The University of Maryland, College Park was founded in 1856, as the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland. Currently, there are more than 37,000 students at the Prince George’s County campus. The University is located inside the Washington, DC Beltway.
Maryland’s sports teams are the Terrapins, often shortened to the Terps. Testudo is the name of the iconic mascot of the sports teams. Around campus, you will hear and see the phrase "FEAR THE TURTLE." The diamondback terrapins make their home around the Chesapeake Bay region.
Maryland was a charter member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) when it began in 1953. The school has had a long history of rivalries with North Carolina, Wake Forest, North Carolina State, Duke, Virginia, Clemson and Georgia Tech. It came to a shock to many fans when the school jumped to the Big Ten Conference effective in 2014.
Maryland basketball has been quite successful over the years. Under coaches such as Lefty Driesell and Gary Williams, the Terps were consistent winners in the ACC, with some success in the NCAA tournament. In 2002, the school won the NCAA championship, when they were led by senior guard Juan Dixon to a win over Indiana. Dixon was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player that year.
Cole Field House was the previous home to the Terps' basketball programs before XFINITY Center’s opening in 2002. Currently, Cole Field House is used as a center of intramural athletics, although the school is proposing that it will be remodeled into an indoor football facility.
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".
There are many stands around the concourses of the arena. Generally, they have generic names, such as Chesapeake Cuisine and Plaza Grill.
Hamburgers are $6.75, hot dogs $3, nachos $5, grilled chicken sandwiches $5.75). Popcorn is $4, with pretzels ($3.75), Cracker Jack ($3.75), and peanuts ($4) also available. Sodas are $4-$5. Boardwalk Fries are also available for $5, with Seasons Pizza $6.
There is also a Chick-fil-A stand found in the concourse selling chicken sandwiches.
The food options will not blow you away, but they are consistent and fairly-priced for an arena.
The university added a new scoreboard for the 2014 season. It resembles a smaller version of the infamous Dallas Cowboys/AT&T Stadium board. It has larger screens along two sides, with smaller screens on the ends.
All chairs in the arena have seat backs.
Students have priority seating at XFINITY Center. Student sections surround the court on nearly all sides. On one end, the student section goes all the way to the top of the arena, creating a wall-like feeling.
A pep band, cheerleading squad and marching teams are all in attendance.
Generally, the arena is run like a pro-type facility, with games and activities to keep the fans engaged -- not that they need much help.
XFINITY Center is at the rear of campus, just off of University Blvd., and not near almost any businesses, let alone the main part of the campus. Its predecessor was close to places like the Stamp Union and the majority of the campus dorms. This facility is close to the campus farm, and that is about it.
The town of College Park is located directly south of the campus along U.S. Route 1. RJ Bentley's Filling Station, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Jimmy John's, Ledo Pizza, and Five Guys are all good options in this "downtown" area. Looney's Pub and Bobby's Burger Palace are two other great options, and are located in The Varsity building (8150 Baltimore Ave) north of the downtown area, and may be even closer to the arena if walking.
The Sheraton College Park North Hotel at 4095 Powder Mill Road in nearby Beltsville is the best lodging choice, but it is not within walking distance of the campus.
You will always have the dizzying array of Washington, DC options to choose from. The College Park Station of the Washington Metro is close by, and is your best bet for getting to DC, as the traffic and parking situation is not ideal.
The Maryland student sections are generally thought of as being rude. And they are. But this does not diminish the massive effect they can have on their team. The students will chant, swear, dance, erupt and generally stay engaged throughout all parts of the game. Expect them to stand throughout. A favorite part is when a large state flag is lowered across the wall of students to a thunderous applause.
Even the non-student fans found in the upper sections of Xfinity Center are loud. The design of the arena seems to take the best parts of their former home and merge them into a comfortable place to watch a game and support their team.
The University of Maryland is not far from the Washington Beltway. But it is just far enough away that getting to XFINITY Center is not too easy, either. U.S. 1 and University Boulevard are full of traffic lights, and will be very full of traffic, even on non-game days.
The best bet is to pre-pay for a parking space through the University. The price tag is way too high, but at least you will know where you are going ahead of time. A map to your space will be provided when you pre-purchase. The Terrapin Trail Garage is a personal favorite, as it is right next to the arena.
If travelling to the game via the Washington Metro, get off at the College Park Station and take the shuttle directly to the stadium.
Prices will vary by the level of opponent. Non-conference games are about $25-$30, while tickets for most conference games are about $35-$50. Parking will also set you back a bit.
It will not be cheap to attend a game at XFINITY Center. But you have to remember that you will be watching a top-flight team in one of the best college basketball conferences around.
Watching the antics of the student section is practically worth the cost of admission. This is a spirited group of students that will do almost anything they need to help their team win.
The lobby of the XFINITY Center is home to the Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame & History Center. Take the chance to look at the proud history of the Terps.
The floor from Cole Field House is found on the wall in one part of the lobby. It is a good time to pause and think about the historic events that happened in the Terps' former home. In 1966, Texas Western, now the University of Texas at El Paso, defeated the Kentucky Wildcats, led by Adolph Rupp , to win the national championship. It was the first game in which five black players started in NCAA Division I history. That game is considered one of the most important games in the history of college sports. Cole Field House still holds the distinction of being the site of the most upsets of No. 1-ranked men's basketball teams.
The other team making their home in XFINITY Center has also been quite successful. The women's team has been a consistent winner, and in 2006, they also brought home the national championship.
A large Terrapin Team Shop is found in the lobby. Expect to see many Under Armour products, as the founder of the sportswear company, Kevin Plank, is a graduate of Maryland, as well as being a major supporter of the Terps' athletic program.
XFINITY Center may not have the large amount of history behind it like the Terps' former home, but the arena is making a name for itself by being a loud and fun arena in which to see a basketball game.
Comcast Center is home to the University of Maryland Terrapins men's and women's basketball teams. Opening in 2002, it holds over 17,000 fans. Situated in the middle of the campus, minutes away from Washington, DC, the arena has lots of competition when it comes to great indoor arenas.
It holds its own just fine, thank you very much.
The University of Maryland. UM. Maryland. UMCP. UMD.
Whatever you call it, the University of Maryland, College Park, is the premier public university in the Old Line State. Established in 1856 and known previously as both Maryland Agricultural College and Maryland State College, the school enrolls over 26,000 undergraduates and over 10,000 post graduates, easily making it the biggest university in the state and the Washington metro area, which, in addition to southern Maryland, includes the District of Columbia, Virginia, and West Virginia. Consistently ranked one of the premier public universities in the nation, UMD’s campus is also big in size, making it a place you can easily get lost in if you’re not familiar with your surroundings. But even if you don’t know much about the school, the nationally recognized student newspaper "The Diamondback" or the alumni (Jim Henson, Scott Van Pelt, Carl Bernstein, and Larry David, just to name a few), there is one phrase that you probably have heard before which stems from the University of Maryland and its athletics department: "FEAR THE TURTLE."
The university began playing collegiate basketball in 1923 as a part of the Southern Conference. The team had very moderate success before taking a risk and moving to the newly formed Atlantic Coast Conference in 1953. One of eight founding members, the risk paid off because the ACC is now one of the premier basketball conferences in college sports. Unlike most conferences, the ACC does not officially recognize a regular-season champion; the sole champion of the conference each year is decided by the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament. The winner of the tournament also receives the automatic bid to play in the postseason, but many ACC teams are able to claim at-large bids as well to play in March. Since joining the ACC, the Terps have been to the conference champion three times (1958, 1984, 2004). The 2002 season may be the most prominent year in Maryland basketball history, though, as it was the first season that Maryland won the NCAA Tournament championship and the last season for Cole Field House, the Terps’ basketball home since 1955.
The Comcast Center has been the venue for Maryland basketball since November, 2002. Seating just fewer than 18,000, it is currently the third-biggest basketball facility in the ACC, as well as the third youngest. As a Maryland resident, I remember the grand exit the local media and fans gave to Cole Field House for the 47 years of Terrapin tradition that the venue held. Many people had high expectations for the Comcast Center and wondered if the bigger center could be a beautiful state of the art facility while still recognizing the different chapters of Terps basketball history and retaining or strengthening the home-court advantage that made going to College Park very difficult for opposing teams. After seeing the venue firsthand, I can tell you that while the cost of a game day in the Comcast Center gets to be a bit lavish, so is the Terrapin experience while you’re there.
It is a pretty nice arena but it costs too much. $50 for nosebleeds for a mediocre ACC (soon to be Big 10) team. College Park isn't very nice. I'd rate this place higher if tickets were cheaper.
7323 Baltimore Avenue
College Park, MD 20740
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