Fifth Third Bank Stadium – Kennesaw State Owls
A Visit to Hooville
Kennesaw State University is the third largest institution in the Georgia University System. It has experienced an explosion in growth over the last 10 years, with nearly 36,000 students at its suburban Marietta, Georgia campus. Though it has existed since 1963, the school’s athletic programs were almost non-existent until the opening of the KSU Sports and Entertainment Park in 2010.
The centerpiece of the Sports and Entertainment Park is the 8,300 seat Fifth Third Bank Stadium. The stadium has been in use since 2010 for the KSU soccer and lacrosse teams. In 2015 the university began its first ever football program, adding another major sport to the facility. The Owls have gotten off to a great start, as they won the Big South Conference Championship in only their third season of competition and advance to the semifinals of the FCS playoffs, where they finished 8th in the national rankings.
There are four major concession stands located throughout the stadium. They offer a wide variety of foods at very reasonable prices. The menus consist of brats ($6), cheesesteaks ($9),hot dogs ($4), burgers ($8), nachos ($5.50), pizza ($5), tator tots($4), popcorn ($4), peanuts ($5), chips ($2) and candy ($4).
Fifth Third Bank Stadium offers Coca Cola brand products, including sodas ($4) and bottled water ($3). Hot drinks are $3.00. Because the KSU Sports and Entertainment Complex is located off the academic campus, alcoholic beverages can be sold at the stadium. Domestic beers are $8.00.
Fifth Third Bank Stadium features a very contemporary design that projects a very low profile from the exterior. From the outside, all you see is a one-story structure featuring the KSU colors of white, black and yellow. The ticket windows are found along the left side of this structure with the central portion featuring the main entry breezeway. You will enter at the concourse level, with all concessions, restrooms and the team store along the fan plaza. The entire seating bowl is below the concourse level. No seat in the stadium is more than 20 rows from the field, so there simply is not a bad seat in the house. The stadium features individual seats throughout the stadium, which is unusual in this age of aluminum benches in most facilities. The stadium seats are wider than is typically found, providing an additional layer of comfort to enjoy the game.
The student section and the school bands for each school are in the south end zone, keeping the noise level down to a comfortable level. The north end zone features a 1350 square foot Daktronics videoboard, which provides game stats and replays on a continuous basis.
The immediate neighborhood surrounding Fifth Third Bank Stadium is the 21-acre KSU Sports and Entertainment Complex. This complex is designed to serve both the intercollegiate and intermural programs of Kennesaw State University. It is also designed to serve as a community park for the surrounding area. In addition to the stadium, the complex offers seven athletic fields, a track, a walking trail and a nine-acre lake. Though owned by KSU, the Sports and Entertainment Park has its own staff and budget separate from the school. This allows it to host festivals, concerts and sports events not specifically linked to the school.
The Sports and Entertainment Complex is in an area known as Town Lake. This area boasts of a wide variety of shopping, dining and lodging facilities. The 175 store Town Lake Mall is located just 1.5 miles from the stadium and can be reached via Town Lake Parkway or a hike/bike trail that weaves through the area.
Restaurants close to the stadium include Tin Lizzy’s Cantina and Marlow’s Tavern. Lodging is available just down the street at either the Comfort Suites at KSU or the Hampton Inn – Kennesaw. The Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is located about 5 miles from the stadium. The park area played a major role in the Battle of Atlanta during the Civil War, as the mountain provided an excellent vantage point for General Sherman with its views of Atlanta in the distance. The park is also heavily used for recreational purposes, as it offers more than 30 miles of hiking, biking and jogging trails.
The athletic department and the fans have lots of fun with the Owl moniker. You will hear several cheers involving derivations on the word “hoo”. (first downs and touchdowns are greeted with an enthusiastic Hoo!, while penalties on the opposition result in an accusatory Whoo?). The recruiting base for the Owls is still local in nature, so you will see many parents of the players in attendance, which is a nice touch.
A fan zone area featuring food trucks, vendors, a team store and other entertainment opens three hours prior to the game on the west side of the stadium. The Owl Walk Parade starts two hours prior to kickoff and features the team, cheerleaders and the marching band.
The student body is very enthusiastic about having a football program after having to attend other schools’ games in the past. They fill the student section in all forms of owl clothing and costumes. The Marching Owls band and team mascot Scrappy do a great job in keeping the fans both entertained and fired up throughout the game.
Fifth Third Bank Stadium can be easily reached via either exit 271 of I-75 (Chastain Road) or by the Chastain Road exit from I-575 (Chastain Road) From I-75: Take I-75: Take the Chastain Road exit and go east and turn at the first red light onto George Busbee Parkway. Stay on Busbee Parkway, which ends at the stadium. From I-575: Take the Chastain Road exit and head west for 2 miles. Turn left onto George Busbee Parkway and it will end at the stadium.
The KSU Sports and Entertainment Complex is an off-campus site. Parking is available at several lots adjacent to the stadium. On game days a free shuttle bus service is provided from the campus via the Big Owl Bus (BOB) service.
Once at the stadium, there are five points of entry, with multiple gates at each entry point. The home side of the field is on the west side of the stadium and all gates will bring you in at the concourse level. The east side (visitor’s seating) is accessible via gates in either end zone, with ramps leading to the stands. Each side is serviced by multiple concession stands and restroom facilities.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets to KSU Owl games vary in price from $15 – $75 depending on where the seats are in the stadium. Parking is available in numerous lots along Georgie Busbee Parkway within easy walking distance of the stadium. The lots charge $10 if prepaid or $15 the day of the game. Most KSU fans can commute to games, but hotels in the immediate area of the stadium are available for $90- $130 a night.
In addition to the KSU Owls football, soccer and lacrosse programs, Fifth Third Bank has served as the home of the Atlanta Beat of the Women’s Professional Soccer League, as well as the Atlanta Blaze of the Major League Lacrosse League. The stadium hosted the MLL National Championship game in both 2014 and 2015, leading up to its awarding of a franchise in 2016.
The stadium has been nationally recognized by several organizations for it very modern design. It received a Top 10 ranking for all FCS stadiums from Stadium Journey and has been hailed as a “must see” by NCAA.com.
The stadium stays in heavy use throughout the year. In the spring of every year its hosts the Shaky Boots Country Music Festival, boasting of appearances from stars including Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Dierks Bentley and Blake Shelton. In October the facility becomes the launching pad for the Owl O’ Ween Hot Air Balloon Festival.
The stadium is designed to be easily expandable as the program grows. The visitor’s side (east stands) can be double decked and the end zones feature plenty of space, without sacrificing the intimate feel of the stadium.
Kennesaw State University was the first institution in the Metro Atlanta area to experiment with building a stadium complex in the suburbs. It has been a huge success, and its concept was studied closely by the Atlanta Braves as they designed their own SunTrust Park / The Battery Complex just a few miles south of Kennesaw State University. Nobody is saying “whoo” anymore!!
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Comfort Suites At Kennesaw State University
3366 Busbee Dr NW
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Latest Crowd Reviews
Fifth Third Bank Stadium is a very good place to watch college football in Georgia. If you don’t want to deal with the crowd and still get high quality football with reasonable prices and good access, then Fifth Third Bank Stadium is the place to be.