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American Bank Center

Corpus Christi, TX

Home of the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders

3.0

2.6

American Bank Center (map it)
1901 N Shoreline Blvd
Corpus Christi, TX 78401


Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders website

American Bank Center website

Year Opened: 1967

Capacity: 8,500

There are no tickets available at this time.

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The Islanders Sleek Home Court Advantage

The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Islanders have fielded a men's basketball team since 1999, and have called the jewel of Corpus Christi Bay, the American Bank Center, their home since 2004. In recent years, the Islanders have given their fans quite a bit to cheer about, and have enjoyed a limited amount of success.

The team stormed through the Southland Conference in 2007, and earned a berth in that year's NCAA Tournament, the first in team history; a #15 seed that year, the team ultimately bowed out after a close contest in the opening round. The Islanders have yet to make another appearance in the Big Dance, but have made three consecutive appearances in the College Invitational Tournament (CIT).

While the American Bank Center does not have the history, heritage, or legacy of some other storied arenas in college basketball, it is one of the best facilities (location-wise) in the country.

3.0

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    2

The American Bank Center normally has a reliable selection of food and drink options, with nothing too outlandish or out of the box. While things get scaled down quite a bit for Islanders games, you will still find standard fare such as hot dogs, popcorn, pretzels, soda, and beer, which is more than enough variety for an NCAA basketball game, and all items are easily affordable.

The biggest issue at the American Bank Center during Islanders games is the number of concessions stands that are open. The regular food stands are only open on the ground floor, and on the second floor only the Bud Light Lounge is open (which just serves alcoholic beverages), so fans are really limited in their choices.

Some highlights at the American Bank Center include Dogfather's New York Italian Deli stand on the first floor. Now in its permanent location near the fan shop, this stand offers New York Style hot dogs (basically larger than average dogs), corn dogs, nachos, and soda. For those with a sweet tooth, another highlight is the Ultimate Cheesecake Bakery; this stand near the main entrance has a variety of sweet treats, including cheesecake of course.

Atmosphere    3

The American Bank Center is honestly quite cavernous, and this is especially noticeable during weekend games. Despite the best efforts of the fans, it is just not feasible to fill the arena up on a game by game basis, especially when the matchup isn't against a major rival or a ranked opponent (the venue is configured for close to 9,000 attendees).

Despite the low attendance, you can't help but enjoy your time at the American Bank Center. The Islanders are traditionally a fun, athletic, high energy team, and the fans who do attend are passionate and boisterous about their team. The seating arrangement lends itself to great sight lines, and there are also the traditional contests and games during time outs and other stoppages in play, which adds to the atmosphere.

The Islanders Basketball Band is lively, the Dance Team and cheerleaders are always fun to watch, and the Islanders mascot Izzy (think a walking Tiki in board shorts and a tank top) is sure to delight younger fans.

Neighborhood    4

The neighborhood is the best selling point for the American Bank Center. The arena is in the heart of Corpus Christi's downtown, and is in the middle of the city's convention center, so there is always something going on besides the Islanders game.

The SEA (Sports, Entertainment, & Arts) District is next to the American Bank Center, and includes the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, as well as the Art Museum of South Texas. In addition, Hurricane Alley Waterpark and Whataburger Field, home of the AA Corpus Christi Hooks, are both within walking distance. Brewster Street Icehouse, a popular watering hole, and the Concrete Street Amphitheater, arguably the city's best live-music venue, are also popular attractions nearby.

Corpus Christi Bay is the real attraction; it is literally right across the street from the American Bank Center. Seeing as how the Texas Gulf Coast has almost year-round sunshine, boating, fishing, swimming, and just general enjoyment are all simply a stone's throw away throughout the Islanders season.

Fans    2

Weekend day games are probably not the best gauge to see the true passion that fans and alumni have for this team and this arena. However, while the crowd may be at less than capacity, the fans who do show up truly support the team, and are engaged from the opening tip to the final buzzer.

While it is disappointing to see so little energy from the student section, that might be the case only for certain games or at certain times of the year. In years past, the Islanders fan base has been one of the conference's most vocal and most supportive, so light showings at some matchups may be an aberration.

Access    4

The American Bank Center is located in the heart of Corpus Christi's downtown, and is right off of its main thoroughfare, Shoreline Boulevard. This picturesque drive takes you parallel to Corpus Christi Bay toward the arena, and is accessible right off of I-37 and/or Highway 181 (depending on which direction you are traveling from).

Parking is plentiful at the arena and in areas adjacent to the American Bank Center. If you get here early enough, you can even grab yourself one of the parking spots along the beach or next to the fishing pier.

Return on Investment    4

Tickets for Islanders games start at $8 and run up to $25; the higher end tickets can get you on the court or on one of the baselines. For the chance to see Division I basketball up close and personal, this is really a heck of a deal.

When you factor in the low cost for parking (which could be free depending on where you park and what time of day the game is) and the relatively low cost for concessions (you can expect to spend $5 to $20 per person depending on what you get) it is a very cost effective and budget friendly way to get in some college hoops at a great facility.

Extras    2

There is not much in the way of bells or whistles at Islanders games at the American Bank Center. The draw is the team, the city, and the beautiful facility - its huge windows look out onto Corpus Christi Bay, and are truly something special on the second floor. The nearly year-long temperate climate, the beach, and the picturesque Texas Gulf Coast are the real selling points at the American Bank Center.

Final Thoughts

The Islanders are a fun team to watch, and the American Bank Center is a pretty nice facility to watch them in. Also, Corpus Christi itself is an underrated city that is the perfect home for both. If you find yourself in the city and are looking for something to do, you could do worse than spend some time courtside at a Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi basketball game.

Follow Eric Moreno's Stadium Journey on Twitter @EricMoreno6477.

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Crowd Reviews

Conventions and College Hoops

Total Score: 2.57

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 2
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 1
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 1

Corpus Christi is home to one AA baseball team (Corpus Christi Hooks) and one Division I sports program (Texas A&M Corpus Christi). So, the Islanders basketball program is one of the highest level of sport played in the city of 300,000.

The Islanders launched their Division I sports program for the first time in 1999. They moved to the American Bank Center after it was renovated in 2004. The Islanders share the arena with the City of Corpus Christi.

The American Bank Center has been the city convention center since 1967, and was renovated in 2004. The stadium hosts many events, mainly concerts and sporting events. Since, the 2004 renovation was a total overhaul, the stadium is very modern, with all the latest sound, lighting, and video technology.

The Islanders men went to the NCAA tournament in 2007.

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Local Food & Drink

Executive Surf Club  (map it!)

306 N Chaparral St

Corpus Christi, TX 78401

(361) 884-7873

http://www.waterstmarketcc.com/executive-surf-club/#surf-about

Dos Comales  (map it!)

227 N Water St

Corpus Christi, TX 78401

(361) 885-7702

Brewster Street Icehouse  (map it!)

1724 N Tancahua St

Corpus Christi, TX 78401

(361) 884-2739

http://www.brewsterstreet.net/

Local Entertainment

Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History  (map it!)

1900 N Chaparral St

Corpus Christi, TX 78401

(361) 826-4667

https://www.ccmuseum.com/

Art Museum of South Texas  (map it!)

1902 N Shoreline Blvd

Corpus Christi, TX 78401

(361) 825-3500

http://www.artmuseumofsouthtexas.org/

Hurricane Alley  (map it!)

702 E Port Ave

Corpus Christi, TX 78401

(361) 883-9283

http://www.hurricanealleycc.com/

Concrete Street Amphitheater  (map it!)

700 Concrete St

Corpus Christi, TX 78401

(361) 884-8085

http://www.concretestreet.net/

Lodging

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