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Official Review by Andy Mantsch, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The Greensboro Coliseum is the cornerstone of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, housing multiple event facilities. Often home to the NCAA Tournament, ACC Tournament and a wide variety of entertainment options from concerts to the circus, the 23,500-seat facility is one of the more widely recognized in sports.
However, the venue feels a little bit different for a Spartans game. The UNC Greensboro Spartans haven't made an NCAA Tournament birth in 15 years and haven't had a winning season since 2007. With two tournament berths in their history, the program is far from elite. And for all of the Greensboro Coliseum's history, it's lost on the modest following the Spartans' fans bring.
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 Greensboro Coliseum may normally have a wide variety of concession options, but the vast majority of them are closed during a Spartans game.
There is only one concession stand open, and it contains just the basics of food selection. Options are limited to chicken tenders ($7), a chicken sandwich ($7), a cheeseburger or hamburger ($8) or a hot dog ($7). You can also get popcorn ($5) or fries ($4).
Pepsi products are $7 from the fountain (with free refills) and $4 bottled. Water is also available for $4. While the Greensboro Coliseum generally has beer sales, it is not on sale for Spartans games.
Nothing here is particularly spectacular, so grab whatever suits you and pick a seat.
You have to weigh the venue against the team under atmosphere. Greensboro Coliseum is a classic college basketball venue, but its ambiance is somewhat lessened at a UNCG Spartans game.
The stadium itself is large and filled with tradition. Deep in the heart of ACC country, the facility is decorated with the ACC Tournament logo. Part of a larger complex, you have to walk through corridors full of history to reach the stadium area. The concourse is wide, and the arena itself is large for a college basketball venue. However, the stands are largely covered by black curtains or black tarp. The few seats that are left are far more than enough to accommodate the light following the Spartans have.
In-game entertainment is light, at best. There are cheerleaders and a small pep band, but the crowd is too small for there to be much of an impact. The PA announcer is not particularly excitable, largely mirroring the crowd. You'll hear the squeaking of sneakers and communication of the players, which for the basketball purist may be all you need.
Only lower sideline seats are available, so there's truly not a bad seat in the house. Until the crowds start showing up for Spartans game, buy the cheapest ticket they have. Ushers do nothing to direct you to any particular seat, and open seats are abundant.
Greensboro is a relatively large city, but despite that fact, you'll find the area is largely devoid of attractions.
While the city may not strike you as having a lot, there are definitely some interesting options here. Right downtown, you'll find Natty Greene's (named after Revolutionary War hero Nathaniel Greene), a brewery and restaurant with some excellent food options to enjoy. For a true southern specialty, try Dame's Chicken & Waffles. Here you can try waffles with "shmears" of all flavors from Strawberry Creme to Orange Honeycomb.
Greensboro also has a distinct lack of attractions for the size of the city. While the food scene isn't bad, there's just not a lot to recommend to do. For the history buff in you, the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park marks the site of the famous Revolutionary War battle and is probably Greensboro's most famous non-sports attraction. Beyond that, it's parks and gardens, with possibly the Greensboro Arboretum being the logical choice.
Hotels in Greensboro are generally inexpensive and can be found all along I-40 and I-85. The Doubletree is probably your best option, and happens to be right down the road from the Coliseum Complex. A five-minute drive puts you in the parking lot.
Maybe it's that the venue is too large for the team, but fan impact on a Spartans game is minimal.
The Spartans faithful have averaged up to about 2,700 a game over the last few years, but this is truly a case of an over-sized venue. The stadium feels almost empty at all times, and the curtained upper deck and tarped seats behind the basket don't help.
That all leads to the crowd noise being minimal. Fans are scattered all over the seating area, and that means there's very little in terms of energy. In general, it's a feet-on-the-seats kind of crowd.
On the plus side, it truly couldn't be much easier to get to the Greensboro Coliseum from.....well....anywhere.
There's not any public transportation to the stadium in general, so you'll need to drive here. But the PTI Airport is nearby, and is one of the easiest airports to get in and out of in the country. Within 30 minutes of landing, you can be at the venue.
Parking is in a massive lot that serves the entire complex. There is likely to be more events than just the game going on, but the lot is more than large enough to serve all of them. Parking is $10 for the lot, which is a bit steep, but is a standard price for all of their events.
Entry here is a bit unique, because of the multiple events at the complex. There are many ticket offices, so you'll need to go inside and probably ask directions to the one for UNCG basketball. Once there, it's easy to get inside.
The concourses are built for much larger events than Spartan basketball, so needless to say, getting around is easy. You'll feel almost alone in the cavernous arena in all areas. Restrooms are large and again empty. Getting around the stadium really couldn't be much easier.
It's not going to be the most exciting ticket in town, but for a true basketball fan, it's an interesting one.
Tickets are $10, parking is $10 and food will likely cost you about $10, so there are cheaper venues out there. But you don't often get to see a game in the Greensboro Coliseum, even if it is largely empty for the Spartans. And for a basketball purist, it's nice to see a game at a great venue with very few distractions.
Again, it's a mixed bag here. All of the extras go to the venue itself and not for UNC Greensboro basketball. The ACC Hall of Champions being right in the stadium is worth a visit. The beautiful court, scoreboard and venue in general accounts for everything else.
This venue classifies as a "Hey, why not?" type of experience. $10 to see a Division I game in the Greensboro Coliseum? Hey, why not? Enjoy catching some solid basketball action in one of the more storied arenas in college basketball.
Member Review by Martin on Feb 28, 2012
There aren’t many mid-major teams that get the chance to play in a staple NCAA Tournament venue, and for UNCG, that is a definite selling point. Unfortunately, the team hasn’t had much to be thankful for, with only two .500 seasons in the last 10 years. Hope is on the horizon, as Wes Miller took over for the fired Mike Dement mid-season, helping UNCG to a 10-1 stretch at one time before the Spartans dropped its final three regular season games.
Miller, 29, played for the Tar Heels on the 2005 National Championship team and spent a little time abroad before returning stateside to coach.
The Spartans just need a little excitement to get the Greensboro Coliseum loud, as the arena is a top-line location with a ton of history. It celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009, and has seen 23 ACC Tournaments and 12 NCAA Tournaments.
2206 High Point Rd
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