Blue Wahoos Stadium Voted Among Top Four In NCAA D-2 Football

Nationwide fan poll on NCAA.com gives UWF's home field distinct place among best venues

Blue Wahoos Stadium, home of UWF football, was voted by fans in NCAA.com poll as one of the top four best venues in NCAA Division II football. (Nino Mendez)

By Bill Vilona, Senior Writer / Pensacola Blue Wahoos | October 15, 2019 4:52 PM

The acclaimed reputation of a game experience at Blue Wahoos Stadium now extends into college football.

In newest breakthrough honor for the bayfront venue, Blue Wahoos Stadium ranked among the nation's top four football stadiums in NCAA Division II, according to a fan vote conducted by NCAA.com and released Tuesday.

The stadium has been the University of West Florida's home field since the Argos inaugural 2016 season. In partnership with the Blue Wahoos, the Argos have used the facility for their home game schedule, as well as hosting football recruiting visits and other team-related, social activities.

The other three venues receiving the most votes in the NCAA.com poll were Kimbrough Stadium in Canyon, Texas, the home field for West Texas A&M, Cliff Harris Stadium in Arkadelphia, Ark, home of Ouachita Baptist and Lubbers Stadium in Allendale, Mich., home of Grand Valley State.

A total of nine stadiums made the list of fan favorites.

In its report on the top D-2 stadiums, NCAA.com said. "We have taken a look at some of the best football stadiums DII has to offer in the past with our bucket list and scenic stadiums tour. Now, we left it up to you, the fans, to chime in and decide which are the best of the best.

"No school's stadiums got more mentions than these four."

The Argos' 2018 attendance for their five home games was 29,074 with a 5,815 per-game average, which ranked No. 12 overall in NCAA Division II.

So far in 2019, the Argos have attracted 15,844 fans (5,281 average). This season, UWF's schedule was saddled with three consecutive home Saturdays, beginning with the first one on Sept. 21. The Argos don't have another home game until Nov. 2.

What sets UWF and Blue Wahoos Stadium apart from other highly-rated Division II venues is that it's not an on-campus facility and the stadium's primary use is for the Blue Wahoos and professional baseball as the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.

The stadium received fan approval for its location and vista provided by Pensacola Bay as the backdrop and the Gulf of Mexico in the distance.

"The Argos share their stadium with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, now a part of the Minnesota Twins organization," in an overview on NCAA.com and written by Wayne Cavadi. "Aside from getting a glimpse of the premier Double-A stadiums in minor league baseball, this venue sits on Pensacola Bay.

"If the palm trees and water aren't enough of a view during an October Gulf South Conference football showdown, don't be surprised if you see a boat or two sail by in the distance."

After each Blue Wahoos home schedule has ended the past four seasons, the stadium has been converted into a football set up with portable bleachers brought into the outfield area on the visitors' sideline, along with removal of the pitcher's mound and re-sodding turf to cover the infield, mound and home plate areas.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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