FAU Stadium – Boca Raton Bowl

by | Dec 30, 2016 | Chris Green, College Bowl Games, NCAA Football | 0 comments

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Football In Another South Florida Paradise

Take two teams from mid-tier conferences, pit them against each other at a football stadium used by a mid-tier team located in a part of South Florida just outside of major metropolitan areas, and you get yourself the Boca Raton Bowl. Despite the bleak outlook, there is more than meets the eye to this often-laughed at bowl game.

Food & Beverage    4

The food options at the Boca Raton Bowl are actually quite impressive. The prices are not that high, compared to most major sporting events. A burger, soda, and fries will cost less than $15, which in stadium terms is a steal, especially at a televised bowl game. What sets the Boca Raton Bowl apart is the wonderful bar that is on the main concourse that makes up the Delray Hyundai Deck. This full-service bar features TV screens, a nice aesthetic, and other smaller food vendors next to it that make it easy to grab a beer, an arepa, and some fries, all in one area.

Another plus is the convenience of the locations on the lower levels. You never have to walk too far to find somewhere to grab food, which can be an issue at other locations. The other side of the stadium opposite of the party deck features a full-service Subway location, complete with restaurant style seating inside an air-conditioned storefront.

Atmosphere    3

Yes, a college bowl game already comes with a minimum level of excitement…it is a bowl game, after all. However, when the two teams playing are from Conference USA and the AAC, it’s a little hard to get the energy rolling. Most of the teams in these conferences are smaller programs in smaller cities, and therefore have a smaller fan base that is willing to travel. In fact, in its first two years of existence, despite having a sellout the first year and a near-sellout this year, the actual butts-in-seats count is down, leaving large open areas in the stadium that look bad on television. That lack of fans means a much lower noise level. Perhaps if a larger team that has a bigger following were to play, the fan base would be much larger in attendance.

Neighborhood    4

Boca Raton is a beautiful part of Palm Beach County. In addition, FAU’s campus is clean, South Florida-esque in appearance, and overall visually appealing. Not far from the campus is a beautiful strip shop that plays host to a PF Chang’s, J. Alexander’s, Shake Shack, Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble, and more. Equidistant to the east of campus is the Atlantic Ocean. There, you can find a beautiful beach, as well as the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, where visitors can get a look at some of coastal Florida’s natural habitats and inhabitants, thanks to boardwalks through the mangroves and natural butterfly gardens. Near the beach, hotels are easy to find. What Boca Raton lacks in nightlife more commonly found in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the area more than makes up for in relaxation. In addition, Palm Beach International Airport isn’t far from Boca Raton, with Fort Lauderdale and Miami less than an hour away, as well.

Fans    3

The fans of the teams who play in the Boca Raton Bowl are usually sparse and leave open areas in the seating. However, this is college football and the passion in the fans is palpable. This year’s crowd cheered on Memphis and Western Kentucky with fervor, impressing many with how dedicated they were. Indeed, the Boca Raton Bowl features lower-tier teams, but the people who come to the game are very loyal and leave nothing to question as to who they are there supporting.

Access    5

Getting to FAU is easy to do. Unlike several sports teams or colleges where the campus stadiums are miles away from the highway exits, FAU is quite literally bordered by I-95 in Boca Raton. Also, just a few miles west is the Florida Turnpike. Once off the exit from I-95, the FAU campus is immediately visible. Parking is quite plentiful, and even if you get stuck in a lot or garage that is a little further from the stadium, the walk is not very far and is through a beautiful campus.

Return on Investment    4

As the game is one of the early bowl games and not as big of a spectacle, tickets are less expensive than usual. That said, it won’t break the bank to go see a college bowl game. Tickets can be found for less than $50 face value, and secondary markets usually have an abundance of tickets and parking passes. If you are a fan or alumni of one of the participating schools, there are various fan zones and alumni parties that also take place on game day, giving you multiple options for celebrating with fellow die-hards, thanks to special ticket packages.

Finally, if you want a family fun atmosphere, the Boca Raton Bowl is perfect. Not too long of a drive to be within manageable driving distance from both South Florida and the Treasure Coast, the easy-going vibe at the game makes it perfect to bring the little ones to.

Extras    5

The fan zone outside is chock-full of freebies. From giveaways to concerts, fans can get tons of swag from the various booths outside of the stadium. Another bonus is the addition of charging stations. FAU Stadium recently added mobile charging stations to recharge your phone or tablet at the game, making it very convenient to get a power boost on your device.

After you have that boost, take a photo and post it to Instagram and it may show up on the big screen. The Boca Raton Bowl showcases fan photos throughout the game on the stadium’s big screen, giving you the chance to be famous for about 10 seconds.

Arguably one of the coolest things for die-hard football fans is the frequent appearance of legendary college football coach Howard Schnellenberger. Always gracious with the fans, the one-time coach of FAU football now visits the games with frequency at FAU Stadium, especially the Boca Raton Bowl. Fans can also grab a photo next to the statue of him just inside one of the main entrances.

Finally, fans can also relax under the shade of the palm trees on beach lounge chairs before, during, or after the games, something you won’t get at other games.

Final Thoughts

If you are willing to drive a distance to Boca Raton, then you are in for an easy-going treat. No, the crowd may not have the stadium bursting at the seams. And no, it may not be the biggest roar when a team scores as you sit in an open section of the stadium. But you will not often find a college bowl game with affordable food, tickets, and easy access for fans that won’t stress you out.

Food and Drink Recommendations

Mississippi Sweets BBQ

2399 N Federal Hwy

Boca Raton, FL 33431

(561) 394-6779


Shake Shack

1400 Glades Rd

Boca Raton, FL 33431

(561) 923-0847


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Entertainment Recommendations

Boca Raton Museum of Art

501 Plaza Real

Boca Raton, FL 33432

(561) 392-2500


The Wick Theatre

7901 N Federal Hwy

Boca Raton, FL 33487

(561) 995-2333


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Lodging Recommendations

Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel

2000 NW 19th St

Boca Raton, FL 33431

(561) 368-5252


Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center

5150 Town Center Cir

Boca Raton, FL 33486

(561) 392-4600


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Stadium Info

FAU Stadium
777 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33431

Boca Raton Bowl website
FAU Stadium website
Year Opened: 2011
Capacity: 29,419

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