Ross-Ade Stadium – Purdue Boilermakers
Ross-Ade Stadium has been the home of Boilermaker football since 1924. Located in West Lafayette, the town comes alive for Purdue athletics. What is unique about the stadium is the open-air end zone. Though there is a scoreboard and premium hospitality seats, the stadium itself is designed like a horseshoe. It is now listed at a capacity of 62,500, which is middle of the pack in the Big Ten. With the recent success of Purdue, the fan base is believing again and they have done a great job of filling the stands.
Food & Beverage 4
Ross-Ade Stadium provides your usual game day fare. With burgers and chicken tenders at $6 and specialty hot dogs for $4, you can fill up on a meal for $10. They offer $4 snack selections that include a box of popcorn, waffle fries, a soft pretzel, or nachos with cheese. The most popular food items I saw were the Big Boiler burger and the souvenir popcorn bucket, both at $8. The venue also does the $8 bottomless soft drinks, which are always a great incentive for fans to purchase a soda with their food.
The most impressive aspect of the concessions at Ross-Ade Stadium is the fast service. Even at halftime the wait from the back of the line never takes more than 10 minutes. The service is great and the staff is very friendly, so even though the food is nothing special, the prices and service are something to love.
Purdue is not short of great traditions. With the “Breakfast Club” starting at 7 am when students go bar crawling, the party starts well before kickoff. Boilermaker Crossing in Mackey Arena is nice because it gives fans an escape from the elements, while also getting to check out the beautiful home for the volleyball and basketball teams. Also the pregame concert from the All-American Marching Band at Slayter Hill is a must see.
The “Boiler Up” and “Hammer Down” chants are great, and fans are always excited for the kickoff. Whenever either team kicks off the fans start yelling and as soon as the ball is kicked they pay homage to their in-state rival Indiana with an “IU Sucks” chant. With such a long-standing history of notable professional players like Drew Brees, the Boilermaker faithful are passionate, and with attendance up lately it is an even better time.
West Lafayette is the definition of a college town. Everywhere you go around town you see the Gold and Black flying high. Almost any store you go in shows Boilermaker spirit, and on game day this is cranked up to a whole new level.
The only flaw of West Lafayette is the lack of options around Ross-Ade Stadium. Though it is a college town there isn’t much to do in the area besides see the game. There are many great local places to eat, but none are all that close to the stadium.
One of the more popular spots that is within a short 10-minute walk of Ross-Ade Stadium is McDonald’s. I know it is a national chain, but they have TV with other football games on, and they offer an all-hands-on-deck staff that gets the food out at a normal fast food rate.
The best local place to eat though is Triple XXX Family Restaurant – it has very affordable diner food and is open both early morning and late night, so it is a great place to go pre-game or post-game. The only catch is that is cash only, and it is over a mile away from Ross-Ade Stadium, so make sure you stop at an ATM before stopping in.
The fan base has begun to return to Ross-Ade Stadium with the team’s recent success. The Ross-Ade Brigade, the football student section, is one of the best in the Big Ten. Regardless of the score, they come out and fill their sections. They are also very local, leading the “Boiler Up” chants and making sure fans know it’s a Boilermaker first down. Also, midway through the second half the song “Shout” comes on over the speakers and the entire student section performs a uniform raising and waving of the arms for several minutes. Though Purdue may not have the best fans in the Big Ten, they definitely have the students’ commitment, and that is not something all schools can say.
Getting to Ross-Ade Stadium via car is not the easiest. Though the streets and exits are well marked, you are driving in the middle of nowhere – once you exit the interstate you are greeted by nothing but farmland. The university is the town, so once you get on campus you are hit with game day traffic which is by no means awful, but it is also not easy to navigate. In addition, something to note is the number of parking spots that seem open, but aren’t really, since many parts of campus have 1 to 2 hour time limits on parking. That said, make sure you check the signs where you park, so you do not get a large fine.
Return on Investment 3
Fans can get into a game at Ross-Ade Stadium with a $20 end zone bleacher ticket, a price that is hard to beat in a major conference like the Big Ten. Inside the main bowl, tickets range from $25 to $75 for Big Ten games. With the option of free parking a mile away, you can save a lot there. The parking lots close to the stadium start at $20 which is about average. Overall there aren’t any great deals here, but it is affordable.
One point for the college town atmosphere; it reminds you of the glory days when everything was open late and the fun never stopped. The tradition and the buzz on game day is something to be desired.
Another point for the Old Oaken Bucket souvenir popcorn – not only is it a cool take-home item, but it ties into the Indiana rivalry game that is always on the minds of Boilermaker fans.
Purdue football is full of rich history. Though it may never be among the top stadiums in the Big Ten to visit, Ross-Ade Stadium is definitely a great place to catch a game.
Food and Drink Recommendations
Triple XXX Family Restaurant
2 N Salisbury St
West Lafayette, IN 47906
605 W Stadium Ave
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Do you want to add your listing on StadiumJourney.com? Here’s how!
Tippecanoe Battlefield Park
200 Battleground Ave
Battle Ground, IN 47920
West Lafayette Hilton Garden Inn
356 East State St
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Latest Crowd Reviews
While Purdue has been down for a while, you get a great college football experience at Ross-Ade. You have a lot of things going on here from keeping up with the Boiler/Train themes to tastes of Indiana, and the atmosphere, and just a great vibe on gameday. POSITIVES: The fans stick out to me. Yes, they do not always sell out the venue, even for a power like Michigan coming in, but the ones who are there are nice, friendly and get into the game. If you&#039re tailgating, it feels like family when you&#039re doing it as people next to you will talk and even offer foods. The student section is pretty good as well. You do have a decent variety with foods, mostly with Indiana tastes (pork tenderloin sandwiches among others) and in 2017 they added beer. You&#039re close to the action as there isn&#039t a huge venue so you don&#039t have any nosebleed seating anywhere so that&#039s an added bonus. And one of the things I noticed was how friendly the fans were to opposing fans, even from conference rivals. And I dug the Boiler trains to and from the venue which is pretty unique. NEGATIVES: Well, from an architectural standpoint, nothing really stands out at Purdue. It is just bowl seating with a horseshoe layout and a large press/luxury boxes on the west sideline. The other blip is finding a parking spot can be difficult there as you are well away from Ross-Ade and some of the parking spots when it rains are mud pits. Overall, Ross-Ade was a no-frills football stadium. But it serves its purpose for a Saturday afternoon college football game. And it is definitely an underrated place.