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Bob Carpenter Center

Newark, DE

Home of the Delaware 87ers

3.4

N/A

Bob Carpenter Center (map it)
631 S College Ave
Newark, DE 19716


Delaware 87ers website

Bob Carpenter Center website

Year Opened: 1992

Capacity: 5,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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If I Were A Carpenter

In 2013, the Philadelphia 76ers organization bought the defunct Utah Flash of the NBA Development League and moved them to Newark, Delaware.

Yes Garth, Delaware. ("Wayne's World" fans will understand that one.)

And please remember that the town is pronounced New-Ark. Don’t confuse it with Newark, New Jersey.

The team chose the name 87ers to be consistent with the parent organization, as well as to recognize the fact that Delaware was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

87ers is a bit awkward to say, but makes more sense when seen with its logo, which also looks almost identical to the parent team. The team also uses “Sevens” as their nickname, which actually works quite well.

Delaware is not served by many professional sports teams, with only the MiLB Wilmington Blue Rocks playing locally. The 87ers franchise has some real potential in this market.

Acierno Arena at the Bob Carpenter Center opened in 1992 to house the University of Delaware basketball teams. In 2010, a new entrance and other renovations spruced some of the place up a bit. The “Bob,” as it is commonly known, is also a frequent venue for concerts and other events.

3.4

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    4

The south and north concourses each have one open concession stand. These are standard snack bar type stands, with hot dogs for $2.75, Pepsi starting at $3 and $1.75 candy bars. There is nothing special, but if you need a soda, these are your places.

Luckily before you even get far past the arena entrance, you will find a Pit barbecue stand in what appears to be a semi-permanent location. The stand offers a decent variety of food combos. The rotisserie chicken combo is a decently-priced $9.75, and the daily special this day was orange chicken. All combos come with two side items. You can also make your own platter from choosing three side items for $6.25.

Another temporary stand on the south concourse is the UDair Creamery, offering ice cream made only feet away from the arena. This ice cream is extremely fresh and very creamy. Do not pass a chance to get one of these ice creams.

The 87ers have also closed the east concourse and turned it into something called the Players Lounge. For your $5 membership fee, you can watch the game in an adult environment, as well as get your first beer for free. The only real problem is that the lounge keeps the entire concourse from being accessible entirely around the facility.

There is also an enclosed Bob Carpenter Club above the north concourse offering amenities for certain seat holders.

Atmosphere    3

The 87ers use only the large north and south grandstands (20 or so rows each), while covering up the smaller east and west stands. This works well, as the east floor has a kids zone offering free children's activities such as bouncy houses and other interactive gaming that does a good job of not taking away from the basketball action.

The main stands are mostly chair-backed seats, although there are some old-style bleacher sections on the ends of the south section. These are very uncomfortable, so it is recommended to avoid these sections. These bleachers are also the only part of the arena facility that show a great deal of age. There are some seriously rickety railings along these sections.

The 87ers staff is trying to create a fun atmosphere for the casual fan, as well as serious basketball fans. The activities are very similar to the ones presented at the Wells Fargo Center for the parent 76ers. Fun is the operative word.

Neighborhood    3

Newark is a great college town. There are numerous food options on East Main Street that will fill you up before or after a game. There is even a grilled cheese restaurant. Let me repeat that -- there is even a grilled cheese restaurant. Other options, if you do want more than grilled cheese, are Catherine Rooney's Irish Pub and Grotto Pizza.

The major problem is that East Main Street is a long walk from the Bob Carpenter Center. You are more than likely going to need to drive between these locations. There is plenty of inexpensive paid parking offered by the city of Newark.

If you need something closer, there is a TGI Fridays directly across the street. Of course, you can also visit the main UDair Creamery location within walking distance.

Fans    3

The fans are just getting used to the D-League. It will take the fans some time to get used to the ever-revolving rosters from this developmental league.

The crowd did fill in decently and was extremely diverse on the day I visited. There were many groups and families and not as many serious basketball fans, though they were loud.

Maybe the 87ers can get some student involvement and gain some attendance that way, although UD themselves has some of the same issues. Being a bit of a walk from the student housing part of the campus does not have a positive effect on those matters.

Access    5

The Bob Carpenter Center is easy to reach, and is only a couple miles off of Interstate 95. You may have to pay some tolls, although locals will know how to avoid them as much as possible.

Parking is free and plentiful.

Return on Investment    4

The cheapest tickets are $9 to $10.50 for those uncomfortable bleachers. If you choose these, you may want to move later in the game, or your back will not be happy with you later.

Premium seats are $19, with some deals available for other areas as well. Nothing is too expensive and everything seems to be a good value.

Extras    2

The staff of the 87ers is going all out to create atmosphere and include the local community. The children's play area located right off the playing court is unique in its location and seems to be very popular.

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