William B. Greene Jr. Stadium – East Tennessee State Buccaneers
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Football Back in Bucs Country
The East Tennessee State Buccaneers first fielded a football team in 1920, but disbanded the program in 2003 due to financial issues. After a 12-year hiatus, however, the school began playing football again in 2015, playing its first two seasons at Kermit Tipton Stadium (a nearby high school facility) while ETSU’s new stadium was being built.
William B. Greene Jr. Stadium opened in 2017 with a capacity of 7,694. The facility is named after a local businessman and longtime ETSU supporter, and features a sunken field made of artificial turf. ETSU currently competes in the Southern Conference (SoCon) at the FCS level.
Food & Beverage 3
William B. Greene Jr. Stadium does not have a ton of food and beverage options, but there is plenty to get you by for a few hours while you enjoy the game. There are also concessions stands on both the east and west sides, so you won’t have to walk too far from your seat to grab a bite.
Food options at the main stands include hot dogs, pizza, nachos with cheese and/or jalapenos, popcorn, peanuts, pretzels, chips, packaged candy, and Cracker Jack, as well as Boar’s Head cold cut sandwiches and Dippin’ Dots available from a separate kiosk on the east side. Drink options include Pepsi products in bottles or from the fountain, as well as bottled water, coffee, and hot cocoa.
ETSU football at William B. Greene Jr. Stadium offers a great game day atmosphere – the modern facility consists of two sets of stands along the east and west sidelines, which are mostly bleachers but do offer a small section of chair backs in the middle on each side. The stands and the field itself are slightly below ground level, but there is a walking path around the top that allows fans to always see the action as they are walking to and from the restrooms and concessions.
There is a large scoreboard above the south end zone which can easily be seen by everyone in the stadium, and there is also a grass berm on the north side where fans can stand (or sit on blankets) as they enjoy the game. There is plenty of ETSU blue and yellow, as well as a couple of large stones adorned with ETSU’s trademark “E” logo, which make a great background for selfies fans may want to take.
There are plenty of restaurants near William B. Greene Jr. Stadium – most of them are fast food joints and college hangouts like Knight’s Pizza, but there is also a Wellington’s Restaurant which features live jazz music from local bands on Thursday nights. Wellington’s is located inside the Carnegie Hotel on Highway 321 (north of the stadium) which is the main drag through Johnson City. There are also plenty of other hotels in the area that might be a little friendlier on the wallet.
If you plan to be in town for the day or the weekend, there are a couple of breweries in Johnson City that might be worth a visit, as well as a couple of parks and hiking trails. Or if history is more your bag, there is also the George L. Carter Railroad Museum as well as the Museum of Ancient Brick.
The East Tennessee State Buccaneer have a great fan base – at a typical game they can easily draw well over 5,000 fans. Part of this enthusiasm for the recently reborn program may be years of pent up demand for a football experience that is closer than Neyland Stadium two hours away in Knoxville, or Nissan Stadium even further away in Nashville.
The most impressive sight at William B. Greene Jr. Stadium is when the fans show up in team gear according to the promotion du jour, for example at a recent White-out game when most of the fans showed up wearing the right color. And no worries if you’re a new fan or simply forgot your ETSU cap – there are several kiosks inside the venue (one above each grandstand) where you can pick up a Buccaneers t-shirt, mini football, or some other ETSU souvenir.
Getting to and moving around William B. Greene Jr. Stadium is very easy, however there may be a bit of a wait getting home depending on where you park. Many fans park for $10 cash in Lot 22 on the north side of the stadium, which is a very short walk from the venue. There are other lots as well, but those appear to be reserved for season ticket holders or others with passes.
Because of how they route the traffic after the game, however (basically closing all the parking lot entrances except one and forcing everyone to head east), it may take a few minutes to get onto the highway. That said, the farther away you park the better off you may be, although of course that also means you are in for a little exercise.
Return on Investment 5
Tickets to ETSU football games at William B. Greene Jr. Stadium are very cheap – general admission tickets (standing or sitting room only on the grass berm) cost just $10, but if you want a seat you will have to pay $15 or more, which is still a great price for college football. Parking is also cheap at $10 (or less), and concessions are very reasonable. So even if you have a large group, taking in a game here provides a great return on your sports dollar.
The brick and glass work at William B. Greene Jr. Stadium makes for some great architecture, and the walking path connecting the two grandstands not only makes it easy to move around, but also ensures you don’t miss any of the action while you are grabbing food or picking up an ETSU souvenir.
Because this is a smaller stadium, you might not get the same energy as you would at some other football venues, but at the same time you can get a lot closer to the action.
The shiny new William B. Greene Jr. Stadium in Johnson City is a great place to take in a game – if you are in the area during football season, I highly recommend you make time to see the Buccaneers in action.
Food and Drink Recommendations
Yee Haw Brewing Co.
126 Buffalo St
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Quality Inn Downtown
1900 S Roan St
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