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Official Review by Sean Rowland, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Playing in tiny 1,650-seat Alumni Gymnasium is Rider University, home of the Broncs. Fans have helped create a decent home court for the basketball team as they usually pack this cozy gym and the students, known as the Broncs' Zoo, make it a tough place to play.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Unfortunately, with an arena this small, your food options are quite limited. It's actually tricky to find where the food is as I could not figure out where people were getting those aluminum-foil wrapped snacks. Not until the second half, did I see a sign on one of the walls pointing towards "Concessions", which was tucked into a corner of the gym, inside a small, door-less room. A table offers five items: hot dogs, pretzels, chips, cookies and a beverage (water or soda). In addition, the main foyer between the arena and student center features a small Starbucks.
The gym has much more of a high school feel to it, with the exception being the additional banners and advertisements. The 1,650 seats are mainly comprised of two sets of bleachers on the sides of the court. There is also some end seating behind one of the baskets and this area is oddly tucked into the wall and doesn't seem to provide the best prospective. Students usually sit on the left side when you first enter and be ware that most fans are here by the time the game starts. Arrive early so you don't have to go through the hastle of scoping out a seat while the game is going on. Also, general admission is first-come, first-served and on packed nights, navigating the seats for an open set is not easy. Overall, the building has a good atmosphere and it is a tough place to try and win a road game in.
Rider is located in Lawrenceville, NJ a suburb about 10-15 minutes Northeast of Trenton. The campus is in a quiet section of town, near the Green Acres Country Club. There are a few food options, but likely the best is one that offers a classic college food item, the Sub. Tastee Sub Shop, is conveniently located only a few minutes from campus, down the road on Route 206 and offers some terrific subs with really fresh bread. The #3 (Proscuttini, Cappacola and Cheese) is excellent.
The student section, known as the "Broncs Zoo", can be loud and brings several different chants (some that are not fit for the ears of young ones). They bring the atmosphere up a level, however they are mostly absent during winter break, as is the case at most schools. There is a variety of fans at the game, but all of them are paying attention to the action on the floor and are mostly there to cheer on the Broncs.
Rider University's campus is easily accessible right off of I-95. Getting off at Exit 7A and onto Rt. 206 South puts you a couple minutes from the arena and it's best if you use the South Entrance to campus. Alumni Gym is on the right with plenty of open parking.
Bathrooms are tight and there is only one each for Men and Women. It's also tough to get up during the game because you have to walk on the sideline, which is not permitted while the game is ongoing.
The price is definitely right here as parking is free and general admission tickets are $7 ($12 for seats with backs). Though, your food options are limited, it's only $1 or $2 for all the options mentioned above. The quality of basketball is pretty good too as they play in the low-mid major MAAC, a conference that typically sends a dangerous team to the NCAA Tournament.
The Rider Broncs Hall of Fame is located in between the Gym and the Student Center as it features a decent amount of athletes with informative plaques for each inductee.
Follow all of Sean's journeys at Stadium & Arena Visits.
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