Arute Field – Central Connecticut Blue Devils
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Devil of a Time at Arute Field
Central Connecticut State University is a school with just under 12,000 students located in New Britain, CT, just outside of Hartford. CCSU is Connecticut’s oldest publicly funded university, having been founded in 1849.
Jack Arute Sr. was the owner of one of Connecticut’s largest construction firms in the 1960’s. He was also an active member of the New Britain community, and through his dealings with the administration at Central Connecticut State University, became one of the school’s biggest boosters. Upset that the state government would not approve funding for a new football stadium, Arute took matters into his own hands, literally, using his own funds and manpower to build the original Arute Field in the 1950’s. The present incarnation of Arute Field is actually the third stadium to bear his name. All three versions have been located on campus.
Central Connecticut fielded their first football team in 1935. Since 1993 the team has competed in the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision), and as a member of the Northeast Conference since 1996. The team has won four conference championships since joining the NEC.
There is one concession stand on the outside concourse of Arute Field. It offers a basic menu.
Hot Dogs, Nachos and Pulled Pork sandwiches anchor the menu here. Frito Pies, assorted candies and Coca Cola products are available. Hot chocolate and coffee are popular selections on cold Central Connecticut fall afternoons. On the plus side, no item on the menu costs more than six dollars.
Stadium Journey recommends that if you want something to eat while visiting Arute Field, you head to the north end zone, where a food truck run by local favorite Ted’s Restaurant serves up their “world famous” steamed burgers.
Central Connecticut State has all the aspects that fans come to expect at a Division One football game, just on a smaller scale than at your larger football powers. You can find the school’s marching band, dance squad, cheerleaders and intense fans. There is a subdued tailgating scene at Central Connecticut, and a DJ providing pregame entertainment. At a smaller facility such as Arute Field, these touches simply don’t have the same impact on the game day experience as you find at your larger facilities. This doesn’t make Arute Field a substandard place to take in some quality football, in fact, it’s just the opposite. Just don’t expect a big time college football atmosphere here. For many fans, that’s the Arute Field’s biggest selling point.
Central Connecticut State University is located in a residential neighborhood on the northeastern edge of New Britain, a suburban city of 73,000 people located 12 miles from Hartford, Connecticut. Arute Field is located on the eastern edge of campus, directly off of route 9. All of Central Connecticut’s athletic facilities, including the CCSU Baseball Field and the William H. Detrick Gymnasium are located nearby.
There are not many choices for dining or lodging immediately adjacent to Arute Field, but there is great diversity within a few miles of campus. Local restaurants feature many different ethnic styles for the visiting Blue Devil fan. Polish, Oriental, Italian and Bavarian cuisine can all be found just a short drive from Arute Field.
Fans wanting a unique experience before or after a CCSU game should check out the East Side Restaurant, a German-themed pub complete with staff in traditional Bavarian gear and all the bratwurst you could possibly desire.
For a twist on a traditional American dish, visit Ted’s Steamed Hamburgers in nearby Cromwell. Their method of cooking hamburgers in steam trays is unique to central Connecticut, and Ted’s has been featured on several travel shows such as Man vs. Food and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
Lodging options are plentiful in nearby Farmington. Connecticut’s capital city, Hartford, is a short fifteen minute drive from Central Connecticut’s campus, and offers additional dining, lodging and entertainment options.
Central Connecticut has averaged between 3,000 and 3,500 fans per game over the past several seasons. Attendance can vary greatly from game to game, especially as the team has struggled in recent seasons. Homecoming and the annual Friday night opener are better attended, but visiting fans should still be able to find tickets.
There is not much of a presence by the student body at Blue Devil football games, but their absence is made up for by a solid (and vocal) presence by local alumni. The fans at Arute Field are passionate and knowledgeable about their team, and are very welcoming to visitors.
New Britain is located a 15 minute drive from Hartford. Route 9 passes directly by the campus, and connects with interstates 84 and 91 a few miles from campus. With its suburban location, the great majority of fans drive to the Central Connecticut State campus.
There is a medium sized parking lot directly adjacent to Arute Field, which is easily sufficient for most game day crowds. Parking is free, and additional parking is available throughout campus. Once inside Arute Field, all areas of the stadium are easily accessible.
There is a spacious concourse located on the back side of the press box building, where the concessions and bathrooms are located. Restrooms are spacious and clean, and lines move quickly, even at halftime. Wide vomitories empty fans into the seating area, and paved walkways encircle the field to take fans to the visitors’ side of the stadium. Standing room is available beyond both end zones.
Arute Field consists of two sets of grandstands. The first several rows on the home side grandstand are made up of metal bleachers without backs. These seats are sold as general admission seating. Fans sitting in the first few rows should be aware that there is a wide walkway in front of the seating area, meaning that passing traffic may disrupt your view at times. The top few rows on this side consist of metal bleacher seating with seat backs and arm rests, and are sold as reserved seating. Handicapped seating is located at the top of every section. Stands on the visiting side consist of metal bleachers. Fans sitting here will be happy to learn that there are rest room facilities located on both sides of Arute Field.
Return on Investment 5
Going to a game at Arute Field has got to be among the most affordable Division One experiences in the nation. Reserved seating can be purchased for ten dollars, while general admission will run you only eight dollars. Parking is free in the lot directly adjacent to Arute Field, and the most expensive concession item is a Ted’s steamed cheeseburger at seven dollars. It’s entirely possible to come to a Blue Devils game, park right next to the stadium, and enjoy a hot dog and a soda for under fifteen dollars.
An extra point is awarded for Central Connecticut’s longtime PA announcer, Joe Arnone. Mr. Arnone has been with the school for 54 years, and works both the football and basketball games for the Blue Devils. Mr. Arnone brings a touch of history to the new Arute Field.
Veteran fans of college football in the northeast will find much that is comfortable and familiar here at Central Connecticut. Football is not the big deal in this part of the country that it is elsewhere. Arute Field is a quality small facility, and stands out in an area dotted with older, more traditional venues. Add in tremendous value and affordability, and a visit to Arute Field should be on any serious college football fan’s wish list.
Extended Stay America Hotel Farmington
1 Batterson Park Rd
Farmington, CT 06032
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