fil-A on campus (the Chick-fil-A in inside the student dining center, however), as well as a restaurant at nearby Cherokee Valley golf course called Core 450 (reservations required), but not much else unless you head closer to Greenville or Spartanburg.

Fans 4

Younts Stadium draws a pretty solid crowd, and while it may not be enough to fill every seat, there is a large enough crowd that it will not obvious when some of the seats are empty. This is equally true of both the east and west grandstands, but incidentally, good crowds on the visitor’s side is fairly common at this level of college football – since the conferences in D2 tend to be much tighter geographically than you will see in the FBS, for example, it is not as difficult for fans to travel and see their team on the road.

You can also tell that most of the fans are local – while you will see plenty of red or black Crusaders gear (there is an NGU fan shop on the east side as you enter if you need to pick up some swag), you will also see many fans supporting other local college teams, which provides a tight-knit feel and sense of community while you are at the stadium.

Access 5

Younts Stadium is easy to get to (right alongside Highway 414), with plenty of space around the facility for parking and to hang out throwing a football or taking in the beautiful mountain scenery. There is a parking lot right next to the venue, in fact (which costs nothing to park in), so you can get in and out of the stadium with ease. Walking around the concourse is also easy, as there is plenty of room, and you are welcome to watch from anywhere once you enter. There are concessions and bathrooms on both sides of the field as well, so you don’t have to walk all the way around like at some facilities if you happen to be sitting on the wrong side.

Return on Investment 5

Tickets to North Greenville Crusaders games at Younts Stadium are only $20 for adults and $5 for kids, which is about as low as you will ever see for college football. Add in the free parking and the low-cost concessions, and this makes taking in a football game here about as friendly to your wallet as you could probably hope for. Given how close you are to the action and the fact that you can watch from wherever you want, including from the hill above the field, you can’t find a better bang for your sports buck than this.

Extras 3

The Crusaders don’t have a live mascot this year, but their band puts on a pretty good show during games, and they have a DJ in the student section pumping up the jam to get fans moving. You will also see cheerleaders, players coming onto the field through the tunnel, and most of the usual amenities you are used to at football games, including all the classic songs being played over the loudspeaker (Don’t Stop Believing, etc.). But probably the most unique feature here is the fireworks played after the game – I have seen this a lot at minor league baseball games on some nights, but rarely at a college football game.

Fireworks after the Game at Younts Stadium, Photo by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey

Final Thoughts

Most football fans probably haven’t taken in a D2 football game, since football at this level is perceived to lack some of the pageantries of some of the elite programs. At Younts Stadium this could not be further from the truth – here at North Greenville you will get a great football experience without the high cost and huge crowds of other programs, making it easy to enjoy yourself for a pleasant day or evening out.

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