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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Drass Field - Delaware State Hornets Soccer


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.00

Drass Field

401 Clara St

Dover, DE 19904


Delaware State Hornets website Drass Field website


Year Opened: 2004 Capacity: 2,500

 

Hornet Soccer in Downtown Dover

Drass Field is the former home of several Wesley College athletics teams, including football, soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey. In June of 2021, Delaware State University purchased Wesley and turned it into its DSU Downtown campus, thus ending the Wolverines' athletic programs.


The deal was notable as the first instance of a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) purchasing another school. Delaware State did find use for Drass Field, as its women's soccer and lacrosse programs moved there from Alumni Stadium, which remains home to the Hornets' football program. The stadium is located next to Bob Reed Field, the former home of Wesley Baseball and the current home of Delaware State Baseball.


Delaware State soccer has not enjoyed much success, rarely winning more than a couple of games in one season. Although most of the Hornets' athletic programs compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, the MEAC does not have enough soccer teams to sponsor the sport. DSU has previously competed in the Sun Belt Conference and as an independent, but now competes in the Northeast Conference for soccer.


Food & Beverage 0

There is no food or drink for sale at Drass Field, but fans are free to bring their own. There is a water fountain that trickles out water if you are desperately thirsty. While there is a concession stand between Drass Field and Bob Reed Field, it was not open when we went. Based on our experiences, it is only open for baseball, not soccer or lacrosse.


Atmosphere 2

There are three sets of bleachers at Drass Field, one on each sideline and a smaller one behind one of the goals. Fans use all three sets of bleachers, meaning the small crowd is quite spread out. Because Drass Field was built primarily for football and soccer, the field is wider than a football one. The views of the near sideline and the corners can be obstructed by the bleachers.


The vast majority of the field should still be visible. If this is a concern, you can sit behind the goal, but then you will not be able to see the scoreboard. Some fans like to bring their chairs or stand along the chain link fence that separates the field from the path to the bleachers.


A Delaware State soccer game is a pretty basic experience. Even the PA announcer does little other than announce the starting lineups before the game. Cards and goal scorers are only sporadically announced, if at all.


Neighborhood 3

Although Drass Field is supposedly located on the DSU Downtown campus, there is not anything near the stadium other than some houses, a church, a synagogue, and a school bus depot. El Nopal is a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant about a mile away, and Vincenzo's Italian is close by as well.


You can also head towards DuPont Highway (US Route 13) which is lined on both sides with restaurants and hotels. Most of the places are chains, but you will find a few independent eateries such as the Speedway Cafe and Wolfie's Grille. The Dover Motor Speedway is also located along DuPont Highway and you can sometimes hear the cars revving their engines as you stand outside.


Fans 2

The Hornets typically draw a few hundred fans a soccer game, which when spread out over three sets of bleachers, isn't that much. While the fans can get loud on occasion, the large size of this stadium reduces the impact they can have. Most of the fans are friends and family of the players, although there are some locals mixed in. A good portion of those in attendance will often be fans of the visiting team as well, they tend to sit together and cheer on their team.





Access 3

If coming from the north or south, US Route 13 (DuPont Highway) runs right through Dover, but if coming from the east or west, you will have to take a series of local roads to get into town. Once you get to the stadium, street parking is available on Clara Street and the other nearby roads, or you can park in a grass lot across the street from the stadium. Restrooms are available to the left of the bleachers, behind Bob Reed Field. They are small but should suffice for the needs of the crowd.


Return on Investment 3

Admission to soccer games at Drass Field is $5. DSU students get in for free. While this is not a lot of money, most college soccer programs outside the national elite have no charge for admission. If this were one of those programs, the $5 charge would be understandable, but this is a barebones stadium experience, a far cry from the top atmospheres in the country that can get away with charging for admission. Nevertheless, $5 is hardly going to break the bank.

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Extras 1

Look for the "Welcome to Drass Field" sign honoring Wesley College athletics. Although the Wesley Wolverines are no more, their history is becoming Delaware State's future.



Final Thoughts

The simple fact is that Drass Field is far too big for the crowds that Delaware State soccer draws. Although the Hornets have made it their home, it seems few people other than those with a direct connection to the program will come out and watch a game. The history of Wesley College bears mention here, but this is still a pretty basic soccer experience.




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