Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium – Columbia Lions
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium
New York, NY 10034
Year Opened: 1984
Columbia Football in New York City
Columbia football’s home field is special. Nestled on the northern tip of Manhattan in a hilly, residential neighborhood, it boasts a wonderful view of the Hudson River and a backdrop of fall foliage from nearby Inwood Hill Park. There’s not a bad seat in the house, whether you sit on one of the bench seats ($12 or $17) or pay a little extra for a chair back ($30). (There are no end zone seats at Wien). Lately, Columbia football has been good, even excellent. Last season (2017), Columbia was in the running for first place in its conference, the prestigious Ivy League. With head coach Al Bagnoli, who previously was very successful at conference rival the University of Pennsylvania, at the helm, Columbia should continue to be successful.
Food & Beverage 3
You’re not coming for the food, as it’s typical stadium fare, everything from hot dogs to popcorn to nachos and candy. The nachos seem to be the big seller. The one outlier is churro, a sugary pastry. Just about everything costs $3. However, just outside the stadium prior to the game, there’s complimentary beer, soda and hot dogs. For pre or post-game, there are plenty of neighborhood options. Jake Novak, the team’s unofficial blogger, wrote up this extensive list of dining choices.
It’s awesome, very welcoming. Columbia football attracts an eclectic mix of students, alums, friends and family, neighborhood folks and tourists. Again, this is New York City. They take their football seriously but not too seriously. Again, Wien’s view is something to behold.
It’s a quiet, residential neighborhood. As Novak mentions in the above link, there are plenty of restaurants. Washington Heights is definitely not Times Square, which is refreshing.
As would be expected, homecoming is crowded. Other games are calmer, and they attract an eclectic mix of students, friends and family, neighborhood folks and tourists. In general, it’s a homey atmosphere. Trash talking is almost unheard of.
Wien is near several major roadways and is accessible via public transportation. Again, Novak touches on just about every transportation possibility in the link above. If you’re not an adept parallel parker, or don't want to pay for parking in a lot, use public transportation, specifically the subway (#1), which has a stop nearby.Inside the stadium, the concourse behind the main seating bowl has enough room to maneuver as long as there isn't a huge crowd at the game.
Bathrooms, though small, are sufficient as there are at least a few down the length of the concourse.
Return on Investment 4
The football is strong. The stadium is comfortable and homey, and the view is just special. There're relatively cheap or even complimentary treats. Programs are on the house. In this mega town, where professional sports rule but aren't very good, at least these days, Columbia football is a bargain and definitely worth adding to your NYC itinerary.
Columbia’s band isn’t your typical band. They’re more of a parody of a band, which is fun and different. When Columbia wins, the players sing their hearts out and the band seems to hit every note.
Columbia football is something to experience. It's the only college football in the borough of Manhattan, and it boasts the intimacy of a high school game, at least compared to what the Jets and Giants offer across the river at MetLife Stadium.
Jon Hart is@ManVersusBall