Monarchs Overview

Fast facts

League: NCAA Football

Head Coach: Ricky Rahne

Team Mascot: Big Blue

Year Opened: 1836

Capacity: 21944

City / State: Norfolk / Virginia

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

UNC-Charlotte and Marshall

Rival Team: Charlotte 49ers, Marshall Thundering Herd

Having moved to Conference USA from the Colonial Conference in 2014 Old Dominion is still developing its major in-conference rivalries. However, UNC-Charlotte and Marshall have emerged as the frontrunners. If you’re coming to Norfolk for a game, then target one of these matchups to experience some of the better Monarchs game day experiences.

Monarchs Tailgate Guide


Despite being a relatively new football program Old Dominion has a very strong tailgate scene. On game days you’ll find fans littered all around campus dressed in slate blue and silver drinking, eating, and having fun as they prepare to cheer on the Monarchs to victory.

There is a strong sense of camaraderie between Monarchs fans, which you can see very clearly on game days. The fans here all are very welcoming to everyone regardless of your team affiliation, as Southern Hospitality is on full display when attending a game in Norfolk.

There is also plenty of Monarch’s pride on display as before the game you’ll be entertained by both the band and cheer team, who work everyone up into a frenzy. Put on your slate blue and silver and head on down to S.B. Ballard Stadium to experience one of the hidden gems of college football.


Big Blue Statue

Located in the Webb Center, this statue of the school’s lion mascot Big Blue is only a short walk from S.B. Ballard Stadium. On your way to the stadium stop by and snap a picture with this statue and don’t forget to rub its belly to give the Monarchs good luck on the field.

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Pregame Pep Rally

You won’t want to miss the band and cheer team’s pregame pep rally, which is an excellent way to get into the game day mood. The pep rally takes place a couple hours before the game and is a must-see for anyone tailgating at ODU.

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Kaufman Mall

The grassy area offers the perfect place to set up a tailgate. The lots around S.B. Ballard Stadium are donor lots, so Kaufman Mall offers the perfect place for those who don’t have a parking pass to tailgate. Here you’ll be able to set up a tent and grill and get in on the tailgate atmosphere that makes attending a Monarchs football game such a great experience.

Where to tailgate

Monarchs Stadium Guide

In Game

Old Dominion is one of the newest programs in NCAA football. However, that hasn’t stopped the fans from showing up in full force to support their team. Since the program was restarted in 2009, the fans have sold out every home game the Monarchs have played making them one of the best-supported teams in the country.

The rabid Old Dominion fans fill a packed S.B. Ballard Stadium creating an excellent atmosphere that is unique to Old Dominion. You’ll hear the fans loud and proud throughout the game regardless of the score, as Old Dominion football has quickly become the most popular sports team in Norfolk. Join in on the sea of slate blue and silver and cheer on the Monarchs to victory with thousands of other fans when attending an Old Dominion game.

The team plays at historic S.B. Ballard Stadium, which opened in 1936 as home to the original Monarchs football program. You’ll be able to feel the aura of the stadium the old stadium that makes you feel like you’re somewhere special where history could be made at any moment.

You’ll have a blast taking in a game at historic S.B. Ballard Stadium where the fans are among some of the most dedicated in the country and provide an excellent home field advantage for the Monarchs.

Things to check out

Charles the Monarch

Charles the Monarch is a labradoodle that looks just like a lion and can be seen at all Old Dominion games. Keep your eyes peeled for this famous dog when attending an ODU game to get the most out of your game day experience

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Monarch Marching Band

The 200 member band was formed in 2008 in response to the creation of the football program. The band has become a staple of game days since then pumping up the crowd with their renditions of the school’s fight songs and their excellent halftime performances. Make sure to stay glued to your seat at halftime to watch their outstanding show.

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Big Blue

Big Blue is a lion mascot that can be found at every Old Dominion home football game. He is a fan favorite due to his wild antics and is sure to put a smile on your face when attending a game at S.B. Ballard Stadium.

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Fight Songs

  1. Fight, Old Dominion

    Fight song

    Fight, Old Dominion,  Your courage roars!
    Fight, Old Dominion, Your valor soars!
    Blue and Silver worn with pride,
    We’ve got the Spirit right here on our side! Hail, Old Dominion, Your courage roars! Hail, Old Dominion, Your valor soars!
    Old Dominion
    GO BIG BLUE!  
    Our Victory Lives on in YOU!

  2. Victory for Old Dominion

    Football fight song

    Victory for Old Dominion
    Never know defeat!
    Fight hard for Old Dominion!
    Tremble at our feet!  Touchdown!
    for Old Dominion Silver and the blue!  Onward to victory!
    For the sons of ODU!  Victory for Old Dominion
    Never know defeat! Fight hard for Old Dominion!
    Tremble at our feet!  Touchdown!
    for Old Dominion Silver and the blue!  Onward to victory!
    O! D! U!

  3. Old Dominion, Hail

    Alma mater

    Hail to thee our Alma Mater
    Blue and Silver, hail!  By the ocean’s billows flying
    See them proudly sail! University young and strong,
    We lift our voices in this song,
    This our Song of Alma Mater,
    Old Dominion, hail!

Monarchs Bars & Restaurants

  1. Gershwin’s


    Gershwin's is a 1930's themed bistro, featuring live entertainment including classic American standards like Sinatra and Cole Porter.

    332 Granby St, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  2. Grace O’Malley’s Irish Pub & Restaurant

    Grace OMalleys Irish Pub

    Grace O’Malley’s is locally-owned and family-run, and offers an authentic Irish pub experience reflecting the heritage and experiences of its owners.

    211 Granby St, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA


    Bar website

    european - $$

  3. AJ Gators Sports Bar & Grill

    AJ Gators Sports Bar Grill

    An amazing sports bar that has a nice staff, super cool drinks, plus it's surrounded with TV's.

    435 Monticello Ave, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA


    Bar website

    american - sportsbar - $$

  4. Red Dog Saloon

    Red Dog Saloon

    Food. Fun. Football

    1421 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA 23517, USA


    Bar website

    american - sportsbar - $$

  5. 37th and Zen

    Thirty Seventh and zen

    A local favorite for food, live music and enjoying good friends.

    1083 W 37th St, Norfolk, VA 23508, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  6. Tap House Grill

    Tap House Grill beer

    Great food at a tremendous value, big burgers, pastas, local fresh fish and seafood, we will put our Crabcake up against anybodies!

    931 W 21st St, Norfolk, VA 23517, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  7. Edge ODU

    Edge ODU

    An awesome college bar that has a great selection of drinks and cool staff!

    4814 Hampton Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23508, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  8. The Wave

    The Wave

    The WAVE is the HOTTEST Dance Scene in the 757, we offer the best diversity of any club in this area!

    4107 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA 23508, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  9. Mojo Bones

    Mojo Bones

    Whether you like hard smoked and hand pulled pork shoulder in a tangy vinegar sauce or slow smoked brisket sliced thick and grilled with hickory sauce, MOJO BONES has it for you.

    4502 Monarch Way, Norfolk, VA 23508, USA


    Bar website

    bbq - $$

  10. Benny Damato’s

    Benny Damatos pizza

    Benny's is Home of The Virginia Slice, Serving New York-style inspired pizza, typically served to order, by the slice from a 28” pie.

    131 Granby St, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $

  11. The Grilled Cheese Bistro

    The Grilled Cheese Bistro

    The Grilled Cheese Bistro is a beautifully cozy eatery offering tasty comfort foods, house-made beverages, craft beer and wine.

    345 Granby St, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  12. Big Easy

    Big Easy

    A place where seafood lovers can find a traditional plate of flounder, scallops or crab but without the fancy ingredients and inflated prices.

    111 W Tazewell St, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  13. Todd Jurich’s Bistro

    Todd Jurichs Bistro

    At Todd Jurich's Bistro, you will enjoy five-star cuisine and world-class wines in a relaxed atmosphere.

    150 W Main St #100, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$$

  14. Streats


    Streats is a place to enjoy international street foods in a relaxed social setting. Creations combine the best locally harvested and sustainable choices along with unique and innovative international ingredients.

    915 W 21st St a, Norfolk, VA 23517, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  15. Cogan’s Pizza

    Cogans Pizza

    Football is back and what goes better with your favorite drink and kicking back watching your favorite game? Pizza, of course.

    1901 Colonial Ave, Norfolk, VA 23517, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $$

  16. Small’s Smokehouse + Oyster Bar

    Smalls Smokehouse and Oyster Bar

    We love Norfolk, we love BBQ, and we love to nosh. We're combining our love of these things and opened Small's Smokehouse + Oyster Bar at 2700 Hampton Blvd., Norfolk.

    2700 Hampton Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23517, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  17. Doumars Cones & Barbecue

    Doumars Cones and Barbecue

    We create our own creamy shakes, ice cream sundaes and more just the way they were made when your grandparents were kids.

    1919 Monticello Ave, Norfolk, VA 23517, USA


    Bar website

    bbq - cafe - $

  18. Fellini’s


    Still the first name in gourmet pizzas and irresistible salads. European..casual, warm and flavorful. Local favorite for over 21 years.

    3910 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA 23508, USA


    Bar website

    italian - pizza - $$

  19. University Pizza

    University Pizza

    Welcome to University Pizza, a locally owned restaurant specializing in fresh made to order Pizza, Subs, Salads, Wings and a large variety of beers.

    5008 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA 23508, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $

  20. The Dirty Buffalo

    The Dirty Buffalo

    Enjoy some delicious comfort food, watch some games, and learn what it means to become a part of The Dirty Buffalo family.

    4012 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA 23508, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  21. Chow Restaurant and Bar

    Chow Restaurant and Bar

    Here at Chow, we celebrate the old traditions of food and Southern hospitality that have long been a staple in our local, state, and regional areas.

    5103 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA 23508, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  22. LeGrand Kitchen

    LeGrand Kitchen

    Inspired by good food and rock ’n’ roll. Chef-owner-musician Stephen Marsh creates simple dishes sourced from food at peak season from the freshest purveyors.

    4515 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA 23508, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  23. Del Vecchios

    Del Vecchios pizza

    At Del Vecchio's we seek out the finest ingredients available, and deliver them fresh. Our pizzas are prepared with passion, and baked to perfection for your enjoyment!

    1080 W 47th St, Norfolk, VA 23508, USA

    Bar website

    italian - pizza - $

  24. Perfectly Frank

    Perfectly Frank hotdogs

    Perfectly frank, a "one size fits all" type of eatery!

    4408 Monarch Way, Norfolk, VA 23508, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  25. Hair of the Dog Eatery

    Hair of the Dog Eatery

    Locally owned and operated Hair of the dog serves up a delightful spin on classic comfort foods and traditional breakfast offerings that will keep you coming back for more.

    4820 Hampton Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23508, USA


    Bar website

    american - $