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Official Review by Nathan Deal, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Florida State basketball may be under the shadow of the football program, but that doesn’t mean the Seminoles haven’t had success on the hardwood. In their history, Florida State has reached the National Championship Game once, the Elite Eight twice and the Sweet Sixteen four times.
The Seminoles play their home games at Donald L. Tucker Center, also known as the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center. This 12,100-seat multi-purpose arena has also been the home of Arena Football League teams and has featured many concerts. This arena is not on campus, but it is very close to the Florida State campus.
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".
As is usually the case at sports stadiums, the concessions here are average, and slightly over-priced. This stadium is not on campus, however, so beer is served at this arena along with the average stadium food and drink.
Right until tip-off, the atmosphere was severely lacking. The game I visited wasn’t a big game like North Carolina or Duke, but it was Senior Day, which should automatically make it a big crowd. However, the Senior Day festivities were shown to an arena that was ¼ empty. The crowd filled up more in the early stages of the game, but pre-game festivities were disappointing.
The upper decks were almost completely empty, and all the concession stands in the upper concourse were closed. It felt like a ghost town in the upper sections.
This area of Tallahassee is pretty gorgeous, not to mention Florida State’s campus is nearby. As the capital of Florida, obviously, there are a lot of people in this city, especially the downtown area.
Some of the best places to eat here include Calico Jack's Seafood House and Oyster Bar, Voodoo Dog, Melting Pot Restaurant, Momo’s Pizza, Cypress Restaurant and more.
Like I said, for it being Senior Day, the crowd’s failure to show up early was disappointing. I should point out that Florida State students were on Spring Break when I visited, so there was no student section at the game I attended.
The stadium’s large lower level eventually filled up well, and for big games like UNC or Duke, the stadium is sold out and electric. This fanbase is somewhat inconsistent in terms of basketball attendance.
Getting to the stadium is easy. It’s in the downtown area of Tallahassee, and there’s a huge parking deck right across the street from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.
The problem with the surrounding area, however, is that downtown Tallahassee is full of one-way streets. Why? I haven’t a clue. But if you’re trying to find a place in that area and you miss it, you may find yourself going in a square. That is an irritating trait of Tallahassee. Outside of that and the annoying traffic, getting to and leaving the arena is extremely easy.
You get what you pay for – a decent college basketball experience. There’s nothing extraordinary about a game here, but this is about worth the money you pay for a ticket.
As I said, because this facility is not on a college campus, beer can be legally sold here, so there’s that.
In what I thought was a cool move, because the students were on spring break, anybody with an upper deck ticket could come down and sit in the student sections. Of course, that isn’t really the reason the upper decks were empty, because they would have been empty anyways.
A word of warning to you – the steps in this arena are steep, especially in the upper deck. So when climbing the steps, watch your step.
The Donald L. Tucker Center is a decent place to watch a game, but I would deem it middle-of-the-pack in terms of ACC arenas, considering great home-court advantages at places like Duke, North Carolina and Clemson. The fans arrived way too late for my taste, especially for an event like Senior Day.
Member Review by Sri on Mar 26, 2013
Awesome nickname and slogan aside, this place is terrible for college basketball. But they sell beer. For a college basketball venue that hosts Broadway and gun shows, the TLC Double C isn't terrible. And they sell beer. I don't see Cameron Indoor, The Palestra or The Pit hosting any monster truck rallies. The Civic Center has utility. Like an abandoned shed housing a family of hobos. A place that probably has beer, albeit less expensive.
The "Tucker Center," as the government insists it be called, is in desperate need for a renovation to accommodate college basketball. The seats, especially the student sections, are too far from the court to foster a real home environment. The seats are colored randomly and reminiscent of vomit from a dog who ate an assortment of crayons. This may explain why the place is so poorly lit. On a more positive note, The Seminole head at center court is bigger than it used to be. Did I mention the sale of overpriced beer?
2738 Capital Circle NE
Tallahassee, FL 32308
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Tallahassee, FL 32301
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Tallahassee, FL 32303
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