Apogee Stadium – North Texas Mean Green
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Apogee’s Mean Green Football
Apogee Stadium is a horseshoe-shaped stadium and home to the University of North Texas Mean Green football team, located in Denton, Texas. The stadium seats 30,850, and opened in 2011 just across the interstate from its predecessor, Fouts Field. Apogee Stadium was designed by the architecture firm that created the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, and features two seating levels, 21 luxury suites, 750 club seats, two state-of-the-art video boards, and an 1,800 square-foot team apparel store. Besides Mean Green football, the stadium has hosted many Texas high school football games.
Food & Beverage 4
The food and beverage options are above average in Apogee Stadium, not because of the menu but due to the stadium’s low concession prices and the sale of alcohol. The venue offers basic stadium fare in addition to selections from an outside food chain, Rudy’s BBQ. The main stands sell cheeseburger baskets, Philly cheese steak baskets, or chicken tender baskets for $7, while an Angus beef hot dog is $4. All other stadium type fare such as popcorn, peanuts, nachos, pretzels, and candy costs between $3 and $4. Rudy’s BBQ covers the full range of Texas BBQ choices with brisket, pulled pork, and sausage for $6.
In terms of drinks, Apogee Stadium offers Coke products for $3-$5 depending on the size, as well as alcohol through the end of the third quarter for $6. The beer choices include Bud, Bud Light, Shiner Bock, Shock Top, Dos Equis, and a couple of local craft selections.
Just like every college football game, the day’s atmosphere begins long before kickoff with the tailgating. While tailgating is as much a tradition at Mean Green football games as any at other university, it is disappointing compared to other schools in the state of Texas. Here at Apogee Stadium, you will find tailgating on The Hill, a gentle rise dotted with trees lying just outside the east entrance to the stadium, as well as in parking lots adjacent to Apogee Stadium, and in the Fouts Field lot. Apogee Stadium seats about 30K fans, but average attendance hovers around 18K. The stadium has twin tier seating in a horseshoe-shaped bowl, plus a massive end zone that’s shaped sort of like a “V.” This symbolizes the wings of an Eagle, the North Texas mascot, and gives an architectural statement to the venue. The Mean Green players enter the field from the athletic building behind the south end zone, and there is a statue of an eagle there for the players to touch, sort of like “The Rock” at Clemson’s Death Valley.
The band, pep squad, cheerleaders, and the Eagle mascot, along with the fans, do an amazing job in keeping the atmosphere entertaining, but the lack of attendance surely hurts the overall experience. Every third down there is a high-pitched Eagle sound which get the fans even louder. The overall atmosphere is average, but there is plenty of potential if a winning team starts being produced on the field, as more attendance would surely increase the excitement here.
The University of North Texas football team plays its home games at Apogee Stadium, located at the corner of I-35E and Bonnie Brae Street outside of Denton, Texas. Denton has a population of 113K people, and is the northernmost point of the DFW area, where Interstate 35 reunites and splits en route to Fort Worth and Dallas; the 2 metropolises are both about 40 miles from Denton. The stadium is separated from the University of North Texas campus by the freeway, but a walking bridge provides students and fans access to the stadium. There are no restaurants near the stadium; the closest ones are in Denton itself, and include Rooster’s Roadhouse, Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant, and RG Burgers & Grill. Hotels are limited to a Hampton Inn and a Heritage Inn, but the best options for lodging would most likely be near the DFW airport, if you are flying in from out of town.
The Mean Green faithful are great; they are loud, proud, and wear green. The only problem is that there are not enough of them.
Campus parking lots open at 8 am on game day. There is only onsite parking at Apogee Stadium for about 2K cars, with 3 parking areas available – Green Lot, Red/Blue Lot, and Fouts Field (Orange and ADA Lots). The general public parking is in the Orange Lot and costs $10 per space. From this lot, fans can easily access Apogee Stadium via the Pedestrian Bridge across 35E; this is about a 10 minute walk to the gates. The gates at Apogee Stadium open 1 ½ hours before kickoff. For people needing ADA assistance, a shuttle bus runs from the ADA Lot to the stadium before games, and returns fans to the lot after the game, and is available to those needing ADA assistance plus one accompanying person.
The ingress and egress around the stadium isn’t that bad, but for people coming to the stadium for the first time, it is better to plan ahead by getting familiar with the area, or visiting the North Texas website. There is a commuter railway coming into Denton from Dallas called the A Train, but unfortunately the station is three miles from the stadium, so the best way to reach the venue is by car (either rental or other).
Return on Investment 4
Mean Green football tickets are reasonably priced; tickets range from $12 for general admission to $30 for reserved seating. If available the club areas are priced at $90. The parking across the interstate at Fouts Field costs $10, but there are a few free parking spaces on nearby streets if you want to walk further. However, it is already a 10 minute walk from the Fouts Field parking areas, so the free parking would be even longer. The concessions prices aren’t outrageous, though, so a person could have a relatively low cost day watching college football here.
The team celebrates its history with a series of murals throughout the concourse featuring some of North Texas’ great players; of course the biggest Mean Green player is “Mean” Joe Greene. Also, the campus administration bell tower gets floodlit in green after every Mean Green victory, which is almost a beacon to the community of the team’s results. In addition, Apogee Stadium is the first stadium in college football to achieve LEED Platinum status for its environmentally friendly amenities.
The University of North Texas is a top educational school in the state of Texas, however, its football program is not up to par with some of the larger Division 1 college experiences here. But if you are in the area and enjoy college football, and don’t want huge crowds and high costs, then attending a football game at Apogee Stadium is a wonderful experience.
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