Picture Post – The New Stadium

Last year I made two posts about attending a Florida Atlantic University (FAU) football  game – this one, and  this one.

I also did a this post about the new on-campus stadium at FAU which was under construction.  The post contained a video with artist renderings of the stadium.

Saturday I went to the new stadium for FAU’s game against Arkansas State University.  I was thoroughly impressed. It is breathtakingly beautiful inside and out.  Every seat in the stadium is a chair back, except for a small section reserved for the marching band – and in that case I’m sure it is for the convenience of the band and their instruments.  Plus the seats were made for the wider 21st century posterior!  😕   With a playing field set up exclusively for football fans feel close to the action no matter high up they sit.  And the color scheme is striking – very patriotic too!  There are many other outdoor college stadiums that are larger and that are steeped in tradition but I can’t imagine any of them more comfortable to watch a game at or more attractive.  Almost all of the giant powerhouse schools’ stadiums have only bench seating with permission granted to fans in the big dollar seats to attach clip-on chair backs – but certainly not for general admission or the students – the hoi polloi.  And, of course, here in South Florida fans don’t have to worry about bitter autumn winds and snow.

The stadium seats more than 30,000, but it was less than half full for Saturday’s game.  They announced  15,162 tickets sold but less actually attended.   FAU’s team is having a dreadful season.  After Saturday’s loss their record is no wins and 8 losses, with four games to go.  The first game at the stadium was naturally a sellout but it has been difficult to generate fan enthusiasm with the team’s ineptitude.  Particularly when the team has had several very successful seasons with bowl victories in the past.   But, better days will come.  The new facility will certainly help in recruiting talent.

I took several photos and a few videos, some when the stadium was practically empty almost an hour before game time.  I was sitting on the home side of the field where most of the fans were,  so the later photos give the impression that very few attended.

These first three views are from my seat in the upper level premier seating section on the home team sideline.  You really have to click on the photos to enlarge them in order appreciate the size of the facility. – A double click and you’ll feel like you’re right there!

Looking straight ahead to the visiting team sideline.  Kinda neat how different sear colors create the school logo.

The original plan for the stadium was for it to be fully enclosed.  Instead it is in the shape of a horseshoe with a separate grandstand for students and the band behind one end zone.  That’s probably due to cost considerations, with plans to eventually fill in the empty spaces when funds are available.

A little later – looking back towards the multilevel press box and luxury suites.  See, there were actually other people there!

The scoreboard – when I pressed the shutter button they were transitioning from the team logo to an instant replay.  I’m not very optimistic about this scoreboard’s future.  This stadium is only a mile or two from the ocean and I can imagine hurricane winds doing a lot of damage to the screen, the signs and the faux pines.  I’m sure the tower structure would be OK, but all that other stuff looks like it would be very vulnerable to 100+ mph sustained winds.

The FAU Marching Band.

Next post will have photos from the game.

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