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Cintas Center

Cincinnati, OH

Home of the Xavier Musketeers



Cintas Center (map it)
1624 Herald Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45207

Xavier Musketeers website

Cintas Center website

Year Opened: 2000

Capacity: 10,250

There are no tickets available at this time.


Local Information


Musketeers Go East

Opened in 2000, Cintas Center is the home of Xavier University basketball. Since the building opened, the small Jesuit university in Cincinnati, Ohio has boasted one of the best home court advantages in college basketball with intense crowds of over 10,000 fans.

On the court, the Musketeers have long out-performed their mid-major counterparts while a member of the Atlantic 10 and now look to gain a foothold on the national stage and build on their 24 NCAA tournament appearances as members of the revamped, basketball-focused, Big East. As of the end of the 2014-15 season, the Musketeers have posted an .870 winning percentage (201-30) at home.


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 school revamped some of the offerings for the 2014-2015 season. There's still the usual hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, etc. plus pizza from local chain Larosa's and Dippin' Dots ice cream and other novelties.

Xavier sells beer at Cintas Center with $7 drafts of Miller/Coors products available at many stands and, new in 2014-2015, there is now a craft beer area on the concourse behind Section 200. The new space, called D'Artagnan's Deck, serves a rotating lineup of local beers from names like Rhinegeist, Mad Tree, Blank Slate and more.

Atmosphere    5

Xavier joined up with the 'Catholic 7' teams that held on to the Big East name, repurposing it as a basketball-first conference. While the school has had to postpone its A10 rivalry with the University of Dayton, now the school is facing off against NCAA tourney-caliber foes like Georgetown, Villanova, and Butler.

In the case of Xavier's crosstown rivalry with Cincinnati, cooler heads finally prevailed after an on-court fight led to two years of neutral site games at downtown's U.S. Bank Arena. Now the Crosstown Shootout has returned to the campus arenas, with Xavier's first turn to host coming in the 2015-16 season. If you can score a ticket here, it's an amazing atmosphere as Musketeer fans relish any opportunity to show up the bigger school just four miles away.

The coming years will also see the resumption of the Skip Prosser Classic series with Wake Forest. Prosser, who passed away in 2007, was at Xavier for 15 seasons (including 7 as head coach) before moving on to Wake Forest. Xavier's first home game will happen in December 2016.

As for the arena itself, the upper deck sits quite close to the floor. This is fortunate as most of the lower bowl seats are premium seating and sell out rather quickly, so your best bet at getting tickets will be up top. The view from nearly every area up top is great, with the steep pitch of the seats offering good sightlines from most angles.

Neighborhood    3

Just south of the arena, the corner at Dana Avenue and Montgomery Road that was for a couple years an empty lot has finally been built on. University Station is basically an extension of the Xavier campus with student apartments, college bookstore and other facilities. For visitors to the area, there's space for street level retail with tenants like Gold Star Chili, Starbucks, and Cincinnati's beloved Graeter's Ice Cream. The project is still early in development, but what has already been built has helped give the area some life.

While there are a few bars in the area, I suggest checking out the taproom from Listermann Brewing. Located right across the street from the university (at 1621 Dana Avenue). It's been one of the city's longest-standing brewing supply stores and has now grown into a renowned, creative brewery. Be sure to double-check their website, but they usually have special hours for basketball games.

Fans    5

Despite getting less attention than other schools in the region, the Xavier faithful pack Cintas Center for nearly every game. The student section is always lively and really drives the tense atmosphere that visiting teams incur. Given the tight confines of the space, the noise level these folks generate is terrific.

Access    4

Getting to the campus is fairly simple. The Xavier campus is in the neighborhood of Evanston, about ten minutes up I-71 from downtown Cincinnati. Xavier sits five minutes east of the Dana Ave. exit of I-71. It can also be reached by the Montgomery Road exit of Rt. 562 (a.k.a. the Norwood Lateral), with a short drive south on Montgomery Road. The Montgomery route seems to be a bit easier to get to the (free) parking lots in the old Norwood Shopping Plaza. The Dana Ave. route seems to bottleneck right after you get off the highway so be sure to account for some extra time if you're coming from I-71. The school provides this map of parking for basketball games.

Return on Investment    4

With a spot in the new basketball-focused Big East, the new level of competition makes up for the loss of some of the old Atlantic 10 rivalries. The Musketeers are bringing in a new round of ranked teams and perennial tourney teams so expect a great level of basketball overall.

Costs for food are reasonable by arena standards and you can find free parking along the Montgomery Road corridor.

Extras    4

One point for the functionality of the arena. Xavier has made a great use of the entire space. In 2014, they opened up a cafeteria space for games in order to give fans another place to hangout and eat their concession purchases rather than having to stand in the concourse or go back to their seat.

One point for the concourse walls being filled with school and athletic history. The Hall of Fame area for all of the Muskies' athletic history is great to see, and the school lining the walls with floor-to-ceiling photos of the university's history is really well done.

One point for the measured improvements. Though Cintas Center still feels quite modern, the school has made small improvements every season and is currently planning on technological upgrades to the facility.

One point for the fan base. In a region where college basketball is incredibly popular, Xavier can still be overlooked by local media. Regardless, their fans are still loud and supportive of their team.

Final Thoughts

Xavier basketball at the Cintas Center is a fantastic value. The strong competition versus the success of the Xavier program in this great facility makes for a fantastic experience. For a fan of college basketball looking to see the great venues of the sport, you wouldn't be disappointed with a visit to the Cintas Center.

Love the Cintas Center

I finally made it to the Cintas Center this year, to see the Women's Crosstown Shootout(the rivalry game versus the University of Cincinnati). The place is amazing for basketball, really great sightlines. I agree with Conrad's thoughts on the upper deck, you still feel incredibly close to the action, a good ticket value.
A note on the surrounding neighborhood, the university has undertaken a project to create their own "village", w/ shopping and restaurants, etc. Currently it's just open fields, but hopefully they'll start building soon.
Also, another great place to eat in the area is Gordo's(http://www.gordospub.com), about a mile north of the XU campus. One of the best burgers in the city, and an adventurous beer list.

by cadence80 | Jan 22, 2012 11:48 AM

RE: Love the Cintas Center

Thanks for the feedback cadence80, be sure to let us know when the village is completed so we can visit again. We appreciate your support!

by conradklank | Jan 23, 2012 12:21 AM

My take

Pretty much how I would rate it except I would give the fans a five star rating. They average 10k per game in a 10,250 venue, that is outstanding in my book, plus they are plenty loud.

I would probably give a star for the heritage of the program that they display in the concourse and in the rafters and a star to the fans too. That kind of support is rare among Mid-majors.

Cintas is a fav of mine.

by CigarBoy | Jan 23, 2012 10:57 AM

Great Review

I attended Xavier, and this review pretty much sums it up. The Xavier village just opened this fall, and I have yet to go back to see how it has changed the area around campus. I believe the neighborhood should be much improved.

by QuentinC09 | Sep 12, 2014 01:46 PM

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Crowd Reviews


Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 2

The Cintas center is a 10,250 seat multipurpose arena located just west of I-71 in the heart of the Xavier University campus. This $46 million arena, primarily serves as the home to the Xavier men's and women's basketball teams, as well as the school's volleyball team. In addition to athletics, the complex has seen its fair share of big concerts, speakers, conventions and other corporate events, trade shows, commencements, and even weddings.

The facility can be easily transformed to accommodate any size event. This state-of-the-art venue opened its doors in 2000 and features some of the most innovative and ahead of its time amenities. In addition to the arena itself, the center provides a full size practice gym, training room, and strength and conditioning room available not only for varsity athletes, but students as well. The center is also home to the majority of the athletic offices and a fully functional conference center. Read on to find out what makes this much more than a nice gathering complex.

Awesome facility

Total Score: 4.86

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

I am biased (this is my alma mater), but to see from where this program has grown (Schmidt Fieldhouse) to this on campus facility speaks volumes to the vision of Xavier's leadership, and in particular, Fr. Hoff and Skip Prosser.

Cintas Center

Total Score: 4.00

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

Very nice arena, and i would recommend any fan of college basketball to visit... great atmostphere

Seeing the Cintas Center

Total Score: 3.86

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

Opened in 2000, the Cintas Center meant Musketeer basketball would return to the urban campus in Cincinnati’s Evanston neighborhood for the first time since 1983. It has been named by EA Sports as one of the toughest college basketball arenas for opponents. Not only do visiting teams have to contend with consistently hostile crowds, but they’re often facing incredibly talented Musketeer teams on their home turf.

Since 1961, the team representing this small Jesuit university has made 23 NCAA tournament appearances (including 11 since playing at Cintas Center), 6 Sweet Sixteens, and 2 Elite Eights. It’s a conundrum as Xavier basketball is an unlikely, and often unnoticed powerhouse in college basketball.

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