Falcon Stadium – Air Force Falcons
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There are few surroundings outside of a football stadium that are more picturesque than what the views are at Falcon Stadium. The stadium is located 6,621 feet above sea level making it the second highest FBS college stadium behind University Of Wyoming’s War Memorial Field. Located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the views of the mountains are breathtaking. Falcon Stadium is located on the campus of the Air Force Academy. Built in 1962, the stadium has been kept up well and shows little signs of aging.
Due to the physical restrictions on military cadets, Air Force football has traditionally been built on technical execution and finesse. Their triple option running attack is fun to watch and can fool defenses. Air Force has had success over the years with 23 bowl appearances and four top twenty finishes. They have won the Commander in Chief (Army, Navy, and Air Force) trophy 18 times. The Commander in Chief’s games are great rivalry games with lots of fan participation. Colorado State is a big rival for Air Force as well. The two schools compete for the Ram-Falcon trophy each year.
Food & Beverages 5
The food and beverage here at Falcon Stadium is very unique for a college stadium of its size. I would highly suggest saving room and money for a meal at the game vs eating at home or in the parking lot. For starters, there is a hospitality area by the entrance of the stadium. There are a few booths handing out free samples such as Qdoba chips and queso, mini barbecue sliders, and chili. Also, free beer is handed out before the game. Varieties such as Killian’s, Coors, and Leinenkugel summer shandy are served in twelve ounce cups. A donation to a local children’s hospital is strongly encouraged at the beer station.
Inside the stadium, there are tons of good food options. Booths with standard fare such as hot dogs, nachos, and popcorn are prevalent in the seating areas. In the end zone areas is where fans will find the good variety. Chick-fil-A has a booth there, as well as local restaurants and food trucks. There is a bbq station, an oriental food truck, a couple of brat stands, a funnel cake station, and many other good varieties. The food area seems like a state fair with all the variety available there. I went with a mammoth sausage that set me back six dollars. The sausage was much bigger than the Italian bread loaf it came on. My friend had an “Elvis” sandwich from PB Jellies. This massive sandwich had peanut butter, banana pieces, honey and bacon. I tried a piece and it was very tasty. They also had a Reuben sandwich and a turkey bacon sandwich.
Pepsi products are served at Falcon Stadium for $3.50 and up. Coffee, hot chocolate, and cider are offered as well. Alcohol is not served in Falcon Stadium. Some booths take credit/debit cards and some don’t so be careful before ordering. The lines to the concession stands aren’t long relative to the amount of staff working and go quickly.
The backdrop at Falcon Stadium is one of the best in all of college football. Pikes Peak, Cheyenne Mountain, and other mountains in the Rocky Mountain range are visible from varying points in the stadium. Best views of these can be seen in the southeastern or southwestern ends of the stadium.
The pregame festivities are very unique. Before the national anthem starts, varying groups of cadets line the field in formation. The Wings of Blue parachutes into the stadium and onto the field. This tradition never ceases to amaze fans, old and new. After the national anthem, cadets race from the field to the stands. It is fun to watch as they run at full speed until they get to the stands yet go into the stands in a neat and orderly fashion. At halftime, a falcon soars around the stadium. After each score, cadets run down behind the end zone and do pushups.
The best and quickest way to go into the stadium is via the north entrance. After tailgating or checking out the vendor tent, the north gate is the way to go. Most fans go through the east or south gates to get in. The east gate is good for picture taking as the main stadium sign is there. At this entrance, there are various military flags as well as the state and national flags.
Falcon Stadium does a good job of honoring teams past by listing conference championships, famous players, bowl games, and famous seasons throughout the stadium. Previous Air Force teams are honored with game by game records on plaques throughout the stadium. With so much conference shuffling, it is neat to see who Air Force has played in the past.
Falcon Stadium has two tiers on the home side. It is a bowl shape with seats surrounding the field. There aren’t any obstructed seats anywhere. For fans of standing room spots, Falcon Stadium has some of the best that I have come across. Between the first and second tier on the home side is a spacious walkway with plenty of standing room spots.
Falcon Stadium is located on the Air Force Academy so there isn’t much in the way of anything around the stadium. The complex is isolated from the rest of the base at the foothill of the mountains.
Fans wanting to grab a sit down meal before the game will have to get something before they get onto the base. Fans need not worry about this inconvenience because Colorado Springs is routinely voted among the best cities to live in or visit each year. There are plenty of restaurants just off base as well as shops and hotels. Depending on how far you want to venture out, Colorado Springs has something for everyone.
For food options, The Promenade Shops at Briarwood Parkway has lot of sit down options. There are plenty of chain restaurants here to fill you up before the game. Colorado Mountain Brewery is a few miles away from the stadium and has great food choices as well as drink choices. If stopping there with friends, I would suggest splitting one of their delicious pizzas. Pikes Peak Brewing is a few minutes north of the stadium and is another good food and beverage spot. The further south you go on I-25 towards downtown, the more places you can find. The region is known for its BBQ, steaks, and Hispanic food.
There are plenty of places to stay nearby as well. If you are staying in the area overnight, we recommend the Fairfield Inn & Suites. The hotel is the closest hotel to the North Gate and is located in nearby Monument, about 10 minutes from all of the sports facilities at the Air Force Academy. The hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms along with a free deluxe hot breakfast, indoor swimming pool and outdoor fire pit and hot tub. Stadium Journey members can save 15% by clicking here when booking a room.
If coming later in the college football season, fans can enjoy some great skiing options nearby. For fans of division one college hockey, Air Force starts their season in October as does nearby Colorado College.
The fans get into the game at key moments and can be loud when the opponent is on defense. However, there aren’t any chants or traditions of note during gameplay. I did hear a chant a few times where one part of the stadium would yell “Air” and the other part would yell “Force.” The fan base more or less is there to meet up with friends, share stories, or enjoy an evening out with their families. It is like this because it is more of a celebration of our military vs what is going on during the game.
Things are different however while playing Navy or Army. The rivalry between service academies is a fun and friendly rivalry yet something every fan has to see once. The chanting and crowd participation during those games are something to behold. Tickets for these games are hard to come by but worth it.
Getting to and from Falcon Stadium can be tricky at times. There are only two ways into the stadium complex, the south gate (exit 150 off of I-25) and the north gate (exit 156). All visitors to the base typically would use the north gate to get in. However, for football games, the south gate is the way to get in. There are plenty of signs on I-25 in both directions that will tell you where to get off. Getting to the game isn’t bad because everyone gets to the games at different times. As of the 2014 football season, there is a ten dollar charge to park. Parking is plentiful, though most parking is on a grass or prairie field. The lots are good to drive across when dry but could pose a problem during a rainstorm.
Leaving is a different story. Since there are only two ways in and out, traffic can be a nightmare after the game. Interstate 25 can randomly backup as well so merely getting to the highway doesn’t mean you are in the clear.
I did not see or hear of any mass transit options to the game. Taxi cabs are available but can be pricey depending on where you are picked up from or where you are going.
Return on Investment 5
The return on investment for games at Falcon Stadium is good, even with the new parking fees this season. Tickets range from $20-$45 and are fairly priced. The tailgating in the parking lot including free samples makes the parking fees worth it. The variety of concessions inside the stadium are unique for a stadium of its size and can give you an opportunity to enjoy foods from a local restaurant without actually visiting. For $40, I had a ticket, a concession item, parking, and free food/drink before the game. Money well spent.
Bonus points are awarded for the pageantry before, during, and after the game. The pregame flyover, parachutes, and on field formations are something that every college football fan has to see once. The friendliness of the fans is worth another point. The atmosphere here is less of a college football atmosphere and more of a family-friendly atmosphere. The last bonus point is for the surrounding Colorado Springs area. You will be hard pressed to find a surrounding town with more to do.
Seeing a game at Falcon Stadium is an experience that must be had once by college football fans. There is a different vibe among those at the game that really can’t be described. Fans are welcoming, the events before the game, and the game itself make for an afternoon or evening well spent. When attending a game here, be sure to thank a member of our armed forces. They sacrifice a lot so you can enjoy freedom.
Food and Drink Recommendations
All American Sports Cafe
12225 Voyager Parkway Suite 1
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
Fairfield Inn & Suites Colorado Springs North/Air Force Academy
15275 Struthers Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
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