VMI Keydets Overview

Fast facts

League: NCAA Division I FCS

Head Coach: Danny Rocco

Team Mascot: Moe the Kangaroo

Year Opened: 1962

Capacity: 10000

City / State: Lexington / Virginia

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

Military Classic of the South

Rival Team: The Citadel Bulldogs

The Military Classic of the South takes place each year between The Citadel and VMI. The two schools first met in 1920 making it the 13th oldest rivalry in the FCS. Extra bragging rights were added to the rivalry in 1976 when the winner started taking home the Silver Shako. You won’t want to miss VMI try to halt the Bulldogs 10 game winning streak, so make sure to be in attendance for the Military Classic of the South.

VMI vs Richmond

Rival Team: Richmond Spiders

The rivalry between VMI and nearby Richmond began in 1893. Early on the Keydets dominated winning 12 of the first 14 matches, but since then the Spiders have exacted their revenge and now lead the all-time series 45-40-5. Come out and watch the Keydets narrow the gap when these two Virginia-based rivals square off.

VMI vs William & Mary

Rival Team: William & Mary Tribe

While the Keydets and Tribe haven’t played since 2011, you won’t want to miss it when the longstanding rivalry between VMI and William & Mary is renewed. The rivalry dates back to 1905, and the two teams have 88 times over the years making it one of the Keydets’ oldest and longest running rivalries.

VMI Keydets Tailgate Guide


You’ll find lots of camaraderie as well as pageantry before the game at VMI making tailgating before a Keydets game a fantastic experience. VMI is a military academy meaning that the fan base is very close knit, and as long as you’re wearing Keydets gear, you’ll fit right in. Even if you aren’t wearing VMI colors, you’ll likely receive a friendly welcome as well due to the fact Keydets fans are some of the friendliest around.

One of the must-see parts of the pregame festivities is the Corp of Cadets Parade. The parade takes place three hours before kickoff and is a memorable part of any VMI game day experience. You won’t want to see the cadets march to the stadium in full uniform before the game as it’s quite the sight to behold.

Tailgating and the pregame festivities at VMI are a big part of the game day experience in Lexington, so arrive early and enjoy everything a Keydets pregame has to offer.


Corp of Cadets Parade

The Corp of Cadets Parade starts three hours before kickoff and is a must-see part of the pregame festivities at VMI. Whether you’re a Keydets fan or not you won’t want to miss this time honored traditions during your visit to Lexington.

play Watch video

Where to tailgate

VMI Keydets Stadium Guide

In Game

The city of Lexington, Virginia lives and dies with the Keydets, and it shows on game days as cadets, alumni, and local fans fill the stands of Alumni Memorial Stadium. The people here love this team, and even when they aren’t performing well on the field, you’ll still find a good crowd inside the stadium. One thing that helps create a great atmosphere at every game is that the cadets are required to attend games, meaning you’ll also find a packed student section inside Alumni Memorial Stadium.

Another incredible part of any VMI football game is the pageantry and traditions on display. VMI football games feature several traditions including the Marchdown before the game, the firing of the cannon after every score, and Rat pushups. The pageantry is worth the price of admission all on its own, so enjoy every minute of it during your trip to VMI.

Finally, if you’re taking the kids to the game, take advantage of the Kids Zone. The Kids Zone is an excellent way to keep the young ones entertained throughout the game meaning you won’t have to worry about restless kids during the game.

A VMI football game is an excellent experience for any college football fan, so get your tickets to a Keydets game today.

Things to check out


After every Keydets score, the cannon is fired. The cannon lets everyone in the area know the Keydets just scored, so even if you aren’t at the game you’ll know when VMI put points on the board.

play Watch video

Kids Zone

The Kids Zone is located on the south end of the stadium and features inflatables and other kids activities. If you’re bringing the little ones to the game, then make sure to stop by the Kids Zone.


Get to your seat early as you won’t want to miss the Marchdown. The Marchdown takes place 20 minutes before the game when the Corp of Cadets begins marching on the field, so don’t miss it during your trip to VMI.

play Watch video


Following every Keydets score, the Freshmen, or Rats, do pushups. The pushups are a fun part of every game, so keep an eye out for the Rats after every VMI score.

play Watch video

Fight Songs

  1. VMI Spirit

    Oh, Clear the way, VMI is out today,
    We’re here to win this game;
    Our team will bring us fame,
    In Alma Mater’s name.
    For though the odds be against us we’ll not care.
    You’ll see us fight the same,
    Always the same old Spirit,
    And we’ll triumph once again;
    And though defeat seems certain, it’s the same with VMI.
    Our battle cry is Never Never Die.

    Chorus: For when our line starts to weaken, our backs fail to gain,
    Our ends are so crippled, to win seems in vain;
    The Corps roots the loudest, we’ll yet win the day,
    The team it will rally and fight — fight — fight! RAY!
    We’ll gain through the line and we’ll circle the end,
    Old Red White and Yellow will triumph again;
    The Keydets will fight ’em and never say die,
    That’s the Spirit of VMI.

  2. The Tribute

    See the Corps in grey and the team in red,
    VMI will be heard from today.
    Let “The Spirit” blend with the cheers we send,
    In the tribute we proudly pay.

    For the glory, the fame and the pride of VMI.
    That red, white and yellow will ever be on high
    May the men who strive to uphold her name
    Lead the Keydet charge to set the field aflame,
    Though the foe may be stronger, they’ll hear our battle cry.
    The “WAHOOS” and “GOBBLERS” will see the squadron fly,
    They will fear it, the spirit, the will to win or die,
    For the V…M…I!

VMI Keydets Bars & Restaurants

  1. Muchacho Alegre

    Muchacho Alegre

    For us, mexican isn’t just food, it’s tradition, is state-of-mind, a time of day, a piece of culture, a celebration, a family feast.

    640 N Lee Hwy, Lexington, VA 24450, USA

    Bar website

    american - mexican - $$

  2. Brew Ridge Taps

    Owlz Pub Sand Trap Scorpions Bar Grill

    Great food, good beers, and nice service.

    11 E Nelson St, Lexington, VA 24450, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  3. Salerno


    Every Night is Family Night at Salerno. We offer the largest menu variety of handcrafted Italian food in Lexington. Our Large is Larger, and we happily promote sharing.

    115 S Jefferson St, Lexington, VA 24450, USA

    Bar website

    italian - pizza - $

  4. Frank’s Pizza

    Bellas Pizza of Bristol Pizza Don Vitos Italian Restaurant Pizza Chiefs Place PIzza Pizza Patriot Pub & Grub Pizza Robertos Pizza Ranias Restaurant Pizza The Prescott Pizza Pleasant City Wood Fired Grille Pauls Deli Restaurant Wildcat Angelas Ristorante Pizzeria

    Amazingly flavorful pizza and excellent service.

    511 E Nelson St, Lexington, VA 24450, USA

    Bar website

    italian - pizza - $

  5. Original Italian Pizza

    Pizza Rock Falls Tavern Humboldt Steel Corp Restaurant Bar

    Great Italian food and excellent service.

    2055 Magnolia Ave, Buena Vista, VA 24416, USA

    Bar website

    italian - pizza - $$

  6. Niko’s Grille

    Nikos Grille

    We have the best food around and an atmosphere to match.

    167 S Main St, Lexington, VA 24450, USA

    Bar website

    american - european - $$

  7. Beameup BBQ & Cafe

    Grannys Home Cooking BBQ Flying Pig Moes Original Bar B Que

    We smoke all of our meats like pork ribs,brisket and pork butts.Everything in our resturant is made daily fresh and homemade.

    411 Lime Kiln Rd, Lexington, VA 24450, USA

    Bar website

    bbq - $$

  8. The Palms

    The Palms

    A Local Institution for Classic American Fare.

    101 W Nelson St, Lexington, VA 24450, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  9. Macado’s


    Popular for its eclectic ambiance of cartoon, antique, and local nostalgic decor, as well as its wide array of hearty yet modestly-priced sandwiches, subs, and entrees.

    30 N Main St, Lexington, VA 24450, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  10. Pure Eats

    Pure Eats

    Pure Eats is dedicated to providing the highest quality, locally sourced food in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.

    107 N Main St, Lexington, VA 24450, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$