A Visitors Guide To Attending Fresno State Football Games At Valley Children’s Stadium

Written By Dan Holmes on September 1, 2023
A comprehensive guide to attending Fresno State football games at Valley Children's Stadium during the college football season, from playca.com

Winners of 29 conference titles in program history, the Fresno State Bulldogs are one of the most consistently competitive college football teams on the west coast.

The Bulldogs play their home games at Valley Children’s Stadium, where a thrilling experience is punctuated by excited students and alumni, an award-winning marching band, and shoulder-pad banging football.

While football fans can’t legally bet on sports in California just yet, fans still have plenty to be excited about on game day.

This guide covers all you need to know about attending a Fresno State home football game at Valley Children’s Stadium.

Getting to Valley Children’s Stadium

Valley Children’s Stadium located north of Fresno, about eight miles from downtown. Its address is 1620 E Bulldog Lane, Fresno, CA 93740.

Fresno is about 220 miles from the Pacific coast line, situated nearly halfway between San José to the northwest and Bakersfield to the southeast.

From downtown Fresno

When driving to the stadium from downtown Fresno, get on CA-41 N and take it to E Shaw Ave.

Then, take Exit 132 to N Fresno St and East Barstow Ave until you see the stadium.

All in all, this drive should take you about 15 minutes on average.

From San José

Valley Children’s Stadium is about 155 miles southeast of San José.

When making the drive from San José, start by getting on US-101 S. Continue on US-101 S and take CA-152 E to Ave 9 in Madera County.

Then, take Exit 147 from CA-99 S and get on CA-41 S. Follow CA-41 S to Fresno, and take Exit 133.

Finally, take N Fresno St and E Barstow Ave to the stadium.

From Fresno Air terminal

Fresno Yosemite International Airport is located just 5.3 miles from Valley Children’s Stadium. On average, the drive to the stadium from the airport should only take about 15 minutes.

When leaving the airport, turn right onto Clinton Ave, and follow the curve to Cedar Ave where you will take a right.

After turning right onto Cedar, continue for about 5 miles to Bulldog Lane.

Turn left and proceed less than one block to Gate 10, where you will see the stadium entrance.

Parking at Valley Children’s Stadium

On-site parking

General game day parking is $20 for lots adjacent to the stadium. Parking passes for Blue, Red, White, Purple, Green, and Yellow lots are available for purchase prior to game day.

Upon arrival, vehicles will be directed by attendants. Be sure to park in your designated spot, as vehicles that park in unauthorized areas may be towed.

Parking lots open six hours prior to kick-off, although tailgating can’t begin until three hours prior to the game.

Your vehicle can be in the lots up to two hours following the end of the football game.

Keep in mind that larger vehicles such as RVs, trailers, limos, or trailers are not permitted in general parking areas.

Off-site parking

You can find public parking lots in the city of Fresno, and take a shuttle to the game.

The Bulldog Shuttle offers free transportation for fans from various pick-up spots in Fresno.

Plan your day in advance, so you know which pick-up location to go to. Also, expect to walk 5-10 minutes from the drop-off spots to the stadium.

ADA accessible parking

There are a limited number of accessible parking spots available in the Red, White, and Blue parking lots near Valley Children’s Stadium.

You might also find ADA spots in Lot P1. A courtesy golf cart is available to transfer those with ADA needs from Lot P1 to the stadium gates.

The fee for ADA parking is $20, and all ADA-compliant parking lots open four hours before game time. When using an ADA spot, you must clearly display an authentic ADA placard in your vehicle.

Tailgating at Valley Children’s Stadium

Tailgating may begin three hours prior to kick-off on game days.

Tailgating and picnicking is allowed in designated areas only, and tailgating is only permitted behind vehicles. You may not block the road or parking lot for others.

Fans can tailgate at Valley Children’s Stadium in the Red, White, and Blue parking lots before and during the game. Fans can also tailgate in the Purple lot prior to the game, but cannot tailgating during the game in the Purple lot.

Also, it’s important to note that tailgating of any kind is prohibited on the football practice field.

Fans can bring their own tailgating supplies, but keep in mind that glass containers, charcoal grills, deep fryers, and open flame BBQs are not permitted in the general parking areas of the Red, White, Blue, Purple and Green lots.

Responsible fan behavior

Fans should observe decorum and responsible behavior when tailgating before a Fresno State football game.

Fresno State is committed to fan safety, and the university asks all fans to show respect to others, and be responsible when tailgating.

Disorderly conduct is not permitted, so always remember to drink responsibly.

Alcohol rules at Fresno State football games

When tailgating, alcohol consumption must halt 30 minutes after kick-off.

No glass bottles or containers are allowed in Valley Children’s Stadium, and any alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks are required to be placed in plastic or styrofoam cups or containers.

Also, no kegs are permitted anywhere on campus or at the stadium.

Best food at Valley Children’s Stadium

If you ask the students, alumni, or season ticket holders for their favorite food, you’ll often hear one choice: El Patron tacos. You’ll find it in Section 23 at the north end of the stadium. The street tacos, burritos, and nachos from El Patron are legendary at Fresno State football games.

The stadium has other options, too. The Dog Pound Grill offers a unique menu item: a quarter-pound sausage sandwich, smothered with your choice of toppings such as onions, green peppers, cheese, and more. They also have a Louisiana Hot link dog.

You’ll also find Philly Cheesesteaks, Polish Sausage, pulled pork sandwiches (Pigskins BBQ is the best), hot dogs, burgers, pizza, corn dogs, and lots of shaved ice and ice cream throughout the stadium at the various concessions locations.

Valley Children’s Stadium bag policy

Only clear bags are allowed inside Valley Children’s Stadium. More specifically, the stadium’s bag policy consists of the following rules:

  • Clear plastic, clear vinyl (or PVC) bags only for personal items, not to exceed 12” x 6” x 12”
  • Small clutch bags can be brought in, but must be less than 4.5” x 6.5” x 2”
  • Purses and small bags may be searched by security before you are permitted to enter the stadium

If you require medical items or diapers, there may be an exemption from the above rules, per security approval.

No noisemakers, balls, unauthorized banners or signs, confetti, coolers, laser pointers, poles, sticks, strollers, tripods, umbrellas, video cameras, or weapons of any kind may be brought into the stadium.

In addition, you are not permitted to bring any outside food or drink into the stadium.

What does it cost to see a game at Valley Children’s Stadium?

According to TicketSmarter, the average cost to attend a Fresno State football game at Valley Children’s Stadium is $61.50. But, you can usually find tickets at a cheaper price.

It’s also important to keep in mind that ticket prices can fluctuate depending on the opponent and your seat location. For example, seats closer to the field are likely going to be more expensive than seats in the upper levels.

In addition, an in-state rivalry game against San Jose State is likely to have more expensive tickets on average than a non-conference game.

Planning to attend a football game at Valley Children’s Stadium? Here’s what it would cost a family of four:

  • Tickets: $246 (four tickets at $61.50, cheaper options are available)
  • Parking: $35
  • Food: $32 (four hot dogs)
  • Beer: $22 (two 16-ounce beers)
  • TOTAL: $335

You can purchase tickets for Fresno State football on StubHub, SeatGeek, and Ticketmaster.

Fresno State football history

Valley Children’s Stadium is also known as Jim Sweeney Field at Bulldog Stadium. Sweeney coached the Bulldogs for more than two decades, posting a record of 144–74–3, and 83–41–2 in conference play. He won more than 200 games in his college coaching career.

The Bulldogs have been members of seven conferences, and currently plays in the Mountain West Conference, where they have been members since 2012. The team has won a total of 29 conference titles in school history.

In addition, one of the best stories about Fresno State football is the “V” on the back of the team’s helmets. That V is a tribute to the San Joaquin Valley.

2023 Fresno State home football schedule

  • Sep. 9: Eastern Washington
  • Sep. 23: Kent State
  • Sep. 30: Nevada
  • Oct. 28: UNLV
  • Nov. 4: Boise State
  • Nov. 18: New Mexico
Photo by AP Photo/Eugene Tanner
Dan Holmes Avatar
Written by
Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a contributor for PlayCA with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He also has extensive experience covering the launch of sports betting in other states, including Ohio, Massachusetts and Maryland. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

View all posts by Dan Holmes
Privacy Policy