Gibbs Stadium – Wofford Terriers
Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29
Gibbs Stadium 1 Cummings St Spartanburg, SC 29303
Year Opened: 1996
The Dog House
Wofford College is a small liberal arts college located in Spartanburg, SC. It was founded in 1854 and has a student body of 1,750. The football team is known as the Terriers, and they play at the FCS level of NCAA Division I football. The Terriers are members of the Southern Conference. Wofford has a long history in football, as it began play in 1889. Over the years the Terriers have won seven Southern Conference Championships and have made ten appearances in the FCS playoffs.
The Terriers play their home games at the on-campus Gibbs Stadium. The stadium is named for the Gibbs family, who was the major donor for its construction. The stadium opened in 1996 and has a seating capacity of 13,000. The seating bowl features chairback seating between the forties and bleacher seating from the end zones to the forty-yard line at each end. The field has a natural grass surface and is named for Mike Ayers, the winningest coach in Wofford College football history. There are two unique features at Gibbs Stadium. The first is the well-manicured grounds in and around the stadium. There are a number of plantings at the ends of each grandstand and neatly trimmed hedges behind the end zones. The second feature that will capture your eye is the huge video board behind the north end zone atop Hardees Hill. It measures 57 feet wide and 22 feet high.
Food & Beverage 3
There are two concession stands to service the home side of the stadium and one concession stand on the visitor’s side of the stadium. While this may seem to be a small number of food stands, it is important to understand that Wofford has less than 2,000 students. We found that the concession stands were able to serve the size crowd we had when we attended a game with no problem.
The concession offerings include nachos ($5), Papa John’s Pizza ($6), hot dogs ($4), pretzels ($3), popcorn ($3), candy ($3), and roasted peanuts ($4). Drink selections include Coca-Cola brand sodas ($4), Powerade ($3), and bottled water ($3).
Saturday afternoons at Wofford in the fall are a joy to behold. The heavily wooded campus is alive with color and the alumni have returned to cheer on their beloved Terriers. The black and gold colors of Wofford football are everywhere, from the decorations adorning the tailgating tables to the outfits worn by the fans and their families. Tailgating here is a rite of celebration, and it is one of the top tailgating experiences at the FCS level. It is so much fun that a large majority of the tailgaters choose to watch the game from outside the stadium behind the south end zone. This provides an unobstructed view of the action on the field. Wofford does not have a marching band, so it invites a local high school band to play at each home game.
Fans Watching From Outside the Stadium, Photo by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
Wofford tailgating is very much a family experience, as several generations of families gather for a day of fun and fellowship. The school offers Terrierland, a play area for the smaller kids to enjoy their own pregame activities, such as inflatables, face painting, and visits from the Wofford mascots. Later, the kids enjoy sliding down Hardee’s Hill, which is in the north end zone of the stadium. There is always a set of broken-down cardboard boxes to use as sleds!
Wofford College is in downtown Spartanburg, SC. Its next-door neighbor is Converse College, which is all female. Both campuses are very walkable and can access the many shops and restaurants in the downtown area on foot. The Wofford campus is also designated as an arboretum and is a great in-town location to check out the fall colors.
Spartanburg is one of the fastest-growing cities in the Upstate area of SOUTH Carolina. It is located halfway between Greenville, SC, and Charlotte, NC. There are a wide variety of activities to enjoy in Spartanburg, no matter what time of year. Festivals include a Spring Fling, the Hub City Hof Fest, Spartanburg Soaring Kite festival, and the Sparkle City Rhythm and Ribs Festival. Cultural activities include the Artists Collective Spartanburg and the Hub City Bookshop (named as one of the top independent bookstores in the South by Southern Living magazine. The city is also home to the nation’s only BMW Museum, the BMW Zentrum.
Wofford football fans tend to view a Terrier’s football game as a social event. The campus is filled with tents and tailgating spreads of every description. While most fans would pack up their tailgating supplies as the time for the game kickoff draws near, Wofford fans choose to watch the action from outside the stadium, which is feasible due to the design of the stadium with an end zone at one end of the field having nothing to obstruct the view. It is not that Wofford fans are cheap…. They just enjoy tailgating while the action takes place. There are definitely more Wofford fans outside the stadium than are watching from the stands.
The Wofford faithful has three mascots to cheer on and be entertained by. Blitz is an actual Boston Terrier dog. His buddy and handler is Boss, a fierce-looking costumed Boston Terrier decked out in full football gear. Boss’ sister Terri fills out the trio, as she is dressed out in a cheerleader’s outfit.
The Wofford College campus is easy to reach via I-85. From I-85, take Business Loop I-85 Exit 5A (I-585/Pine Street/US 176). Go to the second stop light (look for Starbucks) and turn right onto Twitty Street. Twitty Street will take you into the campus and parking is available in Lot G. All other lots are restricted for the use of alumni, major donors, members of the Terrier Club, and students.
Once at Gibbs Stadium, there are five entry gates to choose from. Concession stands and restrooms are available at the top of the seating bowl on the home side of the stadium and underneath the stands on the visitor’s side of the field.
Return on Investment 3
Reserved seats are $27. A large number of Wofford alumni and fans prefer to watch the game from outside of Gibbs Stadium, as it still provides access to their tailgating items, so their fee to watch the game would be zero. Parking is available on gamedays in Lot G on the campus for $10. Concessions are very reasonably priced.
Gibbs Stadium is also used as the home stadium by the Wofford women’s lacrosse program and by the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. The Shrine Bowl is a postseason matchup featuring teams from North and South Carolina.
Wofford football facilities serve as the preseason training camp for the Carolina Panthers of the NFL.
Wofford’s entire 175-acre campus is recognized as a national arboretum.
Wofford plays two rivalry games each fall. The first is against Furman, a Southern Conference foe whose campus is less than 40 miles from Wofford. The second rivalry game features The Citadel, another Southern Conference member, and another in-state school.
Wofford hosted and won, the first football game ever held in the state of South Carolina in 1889.
Wofford College is the smallest school in the FCS with a school enrollment of just over 1,700 students. Despite its small size, the school has won multiple conference championships over the years and has also competed in FCS playoffs ten times. The on-campus Gibbs Stadium provides a lovely setting for a game, as the Wofford campus is ablaze with color each fall in its park-like setting. The fans are very welcoming, and they might even invite you to their pregame tailgate.