Tiger Stadium – LSU Tigers
Saturday Night in Death Valley
Sitting less than one mile away from the Father of all Waterways, the Mississippi River, in the town of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is another monument of southern folklore. Louisiana State University’s Tiger Stadium is not only one of the great stadium experiences of college football but also one of the most historic venues in all of American sports.
Built in 1924, with an original capacity of just 12,000, Tiger Stadium has seen its fair share of remodels and renovations. But even with all of the changes throughout the years, it has never lost its charm. The most recent renovation to Tiger Stadium was completed in 2012 and included 66 luxury suites, 3,000 Club Level seats above the south end zone and 1,400 general public seats in the upper deck. This addition, which was funded privately through the Tiger Athletic Foundation, brought the seating capacity to 102,321 making it the sixth largest college football stadium in the nation.
Tiger Stadium is so large that you would assume it is also one of the most raucous, and you would be entirely correct. LSU has a .728 Winning Percentage since opening the doors and they are 413-149-18 all time at home (entering 2017). Fans have always made their presence known and stay loud throughout the game cheering on their Fighting Tigers.
Food & Beverage 4
The food and beverage operation in Tiger Stadium has seen some changes in recent years staying step in step with the stadium renaissance of what is available to the common fan on game day. Gone are the days of just grabbing a hot dog and a coke and calling it a day. Yes, you can still grab a dog, nachos or a hamburger, but don’t miss some of the southern classics available at Tiger Stadium.
Triple B’s Cajun Corner stands can be found throughout the stadium and offer three Cajun items; Zatarain’s Cajun Jambalaya ($9), Grilled Alligator Sausage Po’Boy ($9), and Creole Crawfish Pie ($6). In the regular concession stands you will find the classics, but with a bit of flair. A Tiger Dog (hot dog with chili and nacho cheese) will run you $6.50, Manda Sausage, otherwise known as a Bratwurst, for $7, BBQ Bengal Burger (cheese, BBQ sauce and pickles) are $9, and Grande Nachos are $8.
Besides those items the concession stands are pretty basic with hot dogs ($4), nachos ($5.50), bottomless popcorn ($8), Bavarian pretzels ($5.50), and regular 22 oz. soft drinks ($4.50). Souvenir soda cups are $7, and include one free refill which is a very nice touch. Also, like most college stadiums and ALL SEC stadiums, Tiger Stadium does not sell alcohol.
On the whole, the concession prices are fairly reasonable with some unique regional options. Most fans will consume their calories outside the stadium on game days, but if you get a hankering for a quick bite, then you have some good options to suit your palate. Also due to the number of concession stands there is very rarely a line at any of them longer than four or five people, which means you won’t miss any of the action.
When you think about college football and crazy college football fans, LSU pops up in the minds for a majority of people, and for good reason. On game day in Baton Rouge you will find an ocean of purple and gold for as far as the eye can see. Charcoal grills, beer pong tables, tailgate tents, RVs, and even baby strollers are all decorated in Tiger apparel. The entire state of Louisiana is crazy for their Tigers and it seems like most of the state’s population descends on campus during game day.
The atmosphere before kickoff is one of the best tailgate scenes in college football. Folks all over campus are tailgating as soon as the sun comes up and it will continue long after the last second ticks off the scoreboard.
The Tiger Walk from the top of the hill, down past the basketball arena, next to Mike the Tiger’s exhibit and into the Tiger Stadium is not to be missed. Be sure to grab a spot about an hour before the Tiger Walk because the crowd will be 10-15 people deep and you will not see anything if you amble up late.
Inside the stadium it gets even better. When 102,321 people start screaming the words of Garth Brooks ‘Calling Baton Rouge’ it’s hard not to get a little choked up with emotion, even if you’re not from Louisiana or even a Tiger fan. There’s just something about that many people being together, united, and cheering on their team that would give any sports fan goosebumps.
Win or lose, LSU fans stay loud throughout the game and for the most part the stadium stays full until the last whistle. Every now and then if the opponent isn’t a big name team or isn’t a rival SEC school, some of the students find it much more fun to return to tailgating, but in today’s world that tends to be happening in a lot of places and with the ability to watch games on your phone from your tailgate tent who can really blame the kids for leaving a little early during a non-conference snoozer?
There is a reason that LSU is always voted one of the best places to see a game and the atmosphere at their games is electric. Every football fan should have this on their bucket list.
The LSU campus is a pretty decent size so just know you will be walking quite a bit to get from one side to the other. However, LSU and Baton Rouge have done a very good job of getting and keeping some very good places to stay and eat around campus for visiting fans and for students that just want something different to eat during the week.
On the north end of campus is Chimes Street. Here you will find many local bars and restaurants to enjoy yourself. If you aren’t tailgating on campus and just need a place to watch other games or enjoy a nice lunch, then you will find everything from Chinese food, sushi, BBQ joints, southern cuisine and just a good old fashioned sports bars.
A great option is The Chimes. This is a wonderful local, southern cuisine restaurant offering delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine including gumbo, crawfish Étouffée, Po’Boys, boudin balls, alligator and some fantastic pasta options. Be aware though, this place is EXTREMELY CROWDED on game day so either arrive early or expect a wait of an hour or more. That said, it is still well worth the wait.
Bleachers Sports Bar and Grill, and Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar (on the south side of campus) are other good options with a ton of TVs, a great selection of draft/craft beer, solid bar food and friendly waiters/waitresses.
Around the corner you will find the chain restaurants of Buffalo Wild Wings, Five Guys, Jack in the Box, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers and others, but you can eat that stuff anywhere. Always eat local if you want a truly memorable experience.
These fans are awesome. As long as you’re not rooting for the opposing team that is. If you’re brave enough to wear apparel of the visiting team, then just be aware that you are going to be harassed all day and that it may be difficult to have a good time. Chants of ‘TIGER BAIT’ will be tossed your way by almost everyone you walk past. With over 100,000 LSU fans at a game, consider this your warning.
If you’re there to root for the Tigers though you are going to have a great time. Fans are very knowledgable about their LSU history and are always willing to talk football with you. If you don’t have a place to tailgate, then don’t worry. Just walk up to someone (perhaps with some beer or something to share) and start a conversation about LSU football and voila! You now have new best friends and access to a free tailgate spot!
These fans are incredible and a 5-star rating doesn’t even capture their true dedication. They love their team, love their campus, and are very cordial to other LSU fans.
Inside the stadium, just get ready for one of the loudest fan experiences of your life.
Access to the stadium is a breeze. Free parking is available in a multitude of places and it’s fairly quick process to get in and out of games. The best thing to do is to plan ahead of time where you want to park and then put that location into your GPS. Parking maps and Fan Guides can be found on LSU’s website, which highlights the best areas to park on game day. In my experience, the LSU Golf Course across the street from the baseball stadium is the quickest way in and out.
Access IN the stadium is a whole other matter however. If you have an upper deck ticket just be aware that you do not have access to anywhere else in the stadium. You can’t go to the main concourse and get any of their concession stand items, you can’t go in early and watch the teams warm-up, and you definitely can’t go down just to take some pictures in other areas of the stadium. This is quite frustrating for fans who want to get the full experience of the stadium. Instead you are treated like a 3rd class citizen and are banished to the upper deck to watch all of the festivities from afar. It’s quite disheartening considering other SEC stadiums such as Georgia and Mississippi State allow fans down near the field (or between the hedges in Georgia’s case) not only during pre-game but during the ENTIRE game. No matter what ticket you’re holding.
Return on Investment 5
While a rival SEC matchup is going to cost you a pretty penny, most of the time you can grab a non-conference ticket for around $20 in the upper deck and $40 in the lower deck on third party ticket sites like our favorite, Ticket Monster. You will still get a great experience for a non-conference game, but for a lot less money.
A big name SEC game will obviously bring more of an experience, but if you’re not a fan of either team and want to experience a game at Tiger Stadium then just see a game that is in your budget and enjoy yourself. There are not many experiences in college football that beat LSU and Tiger Stadium. Parking is free, concessions are reasonably priced and the atmosphere alone is worth the price of admission.
Mike the Tiger’s exhibit is one of the true highlights of traveling to LSU. Mike VII was recently introduced after Mike VI passed away in late 2016 and everyone and I mean EVERYONE on game day stops by the 15,000 square foot, state-of-the-art exhibit to say hello to Mike.
The fans are also worthy of an extra point as our rating system just isn’t big enough to give them justice.
Other extra points are awarded for the stellar tailgating scene, the history of success at LSU, and teh Tiger Walk prior to the game.
Food and Drink Recommendations
L’Auberge Casino & Hotel
14777 River Rd
Baton Rouge, LA 70810
Louisiana State Museum
660 N 4th St
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Do you want to add your listing on StadiumJourney.com? Here’s how!
Cook Hotel and Conference Center
3848 W Lakeshore Dr
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Staybridge Suites Baton Rouge-Univ at Southgate
4001 Nicholson Dr
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Do you want to add your listing on StadiumJourney.com? Here’s how!
Latest Crowd Reviews
Saturday Night in Death Valley is not just a nice name, but it holds something. Tiger Stadium is another unique venue that you just have to go to at least once, especially when one of the SEC rivals come down. POSITIVES: People are friendly down in Baton Rouge. Some of the nicest bunch of fans there. The venue is also a unique layout and with fans on top of the game, it can get loud. Despite the high levels, there isn&#039t a major bad seat in the place. And I do like the variety of Louisiana-style foods like po&#039 boys and Cajun flair. NEGATIVES: You are on the other side of the main street in Baton Rouge for foods and while the parking is plentiful and free near the baseball fields, the area outside the campus has something left to be desired. Overall, a great venue for a college experience and tailgating beforehand. LSU definitely does football right.
The access in getting to Tiger Stadium or the copy and paste seating sections is the only negative on a trip to Baton Rouge. Otherwise, the Cajun food, fans tailgating, the marching band along with the LSU Golden Girls, create a very special atmosphere for a Saturday night on the Bayou.