Gibbs Stadium – Wofford Terriers
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Beware of Dog
The Wofford Terriers first fielded a football team in 1889, but only in the past 20 years or so have they started to become really competitive – the program has won 5 conference championships since 2003.
Wofford College is located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and its football program currently competes in the Southern Conference (SoCon). Their home field is the 13,000-seat Gibbs Stadium (which includes Mike Ayers Field), which opened in 1996 and is home to the 30th largest college football scoreboard in the country.
Food & Beverage 3
The concessions at Gibbs Stadium offer more than you would expect from a sports venue of this size, with prices that are slightly higher than similar FCS stadiums, but much cheaper than FBS or NFL facilities.
Main dishes include hot dogs, smoked hot links (which taste much better than the basic hot dogs), turkey wraps, grilled chicken sandwiches, and Papa John’s Pizza, while snacks include soft pretzels, popcorn, nachos, peanuts, chips, packaged candy, cotton candy, and caramel corn, with nothing over $6.
Drinks include Coke products, bottled water, Gatorade, and hot cocoa – the latter is only $2, which is a great deal for the size you receive, and a nice treat especially as the weather starts getting colder.
Gibbs Stadium is a very pleasant venue, surrounded by trees and with a modern yet intimate feel, and so provides a great setting for college football. However, there are not many frills here – there is a bouncy house outside the stadium for the kids, and they do sell Wofford team gear here, but beyond that there is nothing but the football; no cheerleaders, no mascot, and almost no halftime entertainment (except a punt, pass, and kick contest among a couple of fans). But you should have an enjoyable time, and you can walk around and sit wherever you want, including watching from the grass berm behind the end zone if you prefer.
The jumbotron is pretty massive, likely bigger than most other FCS stadiums you may have visited. There are also chair back benches on the home side; the visitor’s side only offers basic metal bleachers.
Gibbs Stadium is located at the “back” of Wofford’s campus – the easiest way to get to the venue is to enter from North Pine Street, where the stadium is visible from the road; if you come in from the opposite side you will have to drive through campus.
There is not a ton to do in the area if you are here for the day or weekend, but there are a bunch of nice restaurants near the facility. A couple of eateries close to campus are The Terrace and the Skillet Restaurant, both of which are more upscale, and Ike’s Korner Grill, which has more of a student vibe. There are also plenty of hotels depending on your preference and budget, and if you are looking for something else to do while in town, the Cowpens National Battlefield Park is not far away.
Unfortunately, despite the recent upswing in Wofford’s play on the field, Gibbs Stadium doesn’t draw much of a crowd at all. Even for a recent FCS playoff game, the Terriers were unable to draw more than a couple hundred fans – in actuality there were probably as many Wofford fans outside the stadium watching for free as there were Wofford fans inside the venue, not to mention the hundreds of visiting fans that showed up. Still, despite the very small crowd, there was some pretty good crowd noise after some of the big plays.
Small venues like this are typically very easy to get in and out of, and Gibbs Stadium is no exception. Parking is only $10, and you can literally park right next to the facility. It is also easy to move around the stadium, as there is plenty of room and virtually no lines. The only downside is that there is no signage helping you to find the stadium if you come in on the campus side (if you come in via Pine Street you can find the venue by line of sight).
Return on Investment 3
Tickets to Wofford Terriers football games run $25, which is on the high side for FCS football, and given the number of fans who choose to watch for free from behind the end zone, the locals may also think this is on the high side. However, the concessions and parking are reasonable, so if you do want to come inside, it is not a terrible return on investment.
There is some great Wofford signage around, for example the inflatable “gate” at the main entrance and the Terriers-themed bouncy house, but otherwise there are not really any extras at Gibbs Stadium.
If you are looking for a low-key day of college football, Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, South Carolina may be just the ticket – you get an enjoyable experience without the hassle of large crowds and long lines, in a pleasant country setting. If you find yourself in the area, consider taking in a Wofford Terriers game, but beware of dog!
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