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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Oakes

Barker-Lane Stadium – Campbell Camels


Photos by Joseph Oakes, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71

Barker-Lane Stadium 558 Wade Stewart Rd Buies Creek, NC 27406



Year Opened: 2008

Capacity: 5,500

 

The Creek Is Rising


After decades of not fielding a football team, Campbell University restarted their football program in 2008 by opening Barker-Lane Stadium in front of a standing-room only crowd of 5,845 against Birmingham Southern. However, from 2008 to 2012 there were only permanent stands on the east side and the west side had temporary bleachers and a temporary press box. Lights were added to the facility in 2012 and in 2013, the west side permanent stands and the press tower were completed. Barker-Lane Stadium now has an official capacity of 5,500 and is one of the nicest facilities in the Big South Conference.


Food & Beverage 3

Barker-Lane Stadium offers your traditional stadium concession food that is on par with many college football venues. Food choices include chicken sandwiches ($7), beef hot dogs ($4), and Papa John’s personal pizzas ($9). Snack choices include popcorn ($3), nachos and cheese ($4), peanuts ($3), hot pretzel ($3), cheese pretzel ($4), potato chips ($2), candy bar ($2), and cotton candy ($3). Beverage choices are bottled water, bottled Pepsi products, and Gatorade all for $4. Campbell University is a Baptist-affiliated so alcoholic beverages are not served.


Concession stands take both cash and cards; however, when we attended the card reader was very slow and was holding up the line due to the internet speed (that is what they told me).


Barker-Lane Stadium does offer one local food choice. Pelican’s Sno-balls are sold from a Pelican’s on the concourse underneath the west side stands.


Atmosphere 4

Campbell football is still a relatively new college football program, but Barker Lane boasts an atmosphere that many long-time programs would dream of. Even though the stadium is relatively small, the fans show up and the stadium has many modern amenities. The field at Barker-Lane Stadium is shiny new field turf that is outlined in black and looks sharp. One endzone says “CAMPBELL” and the other says “CAMELS”. The midfield logo is over 25 yards long and is an outline of the state of North Carolina that contains the Campbell logo. Just beyond the north endzone is a large 24’ x 42’ HD video board that shows live game action and video highlights. At the south end of the stadium is the W. Irvin Warren Center which houses the home and visiting team’s locker rooms. This is also where the Campbell football and lacrosse offices are located. There is a giant inflatable Campbell football helmet in front of this building, which the team runs through pregame.


Seating is available on both the east and west sides of the stadium. The west side has seating for 3,000, with 867 of these being chair back and the rest being bench back. At the top of the west side stands is the two-story Carley C’s IGA Hometown proud Press Tower that includes a President’s suite, two patios, and seating for the press, TV crew, home and visitor radio crews, and home of and visitor coaching staffs. The seating on the east side are just metal bleachers with no backs that are bricked in. This is the side where the marching band sits along with many of the visiting fans. We recommend sitting on the west side since all of these seats have a back and since the sun will be behind you as it sets and not in your face.


The Campbell marching band plays on the field pre-game and at halftime, and in the stands during the game. Even though the band is small, they add quite a bit to the atmosphere at Barker-Lane Stadium.


Neighborhood 2

Campbell University is located in the tiny town of Buies Creek, NC, between the larger towns of Lillington and Dunn on US 421. Its population is just over 2,000. In fact, the pre-game video at Barker-Lane boasts that on gameday, the population of Buies Creek triples. Since Campbell routinely has crowds of 5,500+, this claim is spot on. Other than a couple fast food places on campus (Chick-fil-A, Moe’s Southwest Grill), there is not much else to choose from. If you are looking for somewhere to eat or stay, our recommendation is to take the short drive to Dunn. It is located on I-95 and has a few restaurants and hotels to choose from. The larger cities of Raleigh and Fayetteville are approximately 30 miles away in either direction, and offer many more activities if you desire.


Fans 4

While you will not see 50K or even 10K fans at a Campbell football game, don’t let that fool you. The Campbell faithful love their football, and you can expect to see nearly a sellout crowd at every game. In 2021, Campbell averaged nearly 5,100 fans per game, which is 94% capacity.


As you approach the stadium pre-game, you will see fans tailgating in the lots all around the stadium. Nearly all fans are decked out in orange and black Camels gear, and cheer loudly and really get into the game.


Access 5

Access is Barker-Lane is a breeze. Since Buies Creek is such a small town, there is almost no traffic when approaching Campbell’s campus. The stadium sits directly across US 421 from the main campus, so it is not hard to find at all. Parking is plentiful on campus. There is even a pedestrian tunnel now under US 421 to provide an even easier access from the main campus to the stadium. No longer is it necessary for policemen to stop traffic to allow fans to cross the highway.


The ticket office and main entrance are located on the east side. Once inside the stadium, there is a sidewalk that goes around the north end zone to take fans to the west side stands. Even when the stadium is at capacity, there is plenty of room on the concourse, and there is little to no line for restrooms and concessions. Handicap seating is available on both sides on the first row of stands. There are ramps in all the vomitories instead of steps, which provide easy access for those who are handicapped.


Return on Investment 4

As the Campbell football program continues to rise through the ranks of FCS football, the ticket prices rise as well. However, tickets are still reasonable compared to their FBS neighbors. Ticket prices are $38 for chair back seats, $25 for bench back seats, and $15 for bleacher seats. Even though this is “just” FCS football, you still cannot find a better deal at many places. General public parking is available in the green lot near the stadium for $10; however, if you don’t mind the walk, parking is free at many places on campus on the weekends.


Concession prices are also reasonable; so, a trip to Barker-Lane Stadium will not break the bank.


Extras 4

Campbell now has two mascots (male and female) – Gaylord and Gladys – who are very involved in the game, and make their way throughout the stadium during the game taking pictures with fans.


A second extra for the new pedestrian tunnel under US 421 that enables easy access from main campus to the stadium.


A third extra to the security and game operations staff who are very friendly and make entering the game hassle free. You do not have staff at every section checking your ticket each time, and that is worth extra points!

Barker-Lane Stadium is also the home to Campbell Women’s Lacrosse.


Final Thoughts

Campbell University is located in NC, and is within 3 hours drive of seven FBS schools (NC State, Duke, UNC, Wake Forest, East Carolina, Appalachian State, UNC Charlotte). Since Campbell is also relatively new on the college football landscape, it is probably not what immediately comes to mind when thinking about college football in NC. However, if you are in the area, do yourself a favor and take a trip to Barker-Lane Stadium. You will find a full-house, passionate fans, exciting FCS football, and it will not break your budget!

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