The Definitive List: CAA Basketball Stadiums…Ranked

Basketball season is in full swing, your boys in Green and Gold are 7-3, and life is good heading into the game eleven @ #15 TCU this Friday. With final exams in full swing on campus (God bless your soul if you’re a current student reading this), we thought we’d have some fun with this post. Remember when we ranked the CAA football stadiums? Well guess what — it’s time to rank the CAA’s basketball stadiums.

Now, to compile this list we used a very scientific method, taking into account age of the stadium, player surveys, stadium capacity, design specifications, exhaustive fan experience surveys, and our general feel for how we think they should be ranked. So with that process in mind, no one can get upset…right? Roll Tribe Roll.

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10. Alumni Gym (Elon Phoenix)

  • Location: Elon, NC
  • Opened: 1949
  • Capacity: 1,585
  • Construction Cost: Unavailable

WMSB Take: First place goes to…okay, just kidding. Last place goes to Elon. I mean, a capacity of 1,585 — really? To be fair, this is the last season the Phoenix will play in a high school-style gym, as they will move to a brand new 5,400 seat stadium in 2018. And the concept video looks awesome. Say goodbye to grand ole Alumni Gym (amen).

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9. TD Arena (Charleston Cougars)

  • Location: Charleston, SC
  • Opened: 2008
  • Capacity: 5,100
  • Construction Cost: $52.3 million

WMSB Take: Lower bowl with a small upper bowl. Average seating capacity — your run of the mill college basketball stadium. But hey, Charleston is nice, right?

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8. Daskalakis Athletic Center (Drexel Dragons)

  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Opened: 1975
  • Capacity: 2,509
  • Construction Cost: Unavailable

WMSB Take: The second smallest stadium in the CAA in terms of seating capacity, the “DAC” does fairly well for itself. It does sport some odd-looking overheard lights, but the floor-wide Dragon is pretty cool. I mean, what other team is called the Dragons? Have to differentiate yourself from the pack any time you can, I suppose.

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7. Convocation Center (JMU Dukes)

  • Location: Harrisonburg, VA
  • Opened: 1982
  • Capacity: 6,426
  • Construction Cost: Unavailable

WMSB Take: One of the…let’s say stranger(?) designs we’ve seen, the Convocation Center’s seats shoot straight up on both sides of the court. Little to no seating is available behind the hoops, especially if you take into account the band who’s always at one end. However, when packed, it can get loud — and the band adds a nice touch to the intimate setting. And like Elon, JMU also has plans for a brand new 8,000 seat stadium in its future.

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6. Hofstra Arena (Hofstra Pride)

  • Location: Hempstead, NY
  • Opened: 2000
  • Capacity: 5,023
  • Construction Cost: $21.6 million

WMSB Take: Another curious design — have you ever seen corner pocket seating, such as those that exist in Hofstra Arena? Look closely, you’ll find them. But we don’t dislike it, ranking it as a middle-tier CAA stadium.

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5. Bob Carpenter Center (Delaware Blue Hens)

  • Location: Newark, DE
  • Opened: 1992
  • Capacity: 5,100
  • Construction Cost: $20.5 million

WMSB Take: Can someone tell me again how Delaware was able to host the #9 Notre Dame Irish a week ago? What I would do for an opponent like that in Williamsburg…but I digress. Watching the game live was awesome, as the Carpenter Center was absolutely rocking — especially as the Blue Hens held strong against the Irish in the first half. If you haven’t seen pictures from the game, we suggest you check out this one here. This place can be deafening when packed.

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4. Matthews Arena (Northeastern Huskies)

  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Opened: 1910
  • Capacity: 5,066
  • Construction Cost: Unavailable

WMSB Take: We can’t do this Arena justice without noting its historical significance: “Renovated several times, it is the oldest indoor ice hockey arena still being used for hockey — and is the oldest multi-purpose athletic building still in use in the world. It opened in 1910 on what is now the east end of Northeastern University’s campus, and is currently owned by the university. It is the original home of the National Hockey League (NHL) Boston Bruins — the only team of the NHL’s Original Six whose original home arena still exists for the sport of ice hockey at any level of competition” (Wikipedia). Are you kidding? Despite its age, Matthews Arena has plenty to like, and is also the only CAA stadium that can convert into a hockey rink. Awesome.

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3. Kaplan Arena (William & Mary Tribe)

  • Location: Williamsburg, VA
  • Opened: 1971
  • Capacity: 11,300
  • Construction Cost: $32.7 million

WMSB Take: Checking in as the largest venue in the CAA in terms of seating capacity, Kaplan Arena was built at a time when the Tribe was thinking of making moves to big-time basketball conferences (cough ACC cough). While seldom, if ever, sold out nowadays, Kaplan faithful remain true to their Green and Gold. In fact, just yesterday, W&M extended its home court non-conference win streak to 23 games, which is good enough for the seventh-longest active streak in the entire country. Like others, W&M is also another CAA school that plans to renovate or tear down/re-create Kaplan within the next eight years, as a part of its impressive 10 Year Athletics Plan, released in 2015.

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2. Trask Coliseum (UNCW Seahawks)

  • Location: Wilmington, NC
  • Opened: 1977
  • Capacity: 5,200
  • Construction Cost: Unavailable

WMSB Take: Maybe we’re beholden to recency bias, with the Seahawks having seemingly dominated the CAA the last couple of years under upstart Head Coach Kevin Keatts (who has since left to NC State). Or maybe its simply due to the ridiculous overflow of UNCW fans on the online sports boards, but Trask does create an intimidating environment for opposing teams. Dub nation has been known to get a little rowdy, and Trask Coliseum is no exception.

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1. SECU Arena (Towson Tigers)

  • Location: Towson, MD
  • Opened: 2013
  • Capacity: 5,200
  • Construction Cost: $85 million (in 2016 dollars)

WMSB Take: The newest of all basketball stadiums in the CAA, Towson has done an incredible job with its new stadium. Really the model for what CAA teams looking to build new homes should strive for, SECU Arena is as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside. Not the biggest stadium in the world, no, but we think its the perfect one for a team in our division — complete with an updated floor, two levels of seating, and an HD video board. Hats off to you, Towson. Well done.

4 thoughts on “The Definitive List: CAA Basketball Stadiums…Ranked

  1. I believe Delaware got ND to play there as a favor. Brey (current ND coach) previously coached at UD. Moreover, the new UD coach was recently an asst. at ND.

  2. We should investigate if the two-level arenas create a divided audience that tends to diminish crowd fervor. I have no idea if this is true but we could find out just by gauging existing buildings for their reputations for “spirit.”

  3. I would recommend putting together an unbiased list if you’d like to grow your viewership. Charleston at #9 is embarrassing for you and everyone reading this. Good luck boss.

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