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Official Review by Jearold Hersey, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
The UTSA Roadrunners play their home games on campus at the Convocation Center. The Convocation Center is a multiple-purpose arena that also serves as home for the women’s basketball and volleyball teams.
“The Convo” or “Bird Cage” has theater-style seating in the lower level and in the balcony along the sidelines. The arena can fit 4,080 fans.
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 is one concession stand located in the foyer of the Convocation Center. Hot dogs are $3 and Chili dogs are $4. A turkey or chicken wrap are $5 and $4 respectively. Drink options are $3. Vegetarians would need to settle for a light snack like nachos or popcorn, which are $3.
There is a second concession stand inside the arena on the balcony level. On game days with higher attendance, lines can be an issue.
UTSA has all the staples of a festive game-day environment. There is a band that plays good songs to keep the student body engaged. There are performances by the UTSA cheerleaders and pom squad. Admission is free for students and keeping those students engaged goes a long way to establishing a fun, competitive atmosphere.
Rowdy is the name of the Roadrunner mascot. He walks the sidelines, interacts with fans and takes pictures with kids. All the tools are here, but there is work to be done for UTSA to develop a significant home court advantage with a fun atmosphere.
UTSA is located in Northwest San Antonio. The Six Flags amusement park is north of campus so there are hotels close to the park and along I-10 to house potential UTSA visitors. Given the proximity to the park, there are ample shopping options along I-10 as well.
The Roadrunners have made four NCAA tournament appearances. The latest occurred in 2011 when they won their first-round game against Alabama State. While there is some history of success in the program, there aren't any traditions or hand gestures that have developed like one would associate with the Texas Longhorns, Texas Tech Red Raiders, or TCU Horned Frogs.
The Roadrunners have changed conferences three times from 2011-2013. New opponents every season makes it hard to figure out who to jeer. The moves have impacted the rivalry with the Texas State Bobcats. Keeping regional rivalries alive will be a focus for schedule makers in the future.
UTSA is accessible via Loop 1604 off I-10. The campus is rather large and has a large amount of commuter students. There has been more on-campus housing added in recent years, but there are still large parking lots on campus. While it is recommended to park in unmarked spaces in Lot 5, I found parking very close to the arena free of charge.
If you can't find parking in Lot 5, you can park in the South parking garage and your fee will be discounted if you show your game ticket. Visitors can find more parking information here.
Attending a UTSA game is a good value. The admission price for an adult is $10. The Convocation Center has some interesting sightlines in the balcony which has a different feel than larger arenas.
San Antonio has been the site of three Men's and two Women's Final Fours and UTSA has served as the host, so while the school doesn't have a long history, San Antonio has established itself as a basketball town.
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