San Diego State plays their home games off campus in Qualcomm Stadium. The venue is shared with the San Diego Chargers (now defunct) and although off campus stadiums are typically less than desirable, Aztec fans make the best of it. Their passion and love for their team is evident on gamedays. The lots fill with cheer outside this concrete giant of a stadium as the players arrive on their traditional Warrior Walk through fans and into the arena.
Some of the best college towns are those that venture off from well-traveled roads. Taking I-15 north from Salt Lake City, urban morphs to quaint. The snow capped mountains guide you along the east, while to the west, the Great Salt Lake lies still, reflecting the skies above. To reach Logan, Utah, skew west from I-15 and head 25 miles toward the mountain ranges where the campus of Utah State welcomes with mountainous vistas and beautiful architecture. Old Main Hill is the epicenter of USU – the Old Main Building stands at the summit, shining its brilliant Aggie “A” in all four directions. It glows blue on special campus events or for significant Aggie victories.
A drive from San Francisco to Fresno will quickly remind you of how much remoteness California has to offer – you might glance at the gas tank gauge a little more often than normal just to be sure. Upon approaching the San Joaquin Valley and Fresno area, a sigh of relief might just envelop you as campus life and gameday action are just a couple of dirt clouds away. Fresno is relatively spread out and the campus area is in the middle of it all. Once on Bulldog Lane, all the expected pregame rituals begin to take shape. Bulldog Stadium itself is a bit difficult to see from the certain directions as it rests on a sports complex between other sporting and training facilities. Its unique crane-like lighting structures are quite visible, however, and point down on a place that has seen a lot of excellent football in recent years. Tailgating commences on all corners of the sports grounds, while the band and mascot weaves its way through playing the fight song and high fiving passersby.
In a place where the dorms are the most densely populated area of the entire state, Wyoming football would hardly seem like much of an attraction. However, the Cowboys are all that the state has in the way of sports. The most interesting fact about War Memorial Stadium is that it has the highest altitude of any Division I-A football field at 7,220 feet. Driving from Denver to Laramie is a bit of an adventure. Civilization begins to get diluted in the wide-open ranges and mountain peaks. Soon, the mountains are gone and all that remains are rock formations and open spaces. You have reached Wyoming. With the mountains gone, it is natural to think that you have descended. However, the roads rise to meet the mountains and it is evidenced by the ear popping that occurs along I-25. It is wide-open, sparse land that suddenly opens up to a cute college community. The stadium is a beautiful venue lined with pine trees and horizon lines meeting the blue sky. Gameday in Laramie can be a pretty big deal since choices on what to do in Wyoming are quite limited. Football season is counted down on many Cowboy calendars across the state.
Hughes Stadium is set far from the campus of Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colorado. The setting is amazing as it rests up against the Rocky Mountain foothills. But, it sits all alone. Looking at it, you wouldn’t imagine that the stadium could provide such a wild atmosphere. Surrounding the stadium are acres of land used for parking. The scene is quite chaotic…much like a rock concert. Police pointing cars in all directions, vehicles bumping along on the rocky grass and drunken college students swarming the area. Night games are commonplace at Hughes Stadium, which only gives the student body more time to fill their student bodies with alcohol. The lawn outside the stadium is an all-evening party up to kickoff. The sun disappears behind the mountains and its game time.
Air Force fans traveling along I-25 suddenly experience a traffic jam about two miles from the exit to Falcon Stadium. The cause of the slow crawl becomes evident upon exiting as several military personnel guide cars down different pathways toward the game site. Many security measures have been taken here and an escort by the Air Force is one of them. Open spaces surround your journey to the stadium – all except for one large aircraft that greets you and points in the desired direction.