Fant-Ewing Coliseum (map it)
4319 Northeast Dr
Monroe, LA 71203
Year Opened: 1971
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by DeRon Talley, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
In Louisiana, collegiate basketball isn’t worshipped nearly as much as football – especially in Monroe – but the Warhawk fans are starting to land in the dome-shaped coliseum called the Fant-Ewing.
The Fant-Ewing Coliseum is located across from Malone Stadium where the ULM Warhawk football team plays. Yes, it is the ULM team that beat then-ranked number 8 Arkansas in the 2012 season and had the nation on the edge of its seats while it made program history. With football over, that same momentum seems to have carried over to the basketball arena – maybe not the team’s success but the fans’ energy, creating a solid atmosphere.
The Fant-Ewing was constructed in 1971 and seats a little over 7,000 people in the round-shaped arena. The Fant-Ewing didn’t get its full name until the year 2000 when Lenny Fant, a former basketball coach, was honored and the school changed the name from Ewing Coliseum to its present name.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The Fant-Ewing offers a small but tasty menu. When I say tasty I mainly mean when you ask for some nachos with chili and cheese, you get chili and cheese with some nachos - they call it loaded nachos, which only costs you $4. The most expensive thing on the menu is the barbecue beef sandwich that costs $5. Other items on the menu include: Frito chili cheese pie ($4), chili cheese dog ($4), hot dog ($3), small popcorn for $2 and a large for $6 - it will have you popcorned out. Also the bottled drinks are $2 and are Coke products.
I don't know if I was being weird or not, but the concession stand area seemed really clean too and I liked it. It didn't have that "foods been in here for years" feel and it was really refreshing.
Warhawk fans do a good job trying to root the teams on, but I think what kills the atmosphere is that the seats are too far away from the action. There are no courtside seats and often it seems like the fans forget they are at a game until the announcer says a name really emphatically and to get their attention. When the fans do cheer, they do a good job, but the atmosphere can definitely improve. This is true of the fans, but more so on the part of the coliseum's setup. The school should bring the fans closer to the action to keep them in the game and the players will be able to feel the fans' intensity and play harder. There is a designated area for the student section called the "Hawks Nest" and it had a pretty good turnout.
Monroe is in the Northeast part of Louisiana and it's a fairly large city. It has many local restaurants near the ULM campus, being that the campus is the epicenter and main attraction for the city. The best place to go is the Waterfront Grill. It sits on Bayou Desiard, which runs by the school and through the center of it. At the Waterfront Grill, you can get pretty much anything and the prices aren't too bad. The setup is what sets it apart from the other local restaurants.
And of course there are your mainstream fast food restaurants located outside of the campus too, such as Burger King, McDonald's, Popeyes, Taco Bell and Sonic. But, I mean you can get those foods anywhere, why not try something that'll represent Monroe? There is also a sports bar call the Fieldhouse located just outside of the campus. The Fieldhouse is filled with ULM gear and represents the school well with pride. The food there is good too and there are nice TVs to watch games.
In recent years, the only winning team ULM had was the Water Ski team which has won over 20 National titles. Since 2012's epic football season for the Warhawks, the school's fan base and pride has increased. People like winners. At the Fant-Ewing, there was a really nice turnout of fans who came to support the school on a Saturday afternoon during my most recent visit in early 2013. They were loud and sported the maroon and gold pretty well.
It doesn't get too much easier than finding ULM, or the Fant-Ewing Coliseum which is the big dome that sits off to the east of the campus. The architects did a great job when designing this campus, because all of the sports facilities are on the east of the campus and the academic side is on the west. It makes finding things pretty easy.
Along with easily finding the Fant-Ewing, the best part of access is the free parking and the walk isn't far at all to the stadium. I can't really think of anything that made it hard for me to get here and get comfortable once I got in.
The Fant-Ewing is worth the visit. Ten dollars will get you a good seat in the game, (the event staff don't check ticket stubs - our secret). And the Sun Belt Conference has pretty well played basketball to watch, with good pace and good ballers usually. Most of the athletes are here because grades kept them out of the big D-I schools. So for a good game and good environment, ULM's Fant-Ewing Coliseum is a place to see.
Unfortunately there aren't a whole lot of extras at ULM basketball games. It's a you-get-what-you-get kind of place, but I have to tip my hat off to the school's band. The basketball performers call themselves the "Technical Fowls." I must say that's a pretty cool name.
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5201 Desiard St
Monroe, LA 71203
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