Roebuck Stadium – Elizabeth City State Vikings
Photos by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.71
Roebuck Stadium Herrington Rd Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Year Opened: 1983
Aging Field at ECSU
Roebuck Stadium is a multi-purpose venue that opened in 1983 and seats about 5,000 fans. The field is used mainly by Elizabeth City State University’s football team, but also by the school’s track and field teams and by local soccer teams. The facilities at Roebuck Stadium overall are in good condition for their age, but the field itself is beginning to show some wear, as illustrated by the condition of the field’s surface as well as by the faded ECSU lettering in both end zones. The Vikings currently compete in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
Food & Beverage 3
There is only one concessions stand at Roebuck Stadium (underneath the main grandstand), although it can be easy to miss as it is very small and tucked well in beneath the stands, and without any obvious signage to mark it. It offers Chick-fil-A items only, but has a range including chicken sandwiches, nuggets, subs, salads, warm cookies, and beverages. Prices are reasonable with a chicken sandwich or 8-piece nuggets, for example, coming in at $5.
There is not much of an atmosphere at ECSU football games – there are cheerleaders performing during the game and some decent music from the PA system, but no mascot that I saw and no entertainment such as fan contests during breaks in the action. However, Elizabeth City State is a very small school so that may explain it. There is a band which is pretty typical for an HBCU, but they were not present at the game I most recently attended due to the rain.
The grandstands on both sides just have simple metal bleachers with no backs, although there is a small suites “building” on the home side of the field. The field itself is surrounded by a running track like football stadiums at many smaller schools, and there is an athletics building behind one end zone. The scoreboard is a simple affair without video capabilities.
Track Around Field, Photo by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey
Elizabeth City is a town of around 18,000 at the head of the Pasquotank River near North Carolina’s outer banks – the river feeds into Pamlico Sound, which is on the inside of the barrier islands that separate most of the state from the Atlantic Ocean. As such there are plenty of attractions near Roebuck Stadium, such as Kitty Hawk (site of the Wright Brothers’ test flight), multiple lighthouses, and a couple of wildlife preserves, but during the fall a lot of the beachy activities folks might enjoy in the outer banks are no longer on offer.
Being near the water, however, there are some great seafood restaurants nearby, such as Groupers Waterfront Restaurant, or, if you are looking for something with more of a local vibe, Tony’s Pizza or Happy Taco near the stadium are also great options. There are also plenty of hotels within a couple miles of the venue.
Very few fans attend football games at ECSU, probably no more than 1,000 fans even at the best of times, and fewer than a hundred at other times. There are a handful of pretty loud fans in attendance, however, and the venue is small enough that you can clearly hear the shouts, catcalls, and cheers from those fans and players on the sidelines, so fans here can definitely get at least a small sampling of school spirit.
Access at Roebuck Stadium could not be easier – there is parking right next to the venue and few enough fans here that getting in and out is easy. There are also plenty of bathrooms (which are a little dated, however), but you can sit wherever you want and see the action easily from anywhere inside the facility. The only real drawback is that your GPS may not find it using the official address, so just head to Elizabeth City State University and look for the stadium lights.
Return on Investment 3
Attendance and parking were both free at the most recent game I attended here; I am not sure if that is always the case. But if the only thing you have to pay for is food, that could make for the lowest cost college football game you will ever attend. The facilities are a little dated and the team is not performing the greatest of late, but at least you can get your football fix.
There isn’t much on offer here at Roebuck Stadium except for the football itself, although at most games you should get to see the band perform, which is a plus. The music played by the PA announcer is also fairly lively, and it is actually a lot of fun to listen to the handful of hyper-active Vikings fans in attendance.