Elizabeth Burger Jackson Field – Longwood Lancers
Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.14
Elizabeth Burger Jackson Field 1500 Johnston Dr Farmville, VA 23901
Year Opened: 2006
Field Hockey in Farmville
Opened in 2006, Elizabeth Burger Jackson is home to Longwood University's field hockey team and is part of the Longwood Athletics Complex which also includes Longwood Soccer Field. The stadium, which opened in 2006, seats approximately 350 fans and is also home to the Lancers' women's lacrosse team.
Although Longwood normally competes in the Big South Conference, its field hockey program competes in the Mid-American Conference (better known as the MAC) as the Big South does not sponsor the sport.
Food & Beverage 0
There is no food or drink for sale at Elizabeth Burger Jackson Field, but fans are free to bring their own, except for alcohol. Some fans set up outside with tents and food before the game, but this is for particular groups who know each other.
When walking into the Longwood Athletics Complex through the main gate, you will have the option of walking to your right to the soccer field or your left to the field hockey stadium. Both fields are visible throughout most of the complex, so if games are going on in both places, you can easily watch them both at the same time.
Elizabeth Burger Jackson Field has a few rows of bleachers beneath the concourse. Smaller fans can lean against the press box in the back row, but these bleachers have less depth than the rest so it will only be possible for kids and small teens as attractive an option as it may seem.
Many fans also choose to bring their chairs and sit alongside the concourse or bring their blankets and sit on the hill that runs down from the concourse to the right of the bleachers. Wherever you sit, you will be up close to the action and able to hear the players, referees, and coaches chattering.
Other than the game itself, there is not much of anything going on here. This is typical of college field hockey, particularly outside a few elite programs. You will come here to watch the game and there is not much else to the experience. The PA announcer will announce the starting lineup before the match as well as the goal scorers, but for some reason will not announce penalty cards although that information would be useful for fans to know.
Farmville is a quaint, small town, and while it’s in the middle of nowhere, there is still plenty to do here. Although there are typical chain places, your best bet is to check out the local color at places such as Walker’s Diner or Riverside Café, both of which are very close to the stadium. Everything in Farmville is very close to the stadium because it’s a very small town. Just head off campus and turn onto Main Street and just about everything will be right there.
Longwood draws a couple hundred fans a game for field hockey, spread out between the bleachers and the hill. Keep in mind the capacity is only about 350, so it can get fairly full. Most of the fans are friends or family of the players (including some coming to watch the visiting team) although you do get a few local Lancer fans as well, plus some Longwood students who make the short walk over from campus.
By tradition, the first home game at the Longwood Athletics Complex during each fall semester is designated as the Greatest Athletics March Ever, or G.A.M.E. for short, and Longwood students will march in droves from campus to the complex. Depending on how the schedules fall, this could be a field hockey match but might also be a men's or women's soccer match.
These games have drawn crowds of over 2,000 fans to whatever sport it happens to be. However, the excitement among students does not seem to carry over into later games, as few of them turn up beyond that one match.
There are a few roads into Farmville, but regardless of how you get into town, you are going to have to drive quite a bit. Most likely you will end up taking either State Route 45 or U.S. Route 460, but if you’re coming from any sort of populated area, Farmville probably isn’t close to you. Lynchburg is the closest remotely large city, and it’s a full hour away. Richmond is about an hour and 15 minutes, while Washington, D.C. is about three hours.
The Longwood Athletics Complex, of which Elizabeth Burger Jackson Field is a part, is not located on the Longwood campus but rather a short drive from it. Although students will often make the walk over, if you’re driving in you will be able to park right there at the stadium.
There is a small lot adjacent to it, and if it fills up, which it will if you don’t get there early, you can park on the grass behind the lot. If parking on the pavement is important to you, make sure to get there at least 45 minutes to an hour before the first game of the day, or you will be parking on grass most likely.
Restrooms are available in the back of the concourse, with additional ones in the adjacent soccer stadium that are usually open during games. However, barring unexpected plumbing problems, you have no problems using the ones in the field hockey stadium as there are never any lines.
Return on Investment 4
Admission to Lancers field hockey games is free, and you won’t pay for concessions or parking either. That being said, there isn't enough here to earn the top score.
Look for the plaque on the concourse honoring Elizabeth Burger Jackson herself, the stadium's namesake. Jackson was a former Longwood professor as well as a field hockey player herself.
Field hockey is not a big deal at most colleges, and Longwood is no different. While they have a small but loyal fan base and have attracted much more massive crowds for The G.A.M.E. if it happens to be a field hockey match that year, this excitement does not seem to carry over into the remainder of the season.
Longwood does well to market that one game at the beginning of the season in whatever sport it happens to be in that year, and if they can somehow manage to continue even a portion of that excitement for the remainder of the season, they can significantly improve the experience here. For now, though, it is a pretty basic matchday experience.