Blue Raiders Overview

Fast facts

League: NCAA Football

Head Coach: Rick Stockstill

Team Mascot: Lightning

Year Opened: 1933

Capacity: 30788

City / State: Murfreesboro / Tennessee

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

100 Miles of Hate

Rival Team: WKU Hilltoppers

The rivalry between the Blue Raiders and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers dates back to 1914 making it the oldest rivalry in Blue Raiders history. The Blue Raiders won the first meeting 47-0, which has set the tone for the rivalry with Middle Tennessee holding the all-time edge 33-29-1. Only 100 miles separate these two universities meaning you’ll see plenty of fans from both schools making the trip to see these two bitter rivals duke it out.

Blue Raiders Tailgate Guide


MTSU may not be the biggest program, but they’re gameday tailgates are one of a kind. The atmosphere has picked up in recent years as they are starting to implement many new traditions.  The most notable of these is the Walnut Grove, which offers a similar tailgating experience as The Grove at Ole Miss and even is home to the Raider Walk allowing fans to catch a glimpse of their favorite players before they hit the field.

MTSU fans hit Walnut Grove early in the morning,  getting there for a noon kickoff at 7 am to set up early and kick off the party.  When the party starts it takes on a life of its own, the students and local fans take the area over with tents, coolers full of beer, and grills creating an excellent tailgate atmosphere that ranks among the best in Conference USA.

You may not be interested in the game itself, but the tailgate is an all day party that is a “can’t miss” for anyone who loves to tailgate. When you head to the Walnut Grove, you’ll see the fans participating in all sorts tailgate activities such as cornhole, tossing the football and even a few drinking games. Don’t be afraid to join in on the fun during your next trip to Murfreesboro to see the Blue Raiders play.


Raider Walk

The Raider Walk takes place in the heart of the tailgate action at the Walnut Grove and is a great way for fans to feel a part of the team. The Band of Blue and the cheerleaders lead the Blue Raiders through the crowd as everyone cheers and shows adoration for the team. If you want to show off your Blue Raiders pride, then there is no better place to do so than the Raider Walk.

play Watch video

Where to tailgate

Blue Raiders Stadium Guide

In Game

Middle Tennessee State is a great microcosm of college football, it may not be the biggest program, you may not see them on ESPN every night, but the locals show up to every game and always make the games enjoyable. Despite being a smaller FBS program that doesn’t stop the fans from coming out in strong numbers to support their team, as you’ll find plenty of die-hard fans on your trip to Murfreesboro.

The design of the stadium allows you to feel right on top of the action, and the upper deck is usually known as the nosebleed seats but not at MTSU. The last row of the stadium is about as high as standing on a 3rd story balcony looking down on the game so you won’t have to bring the binoculars to see the ball. The most recent expansion of the upper deck gave the stadium a great balance creating an actual big school sound and big school look to a program on the rise.

During breaks in the action, the MTSU band known as the Band of Blue takes to their instruments and brings the thunder back into the stadium.  The band showcases what makes college football so unique compared to the other main sports both collegiate and professional.  

The sounds of the brass and skins pounding on the drums bring up the heart rate better than any DJ can. Throughout the game, you will frequently hear “M-T-S-U,” as this has become the number one chant for the fans.
You’ll have a great time at a Blue Raiders game, which offers all the pageantry and tradition you could ever want in a college football game as well as a chance to take in a game with some of the most diehard fans around.

Things to check out

Band of Blue

During any downtime during the game the MTSU band known as the Band of Blue takes to their instruments and brings the crowd back to a fever pitch. The band showcases what makes college football so unique compared to other major sports both collegiate and professional by providing great in game entertainment that makes every game feel like a special occasion.

play Watch video


Lightning is the Blue Raiders mascot and can be seen entertaining fans all throughout the game. His wild antics get the crowd pumped up to cheer on the Blue Raiders no matter what the score, so keep your eyes peeled for him at your next MTSU game.

play Watch video

Fight Songs

  1. Fight Song

    Blue Raiders ride on to vic-t’ry
    Never failing in the fight
    Upholding honor and tradition
    Of the name that’s held most high
    M-T-S-U marching onward
    This will be our battle cry
    For the one, true pride of the Blue
    M-T-S-U Raiders Ride!
    M! T! S! U! M-T-S-U! M-T-S-U! Go! Raiders, Go!

    For the one, true pride of the Blue

    M-T-S-U Raiders Ride!

  2. Alma Mater

    We sing thy praises Faithful guide of youth;
    Through all the ages Affirmed and strong in truth.
    Alma Mater,
    Middle Tennessee,
    We proudly offer
    Our hearts in loyalty.

  3. M-T-S-U Chant





Blue Raiders Bars & Restaurants

  1. Campus Pub

    Campus Pub

    Located just across the street from MTSU, it's a cool fun place to grab some drinks!

    903 Gunnerson Ave, Murfreesboro, TN 37130, USA


    Bar website

    sportsbar - $

  2. The Boulevard Bar and Grill

    The Boulevard Bar and Grill

    A great place to watch your favorite sports team! Right by the MTSU campus.

    2154 Middle Tennessee Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN 37130, USA


    Bar website

    american - sportsbar - $$

  3. The Boro Bar and Grill

    The Boro Bar and Grill

    Beer, Burgers, Music and Wine since 1985

    1211 Greenland Dr, Murfreesboro, TN 37130, USA


    Bar website

    american - sportsbar - $

  4. Gentleman Jim’s Bar & Grill 1

    The Pub at the Strathcona Hotel Beer

    Amazingly great food and drinks and a fun place to be.

    1325 Greenland Dr, Murfreesboro, TN 37130, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  5. Slick Pig BBQ

    Slick Pig BBQ

    The best BBQ in Murfreesboro!

    1920 E Main St, Murfreesboro, TN 37130, USA


    Bar website

    american - bbq - $

  6. Nacho’s Mexican Restaurant

    Nachos Mexican Restaurant

    Everything is made from the freshest ingredients and prepared fresh each day, then served up hot by the friendliest staff in town.

    2962 S Rutherford Blvd a, Murfreesboro, TN 37127, USA


    Bar website

    mexican - $

  7. La Siesta Mexican Restaurant


    Better than most Mexican foods!

    1111 Greenland Dr, Murfreesboro, TN 37130, USA


    Bar website

    mexican - $

  8. Kleer-Vu Lunchroom

    fried chicken

    Good Southern food at good prices.

    226 S Highland Ave, Murfreesboro, TN 37130, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  9. City Cafe

    City Cafe

    We're serving up good eats for the whole family.

    113 E Main St, Murfreesboro, TN 37130, USA


    Bar website

    cafe - $

  10. Toots


    Since 1985, Toot's Restaurants have been serving up good food and fun to millions of hungry customers.

    860 NW Broad St, Murfreesboro, TN 37129, USA


    Bar website

    - $$

  11. Jefferson’s


    Huge juicy burgers, fresh gulf oysters and world famous delicious wings

    1916 E Main St, Murfreesboro, TN 37130, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  12. Logans Roadhouse

    Logans Roadhouse

    We grill up sizzling Southern-inspired flavor using time-honored recipes we’ve collected and perfected over time.

    600 Sam Ridley Pkwy W, Smyrna, TN 37167, USA


    Bar website

    american - bbq - steakhouse - $$

  13. Demos’ Restaurant

    Demos Restaurant

    Exceptional food with authentic ingredients at quality prices.

    1115 NW Broad St, Murfreesboro, TN 37129, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  14. Chuy’s


    Chuy's serves authentic Tex-Mex food in an eclectic atmosphere full of color and personality.

    801 NW Broad St, Murfreesboro, TN 37129, USA


    Bar website

    american - mexican - $$

  15. Sir Pizza

    Sir Pizza

    Our dough is made from a special formula, our sauces are home made, and our cheese comes right from the dairy farms of Wisconsin.

    1902 E Main St, Murfreesboro, TN 37130, USA


    Bar website

    italian - pizza - $$

  16. Alley on Main (Steakhouse)

    Aley on Main Steakhouse

    The Alley was born from a love of food and family. Every meal is fresh made in house from recipes passed down over steaming pots of perfection.

    223 W Main St, Murfreesboro, TN 37130, USA


    Bar website

    italian - $$