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Official Review by Harrison Huntley, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Charleston Southern University is one of the three schools in the Charleston area. The school formerly known as Baptist College changed its name in 1990 and is now competing in NCAA Division I. The Buccaneers play basketball and volleyball in CSU Fieldhouse. It is a small, on-campus gym, but for a school of this size, it is more than enough to create a good basketball experience.
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While you won't find a full meal, the concession stand offers a variety of snacks and beverages. Cold drinks, popcorn, chips, and candy are all sold for the price of $1. Since the options are limited, it is nice that they are so cheap.
The first thing you notice about CSU Fieldhouse is that it's small. Really small. In college basketball, though, bigger is not always better and in this case, a small arena works perfectly. Every seat is courtside and as a fan, you definitely feel like a part of the action. On one side, there are five rows of chairback seating that are classified as reserved ($15). The two end zones and the opposite side's nine rows are general admission ($10). The general admission seats are plastic bleachers.
Overall, the game itself is a true no-frills basketball experience. There are three scoreboards, but only one has a video screen. As with any college basketball team, there is a pep band, cheerleaders, and several promotions such as knockout and guess the halftime score. Outside of that, there is not much except for a basketball game, that happens to be very close to you. While non-sports fans may not enjoy this kind of game, basketball lovers will find a game at CSU Fieldhouse very entertaining.
On-campus arenas are almost always home to great neighborhoods. While the one around Charleston Southern isn't legendary, there are a number of options for a pre or post-game meal. On campus, there is a Chick-fil-A and a Java City, the school's coffee house. Just off campus are Subway, Zaxby's, Sonic, Arby's, Atlanta Bread Company, and much more. Also worth noting is the on-campus hotel. If you are traveling to the game, staying at the Wingate will mean you only have a short walk to the game.
Even when not at capacity, the size of the Buc Dome makes the small student section sound much bigger. There is no specified student section, so "The Blue Crew" is spread out among the general admission seating. The pep band probably provides the most crowd support, but overall most of the fans know when to be loud. The one thing you can count on is that when the game comes down to the wire, CSU Fieldhouse will be loud.
Most of the time, the drive to CSU Fieldhouse couldn't be easier. Take I-26 to exit 205, and the school is right there. There are only a few issues, and they keep this rating from being the best it could be.
One issue is that traffic builds up outside the school far too often, and many times, it can take a while to get from the highway exit to campus.
The other problem is parking. There is only one small parking lot just outside CSU Fieldhouse. Normally, parking is a non issue, but when the gym is full, you may have a hard time finding a spot to park. Parking is free, so there are no complaints about pricing.
If you are a fan of college basketball and are on a tight budget, CSU Fieldhouse is for you. Courtside seats are just $10, and snacks and drinks are only $1.
Walking in the hallway to the gym, you will find the CSU Hall of Fame. There are many honored athletes that even go back to when CSU was Baptist College.
In the same hallway, there is a small merchandise table sponsored by the campus bookstore. They mostly sell winter apparel (since the basketball games take place in the winter).
In true southern fashion, every staff member you will meet at CSU is very nice. The woman in charge of promotions, the man selling merchandise, even members of the baseball team that sell food are all very nice and willing to help you.
You have to have the right mindset going into CSU Fieldhouse. If your expectation is a large arena with a ton of food, merchandise, and suites, then you will be disappointed in what you find. If you want to sit front and center at a Division 1 game and not pay out of your nose for it, then this is a great place for you.
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9280 University Blvd
North Charleston, SC 29406