Pros: great for football, true football weather, great atmosphere, loud stadium
Cons: parking, Cougs beating your alma-matter
Martin Stadium is located in Pullman, Washington, and is home to the Washington State University Cougars. If you don't know where Pullman is, it is about 90 miles South of Spokane, Washington or about 250 miles East of Seattle. Nestled in a series of rolling wheat fields, Pullman has a small-town atmosphere and is home to 24,675 residents. This is a mixture of Washington State University students, faculty, and staff intertwined with residential families. Pullman is a tight-knit community, and the University is a big part of it. Martin Stadium is located virtually in the center of Pullman, and is positioned on the Northeastern side of the WSU Campus.
Martin Stadium was rebuilt in 1972, when the old field (called Rogers Field) was destroyed by arson. Literally rising from the ashes, Martin Stadium was rebuilt from the wooden structure that it had been for years, into the venue that we have today. Its an easily accessible stadium, and the main street that goes through campus (Stadium Way) runs right along side where the stadium is. In fact, from the road you can actually see into the stadium, and see the scoreboard on the West-end of the stadium. The stadium is built like a bowl, but the best part, is that the stadium puts the fans almost on to the field. This is one of the tightest stadiums, and the 35,000 seats that it has all provide great views of the action. When full, the stadium can become deafeningly loud, and the atmosphere is something that defines what college football should be.
Lodging / Parking
In Pullman, there are a variety of different options that exist in regards to hotels and motels. We have a Holiday Inn, a Best Western, and several other inns that can provide various lodging accommodations. On weekends where The Cougars play someone really good, they tend to fill up fast, and the overflow is forced to stay in an adjoining city. Just 10 miles up the road, Moscow, Idaho, has a bunch more hotels that people can decide to stay at if Pullman fills up. For those people who are more adventurous, a block from the stadium is an RV parking lot that can provide space for any type of RV that you have. The site is also guarded by security overnight, so you don't have to worry about your vehicles at all. This is a big benefit, because in a college town, with a football game coming up, you never know what could happen.
Regarding parking, this is where things get tough on out-of-towners. If you are coming into Pullman, and don't have a friends place to put the car, then there are a couple of options that are there. First, just about every hotel in the area provides shuttle service that can take you to and from the game. This is the easiest method, because then you don't have to worry about the rush-hour traffic that follows the games. With everyone leaving t the same time, traffic does tend to get pretty bad for the hour following the game. If you are against using a shuttle, there are various parking lots in the area where you will be able to park, but you need to be prepared for a walk. Around the stadium there are limited spots, and if you aren't there very early, then you are going to be parking further and further from the stadium. My suggestion, is that you take advantage of the shuttles, and relieve yourself of the stress of driving through Pullman on a football Saturday.
Seating / Tickets
Pretty much any seat in the stadium provides a nice view of the field, and there are no obstructions that hinder any of the views. It is an open-stadium though, so when the sun is out there is no shade to hide from it. The seating can pretty much be broken down into 5 categories: Reserved Upper Seating, Reserved Center Seating, Reserved Lower Seating, Student Reserved Seating, and General Admission. Each is self-explanatory, with the upper seats being cheaper than the lower seats, and the general admission being where visiting fans usually end up sitting. The student sections cover about 1/3 of the stadium, extending from one end-zone around the North side of the stadium seating. If you are the daring type, and are there to root for the Cougars, then the student section is a great place to catch the game.
Depending on where you want to sit, and also depending on whether you will be attending more than one game is how the prices for tickets are determined. Here are the plans that are offered and their costs:
Full Season -5 games
General Admission ---- $160
Staff/Faculty G/A ---- $145
(includes 2 adults, 2 children OR 1 adult, 3 children)
General Public --- $310
Staff/Faculty --- $290
Single Game Tickets
Single reserve (excluding UW (Apple Cup) ---- $29
UW Single reserve Ticket ----- $44
Endzone Reserve (Adult, excludes UW) ----- $17
Endzone Reserve (Youth/Senior Citizen, excludes UW) ---- $9
Endzone Reserve (Family Plan - 2 adult, 2 youth or 1 adult, 3 youth, excludes UW) ----- $45
Priority Seating (best seats in the house)
PRIORITY SEATING PRICES FOR SEASON TICKETS
(*Price is per seat is in addition to regular ticket price)
Sections 5,6,7; Rows A-M ---- $101
Section 25 ---- $138
Section 4,8; Rows 1-32 ---- $167
Section 26 ---- $318
Section 4,8; Rows 33-36; Section 5,6,7 Rows 1-32 ---- $468
Section 5,6,7; Rows 33-36 ---- $1,000
As I stated, where you sit depends on what you are looking for. If you would like to view what the stadium looks like from each seat here is a cool web-site: http://www.spokesmanreview.com/library/wsu/stadium/cover.asp By clicking on any point on the stadium, you can see what the view looks like to be sitting there.
Depending on the season that you are at a game Summer/Fall or Fall/Winter, will depend on what grabs your attention at the concession stands here. First off, there is great lemonade for those hotter days, but as the weather gets colder, vendors will be carrying hot chocolate around in collector mugs that really hits the spot. The food is nothing special, but rather what you would expect at any football game nowadays. Hotdogs run at $2 and $3 for the sausage, mini-pizzas are sold for $4.50, nachos are $3, and popcorn is sold by the size. Of course soft drinks, candy, and other assorted goodies of that variety are also offered. Before the games though, there is an assortment of vendors outside the stadium at the field house that will serve you many other dining options.
Tailgating Policies for the Area
The Hollingbery Fieldhouse is open 3.5 hours prior to kickoff for Food Fair. A variety of vendors are always there selling food and beverages. Admittance is free, and entertainment is also available in the Field House. The Food Fair is open post-game for 90 minutes for games kicking off prior to 4:00 p.m. No tents, tables or chairs are permitted in parking spaces or on sidewalks. Tables and chairs are permitted provided that they are placed under an RV awning. All fires must be in must be within grills or other containers designed specifically for that purpose.
Preparing for the Weather
If you are coming to Pullman for a game that is in late August or September, you are in for some hot weather, and keep in mind that there is no shade in the seating area of the stadium. Sun-tan lotion is a must, because the weather over here can reach the high 90's during those dates. When the October and November games come along, its time to brace for very cold weather. Winter hits us pretty quick over here, and if you get caught in shorts you will regret it. Plan to wear extra insulation, or bring a blanket to snuggle with that special someone. Its always beneficial to check the weather in our area before you head out, so you know just what to prepare for.
Pullman is a football town, and WSU is becoming a power-house football team. When the stadium starts getting packed, it is quite a sight to have 35-40 thousand screaming fans. With the close proximity of the seats to the field, it is not uncommon for the fans to rile up players and in effect start to become part of the game. The bonus in the city that I did not mention, is that we have express busses running all the time. So, if you want to go somewhere in town to eat, but don't want to drive, you can pick up a bus schedule, and take the bus right up to the stadium. Martin Stadium is a great place to watch football, and if you have not seen a game there yet, then the time is now!