Barker-Lane Stadium – Campbell Camels
Football 2.0 at Barker-Lane
The Campbell Camels first fielded a football team from 1925-1950, but the program was disbanded prior to the Korean War. Now the Camels are back playing football after a 58-year hiatus; the renewed program began in 2008 with a brand new on-campus stadium.
With seating for 5,500, Barker-Lane Stadium was built in two phases starting with the field itself, main stands, field house, and road realignment, and ending with the press box, additional seating, and stadium lighting. The facility was completed in time for the Camel football team’s second season; the Camels currently complete in the FCS as part of the Big South Conference.
Food & Beverage 3
Barker-Lane Stadium does not offer a ton of concessions options, but there is plenty to get you by during a game, and the prices are all very reasonable – nothing costs over $5.
Food selections include barbeque and chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, cotton candy and packaged candy, nachos, pretzels, sunflower seeds, chips, and crackers, but the most popular item is the sno cones, which are sold out of a food truck parked on the concourse.
Drink options include bottled water, bottled soda, and Gatorade, all for $3. And don’t forget to check out the Camels-themed napkins, which are the only wipes you’ll find inside Barker-Lane Stadium.
Barker-Lane Stadium offers a great atmosphere for college football. The small but modern stadium has all the amenities you could ask for from a football venue, including a jumbotron for replays, a brand new FieldTurf playing surface done up in the Camels colors, fireworks and flag bearers when the team comes out onto the field, cheerleaders and a dance team, a victory bell used to ring in the fourth quarter, free t-shirts and other giveaways, and a great mascot.
The best place to sit is on the press box (west) side – all the seats on that side have backs, and the sun will be behind you as it sets, making for a much more comfortable outing during the hot Carolina weather. The chair back rails are all painted in the Camels main color (burning orange), and the mascot Gaylord is constantly prowling the west stands for photo ops with fans.
The east stands are mainly used by visiting fans, although the band also sits on that side. All the seats on the visitor side are simple metal bleachers, but those tickets cost slightly less, and you can get a little closer to the action on the east side than on the west. However, given that the facility only holds 5,500, any seat in Barker-Lane Stadium will still give you a great, up-close view, and from even the highest row in the venue you can still clearly hear the smack of the pads as players collide.
Note that both sides of the stadium offer the same Camels team gear and concessions, except that the lone sno cone truck is on the west side (but of course anyone can walk over to it).
There is very little in Buies Creek, NC except for Campbell University, which means there isn’t much in the vicinity of Barker-Lane Stadium. There are a couple of fast food places and college type eateries nearby, such as Chick-fil-A, Dogleg Pizza, and Campus Grill, but any hotels or attractions would be further away in Lillington or Dunn.
The most popular eatery near Buies Creek just may be Sunni Skies Homemade Ice Cream in Angier – lots of students drive the distance for Sunni’s seasonal, cash-only 100+ flavors.
Barker-Lane Stadium draws a pretty good crowd – at a typical Camels game you might see four to five thousand fans in the stands, many of whom wear bright burning orange Camels gear. The fans cheer loudly and are very involved in the game, and really seem to enjoy themselves.
Getting to Barker-Lane Stadium is literally no problem whatsoever – there is a parking lot across the street where you can park for $10, and there is a tunnel under the road which fans can then use to access the stadium. There is also a slightly closer lot (on the same side of the street as the stadium) for season ticket holders and others with passes, and there is almost no traffic in the miniscule town of Buies Creek.
Once you enter the facility, getting around is very simple – the concourse is more than large enough to accommodate the crowd size, even at full capacity, and there are plenty of bathrooms and concessions stands. You will never have to stand in line for more than a minute or two, except possibly at the ever popular sno cone stand.
Return on Investment 5
Tickets to Camels football games start at $10 for the bleacher seats on the east side, and go up to $15 for chair back seats on the west side. The extra $5 is absolutely worth it, and given the cheap parking and low-cost concessions to boot, taking in a game at Barker-Lane Stadium offers a stellar return on investment.
Lots of bright color in the stadium, and a great mascot who interacts with fans constantly. Also, the view around the stadium is nice, with beautiful brickwork on most of the nearby buildings, and lots and lots of greenery. Lastly, attending a game at Barker-Lane Stadium is about as hassle-free as a football game can be, making for an enjoyable and stress-free day out.
A lot of football fans may not even have known that Campbell University has a football team. You may not be impressed given that it is an FCS team, however, the experience here is great regardless. If you are ever in the North Carolina area, I would highly recommend taking in a game here – you are guaranteed to have blast, and it won’t wreck your wallet or your blood pressure.
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