Veterans Memorial Stadium
Opened in 1950 - Seats 30,402
Pending COVID restrictions, the first road trip of the 2021 season begins down in Southern Alabama in the midst of pines halfway between Montgomery and Dothan. For most folks such a trip doesn't have the glitz and glamour of some of our other road trips. But ballcoach is vertainly not most folks.
September 25th - @ Syracuse in Syracuse, NY
Opened in 1980 - Seats 49,250
The building is probably more iconic for most of us as a hoops venue but the venerable old stadium ireceived a facelift with its new roof just in time for us to roll in and knock them around in front of no one in the stands. And good news! The stadium named after the inventor of air conditioning will actually have A/C for the 2022 season. That won't help much this fall but temps shouldn't be an issue in September in Upstate NY. Late September could mean some fantastic fall foliage and the nearby Finger Lakes region would be a great destination if the leaves are turning at the right time.
October 2nd - @ UAB in Birmingham, AL
Opened in 2021 - Seats 47,100
After being resurrected from the dead, UAB's revival under Bill Clark led to the construction of this 47k seat stadium in Uptown Birmingham for the 2021 season that replaces ancient Legion Field. Birmingham itself presents some great ways to cap off a weekend trip. Motorcycle enthusiasts consider the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum a mecca second only to Harley in Milwaukee. But motorsports fans of all tastes will love this museum and complex.
Then there are a slew of Civil Rights attractions including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the 16th Avenue Baptist Church. But no trip to 'Bama would be complete without some 'cue. Dreamland is the institution but there are some other great joints across the city including Jim 'n Nick's 5 Points South location.
October 16th - @ Louisiana-Monroe in Monroe, LA
Opened in 1978 - Seats 30,427[/b]
Get your Duck Dynasty fix as we roll into Northeast Louisiana to face the Warhawks under new coach Terry Bowden. I fyou are looking for Cajun cuisine, that's down south by ULM's sister school at Lafayette and along the I-10 corridor. Up in the this section of Louisiana, there is some Cajun/Creole to be found because the mudbugs are everywhere ... even though it will be out of season in the fall. The only places in the area worth a look at Duck Commander/Buck Commander HQ and the Biedenharn Museum which has Coca Cola and Bible museums. Obviously the Duck Dynasty connections to LU are well dosumented.
October 23rd - @ North Texas in Denton, TX
Opened in 2011 - Seats 30,850[/b]
The Flames finally return to Texas just north of the CFW Metroplex and south of the Oklahoma border. Flights into both DFW and Love Field should be cheap and abundant. The Dallas-Fort Worth area has no shortage of things to see, do and eat. But I strongly recommend everyone check out Turner Gill's hometown of Fort Worth to experience the Stockyards and Southwestern Seminary's Tandy Institute for Archaelogy (Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit is now gone).
November 13th - @ Ole Miss in Oxford, MS
Opened in 1915 - Seats 64,038
Cider Jim can wax poetic about Oxford. Outside of the campus, there's not much to see. If you are fan of Elvis, Tupelo's about an hour east and Memphis not much further NW. Memphis has a surprising number of cool things to check out but it is nearly 1.5 hours away. Hopefully Coach Freeze will share some of his dining tips in an upcoming news conference (hint-hint, ASOR staff).