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Official Review by Paul Swaney, Stadium Journey Co-Founder
Calihan Hall is the home to the Detroit Titans men's and women's basketball teams. Opened in 1952, Calihan Hall was re-named in honor of All-American Bob Calihan in 1977. The arena holds 8,295 at capacity with rows rising high to provide both great views, and a loud environment when the facility draws a crowd.
The arena has been home to great players such as Dave DeBusschere, Terry Tyler, and John Long. Some will think of Dick Vitale when they think of the Detroit Titans. The former head coach and college basketball broadcasting legend, led the team to the NCAA Tournament in 1977, and had the floor dedicated in his honor on December 5th, 2011.
The Detroit Titans have competed in the Horizon League since 1980. They have made three appearances in the NCAA tournament in that time (1998, 1999, and 2012).
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".
You'll find nothing but the basics at the three concession stands inside Calihan Hall. Hot dog ($3), bratwurst ($4), Polish sausage ($4), Bosco sticks (cheese or pepperoni, $3.50/$4), pretzel ($3), nachos ($4), and popcorn ($2) are on the menu. Go for the Polish sausage which is rather tasty, but none of it is especially memorable, and most prices have increased slighty since our last visit during the 2011-2012 season. Beverages include fountain Coke products ($3/$5), bottles of Powerade ($3), water ($2), or coffee ($2).
This is a great old facility, but there isn't a whole lot of energy when you go to see a game. The lower section features seven rows of red plastic bleacher seating. My preference would be to sit in the upper section where they have classic wooden stadium seats. The lower four rows (A-D) are below the inner concourse and offer the most uninterrupted view of the game. The perfect seat would be in section 12, at center court, facing both benches.
The best part about the upper seating section is that the rows are elevated so that the person in front of you will only obstruct your view if they are standing. Combined with average leg room, these are very comfortable seats, especially for a facility more than half a century old. Be careful not to sit too high up if you're behind the baskets (sections 15-17 and 7-9) as the banners hanging from the rafters will partially obstruct your view of the scoreboard.
Look for the retired numbers of Bob Miller (#25), Bob Calihan (#17), Dave DeBusschere (#22), Terry Tyler (#44), John Long (#50), and Rashad Phillips (#3), the school's all-time leading scorer.
The small pep band, numbering fewer than 20, does little to add to the atmosphere, and the very large cheerleading squad doesn't bring any noticeable energy either.
There isn't very much in the immediate area, and certainly nothing that would be considered walkable. You'll find mostly fast food restaurants, gas stations, and abandoned buildings. If you venture away from Livernois Avenue, you'll find colonial style brick homes in the neighborhood.
If you are looking to eat in nearby, then drive about two miles to 1917 American Bistro, a small restaurant offering appetizers, steaks, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, and blackened or Cajun-style fish. The sides of smashed potatoes and spinach are great. The service is very friendly.
The student section is less than impressive, situated on the bleachers behind the basket near the visiting team's bench. A section that small doesn't deserve a nickname, but they have one (Section 313 in honor of the area code where the school is located). I would re-brand it as section 19, for the number of students who actually show up. To their credit, they are ardent and true to their team.
The rest of the crowd excels at sitting, other than a few behind the Detroit bench who are likely friends or family of players and coaches. This is a relaxed crowd where you can sit back and enjoy the basketball on the floor.
Parking is free and there is plenty in front of Calihan Hall or near the Titan Field, home of the UDM soccer team.
The concourses are very narrow, so you could have some trouble moving about if there is a crowd that even half meets the facility capacity. Restrooms are passable, but also a bit on the small side, and a little outdated. During my most recent visit, restrooms were not very clean and smelled somewhat.
Floor seats are only $15, as are the upper chairback seats. General admission seating is $10, and on most nights you should be able to sit just about anywhere you like regardless of your ticket. Students are admitted free, and children and seniors receive a $4 discount on general admission seats, or $5 off lower and reserved seats. The food is slightly below average, the parking is free, and the tickets are certainly reasonable. It's a bit of a mixed bag but overall, you will get what you pay for, and top dollar for one person would cost you less than $30.
I love the old chairback wooden seats, and would certainly have season tickets if I lived in the immediate area. While this is not an electric college basketball environment on most nights, it is a comfortable old gym with a lot of charm.
One of my favorite banners, or at least one of the most unique that I have seen hangs behind the basket nearest the opponent's bench. It's the only fencing national championship banner that I have ever noticed in a college basketball arena, and it hangs in honor of the 1972 championship fencing team. Who knew?
Finally an extra point for the great job that the school does in honoring some its best. The Willie Green men's locker room, Dick Vitale Court, and of course the arena name of Calihan Hall - all pay tribute to key members of the program throughout its history.
Along with the Missouri Valley Conference and West Coast Conference, the Horizon League is some of the most competitive in-league basketball that you will find amongst the so-called mid-majors. A trip to Calihan Hall is a trip back in history, and a good place to see some college basketball.
Member Review by paul
Calihan Hall is the home to the Detroit Titans men's and women's basketball teams. It is a great facility to see entertaining basketball from the Horizon League. Opened in 1952, Calihan Hall was re-named in honor of All-American Bob Calihan in 1977.
The arena has been home to great players such as Dave DeBusschere, Terry Tyler, and John Long. Some will think of Dick Vitale when they think of the Detroit Titans. The former head coach and college basketball broadcasting legend, lead the team to the NCAA Tournament in 1977, and had the floor dedicated in his honor on December 5th, 2011.
The arena holds 8,295 at capacity with rows rising high to provide both great views, and a loud environment when the facility draws a crowd.
Member Review by CigarBoy on Dec 20, 2011
I love the history and it would not be that hard to make some improvements to Calihan Hall. For the cost fans can see some great college basketball. I wish more of them went.
Member Review by corporatelaw on Dec 26, 2011
This arena makes you feel like you are back in a great old basketball barn, because even with some modern amenities, it is a solid and well preserved remnant of those days. The only drawback is the low attendance, which is shame because both the mens and womens team are well worth seeing. I would go to Calihan again if I am in the Motor City, and look forward to seeing the rumored updates next season.
Member Review by Pathfinder on Apr 30, 2014
"Historic Calihan Hall" is the moniker they always use these days. There are not a lot of frills here, but it is a great place to watch a game. Every seat is good. With easy, inexpensive parking and a ridiculously low admission, it's a great value if don't need lots of gimmicks and gourmet food. The Titan fan base is aging and not too spirited - they need to get more students and young professionals.
Member Review by profan9 on Jan 17, 2015
Review date: January 3 vs. Milwaukee
Calihan Hall is a neat place to catch an NCAA game. However, the date reviewed was not a great day to go to a game. The first game of the year, with students slowly trickling into campus left the game feeling a little flat. Calihan Hall is an old school, barn-like venue. It is one of those old buildings that just seems to have random doors all over the place that lead to who-knows-where. The court is named after legendary ESPN cominator and former Titans coach Dick Vitale. The university itself is kind of comical, with a nice campus surrounded by wrot-iron fencing, on the other side of the fence is a bit of a sketchy neighbourhood that you probably want to steer clear of. The tickets are really cheap and a fun time can be had by all. If possible, choose a game during the school year when the students are on campus for an even better experience.
19416 Livernois Ave
Detroit, MI 48221
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