The Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens are a perennial power in the FCS, and Delaware Stadium is more than worthy of a visit if you are rolling your RV through 'The First State.' Tubby Raymond Field at Delaware Stadium is located in Newark, Delaware, and it can hold a crowd of 22,000 people for games in the fall.
The Blue Hens are supported on Saturdays by their faithful mascot, the blue hen YoUdee. YoUDee comes from a lineage that dates back to the revolutionary war, where the hen's great-great-great-grandfather, Col. George W. YoUDee was given a gold medal of valor that led to the Blue Hens' current colors of blue and gold. This might be the most thinking that has ever been put into the backstory of a mascot and makes attending a Delaware game vital if you are ever in the area.
Getting to any Delaware game and tailgating in the late summer or fall weather is a great way to spend part of your trip. If possible, aim for a game such as the 'Battle of the Blue' against the Villanova Wildcats or the 'Route 1 Rivalry' against the Delaware State Hornets in order to see the home faithful at the loudest. Also, try to experience the pregame Team Walk right before the team enters the stadium to fully appreciate the unique bond between players and fans in this corner of America.
As with most college sports programs, the best way to ensure you have tickets to a certain game on the schedule is to buy them in advance through the online ticket office of the Delaware Blue Hens. This is the way to get not only football tickets but tickets for all other sports, too. Football tickets vary by the opponent and have been in the region of $30 in the last few years.
Getting to Newark is relatively simple as the city is located near the northern tip of Delaware. This puts it within a two and a half-hour drive of five major metros (and airports in those metros) including Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and New York City. Be sure to check routes into the Athletic Complex before beginning your journey as the development of the facility means that roads are often closed for construction that will impact the time taken to get to Delaware Stadium.
Lots at Delaware Stadium open four hours before kickoff for both season and single-game ticket holders. Single-game parking is on a first-come, first-served basis and the price in recent years has been around $20. Fans can also book single-game parking in advance for a slightly cheaper rate. Smaller campervans might be able to take advantage of these options, but larger rigs may need to be left at the campground or at a nearby business if possible.
The best way to get to the football stadium is usually to park close by and walk. If this is not an option (or if you want to park elsewhere on campus for some festivities before the game) then the UD Shuttle Bus service is the quickest and most direct way to get to the game. Those coming from further afield will need to either look into public bus schedules from their location or call for a taxi or ride share service.
There is no overnight parking on the university campus with vehicles expected to leave the lots two hours after the conclusion of the game. Luckily there are plenty of spots in the surrounding area that are RV and camping friendly for your trip. With such a narrow distance between Delaware's state borders, state parks in Maryland and New Jersey may be more along your existing route than some locations to the south like Delaware Seashore State Park (about two hours to the south).
There are a number of RV Parks within 15 miles of the stadium and you can decide what level of comfort and amenities you are looking for to turn your trip into a true vacation. If you want to stay a little more family-oriented, then look to Lums Pond State Park in Bear, Delaware or the Philadephia / West Chester KOA in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. These are both within 15 miles of Delaware Stadium and will allow for recreational activities and watersports.
The best way to access the compact and inviting Delaware Stadium is to park in the lots surrounding the stadium on campus and walk to the facility. This is a building that is ADA compliant, with accessible seating, restrooms, and elevators inside to make things easier for guests with disabilities. There are also complimentary shuttles available for handicapped patrons from the parking lot to the gates.
The main key here is that whatever you wear, which will be dependent on the season of the game, remember to include the blue and gold of the Fightin' Blue Hens. There are some schools where wearing logoed apparel is a little bland, but with such a weird and wonderful mascot the t-shirt, hat, and/or hoodie you wear can all be in school colors. Make sure to avoid the red and Columbia blue of Delaware State and the blue and white of the Villanova Wildcats, though!
The gear you pack can also be in the appropriate color scheme to show your love of the Fightin' Blue Hens. Lawn chairs and a tent are obvious options, but there is nothing quite like the sight of a Blue Hen flag to draw attention wherever your RV trip takes you. Remember to review what outdoor activities may be offered via your camping location and plan to bring items that fit those activities and the season.
The key at any tailgate party and football game is to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water alongside anything else you consume. This will be especially important if you tailgate for the full four hours allowed before the game. Make sure to slather on plenty of sunscreen at the beginning of the season and to take bug spray in the RV just in case. Get into the shade and cool down if you start to feel drained after a long day on your feet.
Tailgating is a big deal at Delaware football games. Tailgaters may start their festivities four hours before a game in campus parking lots and (after shutting down for the game itself) for up to two more hours at the conclusion. The campus lots allow both charcoal and gas grills, but all charcoals must be disposed of in aluminum trash cans provided in the lot to reduce the risk of fire. Grab your grill and show the locals your culinary talents on game day.
The food selection in Newark is as you would expect in any college town. This is a place with an eclectic mix of cuisines and with restaurants that range from fine dining all the way down to holes in the wall serving delicious eats. Talk to people at the tailgate to get some recommendations, but be sure to find your way to a place serving blue crabs caught fresh in the Delaware Bay as part of your RV trip experience.
Delaware Stadium has a local feel and the concessions and vendor stands at the facility keep things simple and delicious. There is a beer garden in the southeast corner of the stadium and a ring of concession stands around the stadium. Fans may also be able to get snacks from the vendors walking through the stadium peddling their wares.
In recent years, Delaware Stadium has had a bag policy that allows 16" x 16" x 8' inch bags or smaller to be carried into the stadium. This does not include backpacks and hard-sided coolers which are prohibited. Expect any bag to be inspected by gate security and plan accordingly for lines in these areas if you want to make sure you are inside the stadium for kick-off.
Always be sure to check your favorite weather app both before your RV trip and also before heading out to the game. Games in Newark can be beautiful in August and September where the daily highs are in the 70s and 80s, but games can be gloomy and chilly later in the year, especially if the game is at night. Weather-appropriate clothing is often the simplest approach. Be aware that umbrellas are prohibited in the stadium, so a rain poncho is the way to go if the heavens open.
If you suffer a medical problem while at Delaware Stadium, then your first course of action should be to contact the nearest usher to let them know of the issue. An emergency first-aid station, typically in the form of an ambulance service, is located in the southeastern corner of the stadium. Also, be sure to bring a first-aid kit with you in the RV for minor incidents.