Buies Creek – Campbell’s Barker-Lane Stadium has been tabbed the No. 3 facility in the Football Championship Subdivision in Stadium Journey’s 2018 rankings.
Stadium Journey has visited and reviewed 121 of the 124 schools that compete in FCS, ranking each according to its exclusive FANFARE score, which takes into account all the factors that encompass the gameday atmosphere: food, atmosphere, neighborhood, fan support, accessibility, value and more.
“The experience here is great,” noted Stadium Journey, adding, “if you are ever in the North Carolina area, I would highly recommend taking in a game here – you are guaranteed to have blast, and it won’t wreck your wallet or your blood pressure.”
For the third straight season, Barker-Lane Stadium broke its total attendance record in 2018 with 35,405 fans piling through the gates. The 5,500-seat stadium averaged more than a sellout in 2016 and 2017, averaging over 5,000 for the third consecutive season in 2018. Campbell’s 2018 homecoming contest against Big South foe Gardner-Webb saw a single-game record crowd of 6,712.
The home of the Camels since 2008, Barker-Lane Stadium received a new field design prior to the 2018 season, featuring orange end zones. At midfield, a silhouette of Campbell’s home state of North Carolina, spanning 20 yards, contains the Campbell Athletics logo.
The new playing surface was the latest in a long line of improvements to the facility, which saw the installation of a state-of-the-art high-definition Daktronics video board just beyond the north end zone prior to the 2016 season. The screen boasts a 24′-7 ” height and 42′-4″ width.
In January 2015, the Burt Family Sports Performance Center opened. The nearly 6,000 square foot facility, located in the southeast corner of Barker-Lane Stadium, provides a second strength and conditioning home (the other located inside the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center) for several Camel programs.
Carlie C’s IGA Hometown Proud Press Tower and west stands were completed in 2013, helping expand the stadium’s seating capacity to 5,500. Lights were added prior to the 2012 football season.
Ground-breaking ceremonies for the stadium were held March 27, 2007, with the W. Irvin Warren Athletic Center and east stands being completed in 2008.
Campbell hosted Birmingham-Southern on Aug. 30, 2008 in the inaugural football game at the facility, attended by a standing-room crowd of 5,845 fans.
Montana’s Washington-Grizzly Stadium took top honors, followed by Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium, home of the Incarnate Word Cardinals. Rounding out the top 10 were Richmond’s E. Claiborne Robins Stadium, James Madison’s Bridgeforth Stadium, Mercer’s Five Star Stadium, Kennesaw State’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium, Chattanooga’s Finley Stadium, Columbia’s Lawrence A. Wein Stadium and Jacksonville State’s Burgess-Snow Field.
Among fellow Big South facilities in the top-50, Gardner-Webb’s Spangler Stadium checked in at No. 17 and Presbyterian’s Bailey Memorial Stadium at No. 33. Monmouth’s Kessler Field ranks 63rd, followed by Hampton’s Armstrong Stadium at No. 85 and Charleston Southern’s Buccaneer Field at No. 120. North Alabama’s Braly Municipal Stadium was one of three FCS stadiums not yet visited.
Among other FCS facilities in North Carolina, Elon’s Rhodes Stadium ranked 31st, followed by North Carolina Central’s O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium at No. 40, North Carolina A&T’s Aggie Stadium at No. 45, Davidson’s Richardson Stadium at No. 49 and Western Carolina’s E.J. Whitmire Stadium at No. 104.
See the full FCS rankings at StadiumJourney.com.