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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Cooper Field - Georgetown Hoyas Field Hockey


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.57

Cooper Field 37th St NW & O St. NW Washington, DC 20057



Year Opened: 1994

Capacity: 3,750


 

A-Hoya, Mate, it's Georgetown University Field Hockey

Located on the campus of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Cooper Field is home to the Hoyas’ field hockey, lacrosse, and football teams. Originally known as Harbin Field and later as Multi-Sport Field, the stadium received its present name in 2015 following a $50 million donation from Peter and Susan Cooper to fund much-needed renovations.


These renovations occurred during the 2018 and 2019 seasons and involved expanding the capacity from 2,500 to 3,750, adding permanent restrooms and concessions, and upgrades to the press box and locker rooms.


This review is about the field hockey experience at Cooper Field. A review of the football experience is also available from Stadium Journey.



Food & Beverage 0

Cooper Field has a concession stand, but it is not used for field hockey. Fans are free to bring in their own food and beverage.


Atmosphere 2

One big problem with Cooper Field is quite literally that – the stadium is too large for the crowds it attracts for field hockey. While most schools at this level have a separate field hockey stadium which may be shared with one or two other non-revenue sports, Georgetown has elected to use their football stadium which is far too big for the crowds field hockey attracts.


Playing in a stadium that is over 90% empty is not conducive to atmosphere, particularly when the team does little else to keep fans engaged. Cooper Field feels like a ghost town for field hockey, almost completely empty with little effort to promote the game or draw fans. Were the Hoyas to play in a smaller, dedicated field hockey stadium like most teams, this atmosphere could improve somewhat, but in a spacious (for field hockey, at least) stadium like Cooper Field, it isn’t great.


As for the stadium itself, all seats are metal bleachers in what is, at least for field hockey, a large set of bleachers. There is a scoreboard on one end of the field that shows basic information and stats. A newly renovated concourse is located behind the seats and includes restrooms and the concession stand, though as noted above, the latter is closed for field hockey.


Neighborhood 5

Cooper Field is located in the middle of the Georgetown campus, and you’ll probably have to head off campus to really do anything. However, the Georgetown neighborhood (which lends its name to the school, not the other way around) is one of the best in D.C. There are numerous restaurants ranging from casual sandwich shop Booeymonger’s to luxurious upscale restaurants such as 1789, and everything in between. Georgetown Cupcake sells exactly what its name implies, Clyde's of Georgetown is a locally popular American pub and bar, and Chaia is known for its fancy vegetarian and vegan tacos. All of this is located just a short walk or drive away from the University.


If you’re willing to head downtown to the National Mall area, the District has so much more to offer, and the best part is that most of it is free. Whether it’s taking in the sights and monuments on the Mall itself, or visiting one of the many museums such as the various Smithsonians, there’s something for everyone. All of the government-run attractions are free, but some of the private ones are not. Just keep in mind if you wish to tour the White House or Capitol, you will need to book in advance. .


Fans 3

Although it may not seem like a large crowd relative to capacity, Georgetown does draw fairly well at Cooper Field, averaging several hundred fans a game. Those in attendance are loud and passionate, and while the large size of the stadium subdues the crowd noise quite a bit, this isn’t really the fault of the fans, who try their best to create a great atmosphere. The fans are a mix of family and friends of the players and Georgetown students, plus a few locals and Hoya fans with no direct connection to the field hockey program.


Access 4

Parking is conveniently available in a garage that is right at the stadium if you use the right elevator to exit. Unfortunately, this bank of elevators isn’t clearly marked, but even if you use the wrong one, you shouldn’t have to walk more than a minute or two. Parking in this garage is free on Sundays, but other days it costs between $15 and $25 depending on what time of day you get there. For an early afternoon start, it will cost $25, but if the game starts in the evening, you may be able to get away with paying only $15. The concourses are easy to navigate and a massive improvement on the way it used to be here. Restrooms are available off the concourse and are of a sufficient size for the crowd, though some toilets were not working by the end of the game when we visited.


Unfortunately, the Washington Metro does not run to the Georgetown neighborhood and the closest stops are several miles away. There are buses that stop nearby, but your best bet is to drive or take an Uber or Lyft if driving is not an option. Georgetown is nowhere near downtown and is just across the river from Virginia, so you do not have to worry about city traffic coming in.


Return on Investment 3

Tickets are free, and you won’t spend anything on concessions because there aren’t any. We recommend going on a Sunday if possible to avoid paying high prices for parking.


Extras 1

There are no real extras in the stadium itself, at least not for field hockey, but the Georgetown campus is one of the most beautiful in the country and the stadium offers sweeping views of historic buildings, so that is worth one point here.


Final Thoughts

While the renovations to Cooper Field over the past couple years have significantly improved it, the fact remains that it is far too big for field hockey. This size is understandable as it was designed as a football stadium, but the experience here could be significantly improved were Georgetown to play in a dedicated, smaller field hockey stadium rather than a large football stadium like Cooper Field.

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