Lane Stadium – Virginia Tech Hokies
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Lane Stadium has “it.” That magic that makes the goosebumps rise up on your arms and opposing teams tremble, that’s “it.” Heavyweights like ESPN and Rivals have rated it one of (if not the top) toughest places to play in the country, and with good reason. From the first chords of “Enter Sandman” to the final whistle and beyond, Lane Stadium rocks.
First opened in 1965 to replace the 17,000-seat Miles Stadium, Lane Stadium/Worsham Field is home to the Virginia Tech Hokies football team of the ACC. A beautiful addition to a beautiful campus, Lane Stadium has over the years doubled and then some from its original 30,000-seat capacity and built a reputation as a home field fortress for the mighty Hokies. Blacksburg, Virginia, on a Saturday is definitely a game to circle on any calendar.
Food & Beverage 3
There’s some uniqueness here, but it’s largely what you’d expect at this level of college football venue.
Around both sideline concourses, concessions are generally the same generic stands you’ll find at any sporting event. Main items include soft pretzels, nachos and hot dogs (all $4), as well as a variety of snacks for $2-$4. A garden salad is also available for $5. Behind the south end zone, a variety of food options open up. Freshly-grilled burgers ($8), barbecue sandwiches and nachos ($8) and a variety of Buffalo Wild Wings selections are all available.
Coke products are available for $3-$5 (depending on size) throughout the stadium, as well as water for $4. Alcohol is not available in Lane Stadium.
The options overall feel pretty standard, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a freshly-grilled burger or a local barbecue sandwich. While not unique, those are the only non-cookie cutter items on the menu, unless you count a chain restaurant’s selection.
Lane Stadium easily ranks in the upper echelon of FBS stadiums, in terms of atmosphere. Expect tailgating, noise and energy galore from morning to night in Blacksburg.
Lane may not be the biggest stadium in the country, but it’s very aesthetically pleasing. On the northeast corner of the end zone, the beautiful foliage of the Blacksburg area even enters the stadium in the shape of trees just beyond the end zone, making it feel even more embedded in the campus. The same stone bricks used throughout the scenic campus make up the walls around the field. There is only one upper deck behind the south end zone, as all other sides rise straight from the field to the sky (be prepared for a long walk up if you’re at the top). There’s just something about the design that makes Lane Stadium feel local, which only adds to the passion of its loyal fans.
There is so much to like about the energy around Lane Stadium from tailgate to the final whistle. But the obvious highlight is the Hokies taking the field to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” The crowd jumps and waves anything they can get their hands on, creating an electric experience. The student section dances and rocks throughout the game. Virginia Tech also has two bands at either end of the field, which may be one of a kind in major college football. Finally, a rendition of the “Hokie Pokie” between the third and fourth quarters is an interesting (if not strange) tradition.
There really doesn’t seem to be a bad seat in the house here. If walking stairs isn’t your thing, you may want to shell out some extra money to be lower to the field, because of the massive stands on either side.
Blacksburg is a quaint but happening city on game day. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in quality. The Virginia Tech campus is absolutely gorgeous and worth a pre-game walk. Lane Stadium is located on the south side of campus within easy walking distance of anything you need in the immediate area. The area is safe, beautiful and highly walkable.
Main Street offers a variety of food options that will all be packed on game day. Cellar is a Greek style restaurant with a huge beer list and local flair that is a strong recommendation. Social House, Cabo Fish Tacos and Boudreaux’s are some other excellent pre-game options as well, if you’re skipping tailgate. Being such a small town, there aren’t exactly a ton of attractions in the area. The area itself, however, is absolutely beautiful. A drive through the mountains to Blacksburg itself is an attraction. Also, walk through the beautiful campus to the April 16th Memorial dedicated to the victims of the Blacksburg shooting. It’s a somber site in the heart of the beautiful campus, but will give you an idea of why the sense of community seems so strong at Virginia Tech.
For a small-town experience, you can stay within walking distance at the Clay Corner Inn or Main Street Inn right downtown. More traditional and easier transit options are the Hilton Garden Inn Blacksburg or Comfort Suites University.
It may not be the biggest stadium in college football, but it definitely could be the loudest. There is a ton of pride in Blacksburg, and it definitely feels like “home” for these fans.
The Hokies until very recently had a 93-game home sellout streak, one of the longest in the nation. Typically ranked third in the ACC in attendance, the Hokies show up in droves.
And it’s not just numbers that the fans bring, it’s noise. Despite its size, Lane Stadium is consistently rated as one of the loudest stadiums in college football. Be ready to stand, because fans rarely sit down and yell their throats hoarse. Get ready to jump for “Enter Sandman,” wave your keys on third down and even do the Hokie Pokie with 65,000 friends.
Getting to and around the stadium has both its easy access and challenging scenarios.
Blacksburg is relatively remote, so expect to drive. Located 30 minutes from I-81, it’s not immediately on a major interstate. If you can get a hotel right in town, it’ll make your game day experience more enjoyable, because traffic can get bad. While there is a local airport in Blacksburg, it’s not going to get you many places. Roanoke (40 miles) and Greensboro (148 miles) are probably your most usable options. Leaving the stadium can be a challenge. Blacksburg police don’t close off side roads, so expect a lot of merging traffic into the masses trying to leave. Getting out of Blacksburg can be a bit of a chore.
Parking is about average for large-scale college football. Expect to pay between $10-$30 to park. The easiest parking is the large area to the west of the stadium, but it’s further from campus and Main Street. If you venture into the neighborhoods east of the stadium, you can find smaller lots that are conveniently located for campus, restaurants and the stadium. These lots are also often cheaper. You can really enter the stadium from any gate pretty easily. Except for the upper deck in the south end zone, all seating can be accessed from one circular concourse.
The concourse is wide and easy to navigate. There are enough restrooms to be sufficient for the crowd. The real challenge comes in once you realize that the ramps all enter at the bottom of the stands, so if you’re sitting in row ZZZ, you’re going to be in for a long climb. If you need to frequent the restroom, you’re going to get a workout. Seating is also narrow, so be prepared to know your neighbor well.
Return on Investment 4
Lane Stadium falls on the list of FBS stadiums that are must-see at any price.
Ticket prices vary depending on the level of the opponent, but with the number of sellouts, they’ll never truly be cheap. Food is very affordable for this level of venue, so you’ll save some there. Parking is about average. But if you’re a true college football fan, you won’t mind the investment for a big game in Blacksburg.
The most obvious extra here is the famous “Enter Sandman” entrance. It’s a one of a kind experience in college football. The campus and April 16 Memorial are also must-see sites. But probably my favorite part of the Virginia Tech experience is just how local it feels. Maybe it’s the small town, maybe it’s the tragedy they’ve been through, but there is a very palpable sense of community in Blacksburg.
Again, Lane Stadium is a college bucket list staple. It may not be the biggest, but it’s among the best. Find a big game on the Virginia Tech calendar and circle the date for a trip.
Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech
190 Alumni Mall
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Holiday Inn University-Blacksburg
900 Prices Fork Rd
Blacksburg, VA 24060
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