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Official Review by Chris Green, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Florida Atlantic University’s men’s basketball is one of those programs that plays Division I basketball, but often gets passed up when fans look at programs to visit. However, this may be a mistake, as FAU has a pretty solid arena with a program on the rise.
Built in 1984 and remodeled in 2007, FAU Arena is the home of both the men's and women's basketball teams, as well as the volleyball team. The venue has a capacity of 5,000.
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".
The food at FAU Arena is pretty solid in terms of variety. Offerings include burgers, hot dogs, nachos, Italian ice, popcorn, and more. There are even pizzas available that are made on-site and come out freshly baked, a rare option for stadium fare. Prices for these options are low, as well. You can get a soda and something to eat for less than $10 a person, which is perfect for someone coming to a sporting event on a budget. With sodas ranging from $3 to $6 for the souvenir cups, and hot dogs with chips running just $5, food at FAU Arena is very affordable.
FAU Arena is a beautiful facility. The colors of the school (blue and red) are obvious in the color scheme of the seats in FAU Arena. The banners for the school are also hanging in the arena, giving you that true college feel. The fans who show up to the school's basketball game are a wide range from children wanting to see tomorrow's stars to the area's older residents catching a college basketball game. However, it isn't often that games are sold out at FAU Arena, which can leave one feeling like they're among the few when sitting in the stands.
Boca Raton is a beautiful part of Palm Beach County. In addition, FAU's campus is clean, South Florida-esque in appearance, and overall visually appealing. Not far from the campus is a beautiful strip shop that plays host to a P.F. Chang's, J. Alexander's Restaurant, Shake Shack, Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble, and more.
Equidistant to the east of campus is the Atlantic Ocean. There, you can find a beautiful beach, as well as the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, where visitors can get a look at some of coastal Florida's natural habitats and inhabitants, thanks to boardwalks through the mangroves and natural butterfly gardens.
Near the beach, hotels are easy to find. What Boca Raton lacks in nightlife more commonly found in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the area more than makes up for in relaxation. In addition, Palm Beach International Airport isn't far from Boca Raton, with Fort Lauderdale and Miami less than an hour away, as well.
The lack of crowds at FAU is a bit of a drag. However, the seats are never empty to the point of nobody showing up. Florida Atlantic is near the bottom of Conference USA in terms of average attendance, and you can expect to see just a little over 1,000 fans at the typical game.
The fans who do show up are loyal and are almost always wearing school colors and merchandise. Students on campus fill up the student section during games, but rarely are raucous to the point of the deafening noise common in some of basketball's top programs.
Getting to FAU is easy to do. Unlike several sports teams or colleges where the campus stadiums are miles away from the highway exits, FAU is quite literally bordered by I-95 in Boca Raton. Also, just a few miles west is the Florida Turnpike. Once off the exit from I-95, the FAU campus is immediately visible. Parking is quite plentiful, and even if you get stuck in a lot or garage that is a little further from the stadium, the walk is not very far and is through a beautiful campus.
Given that ticket prices are relatively low, concessions are inexpensive, and that parking is also free, the cost for a family to go to an NCAA Basketball game is quite low at FAU. One cannot help but consider the cost of travel however, and given that Boca Raton isn't exactly a major city, it may be a bit of a trip for some fans.
There are several nice additions to the arena at FAU. First of all is the team store right inside the entrance. You can get your team's gear at the store, which is convenient for the visiting fan to get a souvenir or for a fan of the Owls to get some gear.
Next is the FAU Hall of Fame, located inside the halls of the arena. You can see the school's top athletic performers honored here, which is always a must-see for any traveling sports fan.
Another bonus are the banners hanging inside the arena. They add to the college sports experience.
There is also a giant scoreboard with a video replay screen that is convenient during games.
Finally, the team also invites children to the court during game breaks to participate in games.
The FAU Arena experience is one that is something for mid and lower-tier Division I programs to aspire to. The beautiful arena offers top quality comfort and value in a location that isn't far from major roadways. Situated in a beautiful location near the coast in South Florida, FAU basketball is a great addition to any sports fan's trip list.
Member Review by StPeteRays
What's the first thing you think of when you hear about Boca Raton? Thoughts of 1980's Florida living conjure themselves in my head: pastels, throngs of AARP retirees, and their associated rolling behemoths made by Buick, Cadillac, and Oldsmobile. I especially could only think of "Boca" as the place Jerry Seinfeld's parents retired to - and where they caused trouble to the homeowners' association of their community - in his eponymous sitcom from the '90s.
So, when I was researching for Division I basketball-playing schools, the absolute last place in Florida I expected to find one was in this geriatric playground. Florida Atlantic University is situated on 850 meticulously cared-for acres near the heart of Boca, and at the heart of this gem of a campus is the Athletic Complex, the FAU Baseball Stadium, the athletics program's track, and - of course - the FAU Arena (the school's new on-campus football venue, FAU Stadium, is just to the east of the rest of the sports facilities). Built in 1984 and remodeled in 2007, it's the home of both the men's and women's basketball teams, as well as the volleyball team. Will the arena be as beautiful and functional as the rest of the campus?
9858 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33434
2399 N Federal Hwy
Boca Raton, FL 33431
1229 W Palmetto Park Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33486
1400 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33431
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