Hale Stadium – Tennessee State Tigers
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Hello Hale Stadium
The Tennessee State University Tigers play their home football games at Hale Stadium located at 3500 John A. Merritt Boulevard in Nashville. The Tigers are members of the Ohio Valley Conference. The stadium is located on the Tennessee State University campus and holds 10,000 fans. The stadium is an older looking facility with a single tier of seats on the visitor’s side (east) and two tiers of seats on the home side (west). There are ticket booths located on both the north and south ends.
Hale Stadium hosted the Tigers from 1953-1998 and then after a 2012 renovation, the tradition continued, although the team still plays some of their home games at Nissan Stadium.
The stadium, nicknamed “The Hole,” was opened in 1953 and was named after Tennessee State University’s first president, William Jasper Hale.
Food & Beverage 1
The food at the stadium is very limited and sold at a portable pop up tent at the far south end of the stadium. The food is provided by Aramark.
The “hot” food consists of hot dogs, Polish sausage, cheeseburgers, and smoked turkey legs. I use the word hot because the pre-cooked food is kept inside metal warming containers until it is sold. The other food choices include nachos and candy.
They also offer Pepsi products (Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, and Mountain Dew) which are kept inside large ice-filled coolers. Once a drink is purchased, the buyer receives the bottle which is unopened and without a cup or ice. Hot chocolate is also offered, but there is no means to keep it hot. The beverage is stored in large thermoses which appear to be supplied by Starbucks. On a bright note, credit/debit cards are accepted as a form of payment.
At first glance, the stadium looks like a large high school stadium with a natural grass playing surface that will need some much needed rest during the off-season. The sound system is more than adequate and at some times, a little more than needed at others. Tennessee State takes great pride in their marching band. The band has so many members that they are split up and take up both northern sections of the home and visitor side. They also gave a great half time presentation.
The stadium is located right on the Tennessee State University campus and is adjacent to a quiet neighborhood filled with single family homes, apartments, churches and other commercial type structures.
The fans are very supportive of both teams. The stadium holds approximately 10,000 fans, but you will likely only see as many as 2,000 fans at a game. The Nashville market has many sports teams that compete for a fan base. Vanderbilt University is less than three miles away and sometimes play at the same time as does Tennessee State. Other sports alternatives in the area include the Tennessee Titans (NFL), Nashville Predators (NHL), and Nashville Sound (AAA – Oakland).
William J. Hale Stadium is very easy to get to being just off of Route 40 at exit 207. There are several parking lots and parking areas in and around the stadium. Stadium parking can be purchased for $20 in advance or $25 the day off the game. Season ticket holders can purchase a season parking pass for $45. The stadium parking lots are located on the north end of the stadium. On the south end of the stadium (if you do not mind a little bit of a walk) several private lots and free on street parking can be found without a problem.
Return on Investment 3
All tickets are general admission and cost $15. The entire seating (except for two rows on the home side between the 35 yard lines) are either metal or plastic bleacher style seats with adequate leg room.
Besides hosting a football game, the stadium does not offer anything regarding the history of the team, the school or any alumni. There is a small souvenir tent at the north end of the stadium that sells several styles of hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies.
Tennessee State University is a small school with a very limited football history. But, the school has produced several former and current NFL players to include Joe Gilliam Jr., Richard Dent, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Ed “Too Tall” Jones.
Overall the football game experience was satisfactory but a few tweaks could be done to make it much more enjoyable.
Food and Drink Recommendations
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