Paulson Stadium – Georgia Southern Eagles

by | Sep 16, 2015 | Aaron S Terry, NCAA Football | 0 comments

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Flying High in Statesboro

The Georgia Southern Eagles football program recently transitioned to the FBS, and they are now bowl-eligible. They play their home games at Paulson Stadium, which now seats 25,000, thanks to expansions made during the transition. Built in 1984, the stadium is known as both the “Prettiest Little Stadium in America” (coined by former coach Erk Russell), as well as “Our House” (due to the extreme home-field advantage the stadium enjoys).

Food & Beverage 3

Paulson Stadium offers a good variety of food and beverage options, but the lines can be pretty long due to the placement and number of stands. There are a couple of main stands on each side (north and south), but no smaller satellite stands.

Food options include pretty much what you would expect at a stadium – main dishes from $4-$7, including hot dogs, burgers, pizza, and chicken tenders, and snacks from $2-$4, including candy, peanuts, popcorn, and nachos.

Beverages are $4, and include Coke products from the fountain, as well as bottled water and Powerade. There is no alcohol sold or allowed inside, except in the VIP sections on the north side (sections 105-109), and the alcohol is included in the ticket price.

Atmosphere 4

Paulson is a fun place to see a game – the fans do a lot of cheers unique to Georgia Southern, and the stadium has several fun amenities, including a mini football field in the east end zone where kids can play during the game.

There are several different seating options at Paulson Stadium – most of the seats are metal bleachers without chair backs, some of which are covered (sections 101-113). There are a few sections with chair backs (top portions of sections B-F and west end zone), but these are mostly reserved for season ticket holders and donors. The athletics website has a great seating chart showing which sections have which type of seats.

The main seating areas are the north and south stands, and most of those sections are reserved for donors and students, so it may be hard to find tickets for certain games if you don’t fall into one of those categories – the press box is on the south side. The east end zone holds the Ted Smith Family Football Center (coach’s offices, locker rooms, etc.) and doesn’t have seating, except for standing room on the balcony, or sitting on the grass. The west end zone only has a small section of seats reserved for donors.

The replay screen is located on the east side, so it won’t be behind you, but it isn’t very big. Also, it only has a video screen – it doesn’t show the down and distance, game clock, scoreboard, or anything else (that is all shown on the west side’s digital display). It is a weird set up, since you have to look in different directions to keep track of both.

Neighborhood 3

There aren’t a lot of tourist attractions in Statesboro besides the university, but there are a couple of eateries near Paulson Stadium, such as Millhouse Steakhouse about half a mile away on Veterans Memorial Parkway, which offers your traditional steaks and seafood, or you can find fast food type hangouts, such as Fuzzy’s Taco Shop.

If you plan to be in town for the day or weekend, there are plenty of hotels in Statesboro depending on your preferences and budget, ranging from Days Inn to Marriott.  And if you are looking for something to do while in the area, there is the Georgia Southern Museum on the GSU campus, which features exhibits on the area’s natural history, including both prehistoric as well as modern fossils.

Fans 4

The fans are very supportive of their team, and do a lot of unique cheers throughout the game. The stands are mostly full, and most fans stay until the fouth quarter, even if the game is already decided.

Average attendance is over 20,000, which is over 80 percent capacity, and the student section is right behind the visitor bench, which really helps Paulson’s home field advantage.

The cheers the crowd does include shouting “Whose house? Our house!” on the way into the game, and then once inside, one side yells “Georgia!” while the other side responds “Southern!” at sundry times during the game. But the most fun cheer happens every time the ball is kicked off (at the beginning of each half or following a score), when all the fans wave their hats in the air and chant in unison, “Go big blue! One more time!”. You will also see the phrase “GATA” all over the stadium, on shirts and on banners – this is a buzzword for GSU fans, and is an acronym for a (slightly) obscene phrase.

See the hat waving before the kickoff here:

 

Access 4

Paulson Stadium is easy to get to, and for those without a parking pass, you can park across the street for $20 at one of the nearby restaurants. There are also places you can park for free around campus a little further away, but be mindful of the signs so you don’t get towed.

There are gates all around the stadium, but it is always a good idea to print your tickets at home, or have them mailed, because lines are very long at the ticket booths. Also, will call for most people is at gate 8 (across the street from the tailgating area), which could be a long walk from where you park.

There are plenty of bathrooms inside the stadium, and plenty of room to walk around, since the stadium isn’t enclosed on either end, but the concession lines can be a bit long, especially during halftime.

Return on Investment 4

Coming to a GSU football game is a fun experience, and provides a really great crowd to watch the game with. Concession prices are reasonable, and ticket prices are on par with other college football stadiums – tickets range from $25 to $60, plus a $3 fee per ticket if you buy online. Some sections are supposed to require a donation or be reserved for season ticket holders, but if the game is not sold out, you can still buy them without that.

Extras 4

One point for the mini football field in front of the Ted Smith Family Football Center – appropriately named the “Field of Dreams;” kids 12 and under can play there all through the game.

A second point for the bounce house also near the Football Center – for some odd reason, kids don’t have a long attention span sometimes, so having something to occupy them so you don’t have to leave early is a plus.

A third point for all the cheers the fans do during the game – while it is mostly the student section, it is a fun way to stay engaged during the game, and provides a unique element specific to GSU.

A fourth point for the proximity to restaurants – a lot of stadiums have eateries “nearby,” but having a couple literally across the street is awesome.

Final Thoughts

Paulson Stadium is definitely worth a visit for the fun crowd and unique amenities. You may not often see Top 25 teams there, since the Eagles play in the Sun Belt Conference, but you will definitely have a good time.

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Food and Drink Recommendations

Millhouse Steakhouse

1601 Statesboro Pl Cir

Statesboro, GA 30458

(912) 871-6474

http://millhousesteakhouse.com/


Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

1302 Statesboro Pl Cir

Statesboro, GA 30458

(912) 871-3899

http://www.fuzzystacoshop.com/


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Entertainment Recommendations

Georgia Southern Museum

2142 Southern Dr

Statesboro, GA 30458

(912) 478-5444

http://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/museum/


AMC DINE-IN Statesboro 12

610 Brannen St

Statesboro, GA 30459

(912) 489-4322

https://www.amctheatres.com/movie-theatres/savannah-ga/amc-dine-in-statesboro-12


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Lodging Recommendations

 

Days Inn Statesboro

616 Fair Rd

Statesboro, GA 30458

(912) 225-0204

https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/days-inn/statesboro-georgia/days-inn-statesboro-ga/overview#


 

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Statesboro University Area

105 Springhill Dr

Statesboro, GA 30458

(912) 489-0000

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/savsb-springhill-suites-statesboro-university-area/


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Stadium Info

Paulson Stadium
207 Lanier Dr
Statesboro, GA 30458

Georgia Southern Eagles website

Paulson Stadium website

Year Opened: 1984

Capacity: 25,000

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