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Official Review by Scott Salomon, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
One of the great things about college basketball is the atmosphere. If you are looking for a great college atmosphere, visit the BankUnited Center in Miami, home of the Hurricanes.
Everywhere you look, you'll see spirit and enthusiasm. The 'Canes fans “rock the BUC", as the locals like to say. The student section is filled with enthusiastic undergraduates and the remainder of the arena is filled with basketball fans of all ages, rooting their hearts out. The local fans love every minute of their Hurricane games, especially against the national powerhouses that regularly visit during ACC play.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Miami has what they call their Full Court Fare. They offer everything from Cuban delights to pizza to traditional hot dogs and chicken fingers. They have plenty of food to offer their fans and the prices are reasonable. You have to try an arepa when you come to South Florida, and the ones offered at BUC are genuine and delicious. They are also fairly inexpensive. Also, try the cinnamon roasted pecans which are a southern treasure.
The only deterrent is they serve Papa John's Pizza. Papa John's is based out of Louisville and is a major supporter of the Louisville Cardinal program, which is one of the new ACC foes of the Hurricanes. Louisville also defeated the Canes in the Russell Athletic Bowl in 2013.
The games I visited were superb and the place was really jumping. Even when Miami is seemingly out of the game from the onset, the 'Canes fans do not leave early and they do not discredit their home team. They also assist in their team's rallies by making noise and generally being supportive.
The arena is on the campus of the University of Miami and is very nice. There is nothing to worry about when attending a game on this campus. Security is really tight and the fans are gentle. This is a friendly arena in which to attend a game. The UM is in a friendly part of Miami that offers a lot of diverse food options around the stadium. Shake Shack and Big Cheese Pizza are two of the most popular local haunts for students. The new Rathskeller is also quite a place to have a meal or a beer after the game.
'Canes fans seem to come out when the chips are down. Even if Miami is not favored to win, the student sections are still packed and the arena is jumping. It did not hurt that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, James Jones and Kobe Bryant were on hand for one of the games I attended. Wade put on a jam session at halftime to electrify the crowd.
Traffic is horrendous in getting to the stadium for the midweek tilts, but if you can attend a weekend game, there is no problem. Remember, you are still driving in Miami during the week, during rush hour. There is little worse than that.
There are not a lot of tickets to go around, as the arena is not that big. However, tickets are always available outside the arena from sellers, and the prices are fairly reasonable. The face value of a Miami basketball game is one of the best deals in town.
Come to Miami and experience a basketball game and take in the South Florida culture. Experience Little Havana and the culture of the Latin population. Further, South Beach after the game brings on a life of its own and creates a new world for those that have never been. The nightclubs and party scene on South Beach are second to none.
Member Review by profan9
Overshadowed by basketball powerhouses Duke and North Carolina, and overshadowed by their own tumultuous football program, the Miami Hurricanes Men's Basketball Program chugs along. Upon moving to the ACC in 2004, the Hurricanes have been looking for their place in a basketball-mad conference filled with perennial National Championship competitors. Finishing only .500 in conference play one year, the Hurricanes struggle in all senses of the word. However, even before that, Miami only boasts one regular season conference title, in which they tied for first and made it to the Sweet Sixteen.
Hurricanes basketball has actually come a long way. The program was shut down in 1971 due to poor attendance and inadequate facilities. The Canes made their resurgence for the 1985 season and eventually joined the Big East for the 1991 season. Since then, Hurricanes basketball has plodded along, eventually leaving the Big East for the ACC. In 2003, the University of Miami opened their own basketball facility on campus, which was eventually named the BankUnited Center. This facility answered all questions about a proper facility and was built with a modest attendance in mind.
Although great success has not been found in Coral Gables, the program continues and the die-hard fans continue to support their team, and the measuring stick for success is merely a berth in the NCAA tournament.
5813 Ponce De Leon Blvd
Coral Gables, FL 33146
6915 Red Rd
Coral Gables, FL 33143
1450 S Dixie Hwy
Coral Gables, FL 33146
8080 SW 67th Ave
Miami, FL 33143
1306 Stanford Dr
Coral Gables, FL 33146
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