For a football program that didn’t exist before 1989, Charleston Southern University has come a long way. The Buccaneers, who moved from NCAA Division 3 (non-scholarship) to Division I practically overnight in 1993, have since won league titles in 2015 and 2016 and took Football Championship Subdivision multiple national champion North Dakota State to overtime before losing in the 2016 playoffs.
The Bucs play Big South Conference games at rustic Buccaneer Field before enthusiastic fans decked out in blue and gold. CSU is now a regular contender for FCS Top 25 rankings, and home games are a classic small-college affair.
How to enjoy a Buccaneers football weekend, inside or outside the stadium:
Getting tickets – Tickets are available for Charleston Southern home games via the school’s ticket office.
Where to eat before the game – A favorite spot for great barbecue and sit-down service near the CSU campus in North Charleston is Willie Jewell’s Old School Bar-B-Q.
Where to celebrate after the game – Willie Jewell’s draws good crowds after games, too. Another fun option about 15 minutes away is The Park Circle, offering a selection of food and drinking establishments, including Sesame Burgers & Beer, Dig In The Park and EVO Pizzeria.
Where to buy Charleston Southern gear – The CSU Bookstore has an array of gear at the campus shop, online and at a booth in the stadium open during games.
Where to tailgate with Buccaneers fans – The general admission lot adjacent to Buccaneer Field is an easy walk to the stadium.
Where to purchase your tailgate fare – Raising Cane’s, a CSU sponsor, is highly regarded for its chicken fingers and other tailgate chow. A number of grocery stores, including Food Lion and Piggly Wiggly also are conveniently nearby.
Best Charleston Southern game day rituals – The pregame Buc Walk, when players march from locker rooms to the field, takes place along Alumni Drive past the tailgate areas about 45 minutes before kickoff. The Buccaneers also fire off a cannon when the team scores.
What they’re singing or dancing to – The game day public address announcer plays a variety of popular music, but the teem's signature moment comes when the school band plays the theme music from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.