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Louis Brown Athletic Center

Piscataway, NJ

Home of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights

2.6

2.4

Louis Brown Athletic Center (map it)
83 Rockefeller Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854


Rutgers Scarlet Knights website

Louis Brown Athletic Center website

Year Opened: 1977

Capacity: 8,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Rutgers at the RAC

The Louis Brown Athletic Center is the home of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. It is known as the RAC, which is an acronym for its original game, the Rutgers Athletic Center. With a capacity of 8,000 it is one of the smallest in the conference. Rutgers has thought about expanding it in recent years. The Scarlet Knights have bounced around from a few conferences in the past few seasons.

Rutgers was in the Big East Conference for a lengthy period until that conference split up. Rutgers then joined the American Athletic Conference for just 1 year. Rutgers then paid an 11.5 million dollar buyout to go and join the Big Ten Conference. The Scarlet Knights now take on teams like Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State. It is a great opportunity for their teams and allows the fans to see a truly high level of athletic competition.

2.6

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    2

The food at the RAC is simply not up to par with other college basketball venues. There are a few stands that sell pretzels, popcorn, hot dogs and pretzels. There is a stand that sells pulled pork sandwiches, and there is also Rita's Italian Ice. The food is reasonably priced at the RAC. They sell Pepsi products here, so no Coca-Cola. Since this is an on-campus arena, there is no alcohol sold here. If you want something to eat, I would recommend eating before the game. Right near the arena is a diner, Qdoba, and a Starbucks.

Atmosphere    2

The atmosphere at the RAC leaves a lot to be desired. The game I attended was one of the marquee games of the year for the Scarlet Knights. It was the Garden State Hardwood Classic, where Rutgers takes on Seton Hall. There was not a lot of fire or excitement throughout the arena. The Scarlet Knights do the usual promotions, like tossing t-shirts into the stands, but it was a very bland atmosphere. As far as college venues go, you can get many atmospheres that are far better than the one at the RAC. The views from anywhere in the arena are fine, but you never feel that involved in the game. Rutgers does not do much to get the crowd going, despite having a band and cheerleaders.

Neighborhood    3

The RAC is located on the Rutgers campus and there are some good places to eat and hang out around the arena. There is a Qdoba, a Starbucks, and a diner within walking distance of the RAC. There is also a movie theater in the plaza right next to the arena. Also, the area that the arena is located in is very safe. It is mainly a residential area that seems to look very nice. There are not a whole lot of bars nearby, but there is an adequate amount of places to eat and enjoy yourself after or before a Rutgers basketball game.

Fans    2

The fans at the RAC were simply not into the game. In what was supposed to be a marquee game, I never felt any excitement or fire coming from the Scarlet Knight fans. The student section was late to the game, and no one ever really got into the game. The fans are very respectful and will give opposing fans no trouble. If you want to simply relax and enjoy a Division One basketball game, Rutgers is the place for you. If Rutgers is playing a big time opponent the place can get loud and crazy. If they aren't though, things can be a bit subdued.

Access    3

It is not hard to find the RAC. It isn't in the hectic cities of New Jersey where traffic is crazy. It is located more towards central New Jersey, so it is relatively close to Philadelphia and New York City. Inside the stadium, lines can get long at the concession stands. I would recommend that you leave slightly before the end of the first half to avoid the very long lines. The concourse can get a bit cramped, but it does not get too crazy. It is very easy to navigate around the RAC.

Return on Investment    4

Rutgers plays some good opponents at the RAC, which means you will see some quality basketball if you attend a game. For an upcoming game, Ticket Monster lists the prices as low as $14. That is a very good price to see some quality college basketball. The prices at the RAC are also not too bad. Concession prices are very reasonable and will not hurt your wallet.

Extras    2

One star is for the fact that they do a good job of honoring past players and teams for their accomplishments. Rutgers does not forget their past history and always brings back former players to honor them.

A second star goes to the banners the school hangs up of all the teams in the Big 10 conference. It is nice to see all of the logos and banners lined up next to each other.

Final Thoughts

The RAC is not a place that is going to get loud and crazy. Some of this has to do with the fact that Rutgers has not had very good teams in the past few years. However, the fans do not do too much to help the atmosphere and give the team a spark. If you want to see some good quality basketball, come to the RAC if you are in the area. If you come when Rutgers plays a big time opponent in the conference you may experience a crazy atmosphere since the fans are right on top of the players at the RAC.

Doesn't sound like much has changed

I was a regular attendee at the RAC in the late 80's early 90's. Men's hoops tickets were easy to come by in the lower level. I had season tickets as a student in row 3, directly behind the bench.

Women's tickets were a much bigger draw, as we were consisitently nationally ranked back then.

Only highlight was making the NCAA tournament on a fluke in 1990 (the year that made Bob Wenzel a god in New Brunswick). Slept out all night for tickets and was 5th in line. Went outside and the line was around the building. I don't think the RAC has seen an outpouring like that ever since.

The neighborhood for Rutgers is across the river from the basketball and football stadiums and offers a number of great late night choices on campus.

by dberger | Oct 17, 2011 06:30 PM

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Crowd Reviews

Rac 'em Up

Total Score: 2.14

  • Food & Beverage: 1
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 1
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 1

Visiting the Louis Brown Athletic Center, affectionately known on Rutgers' campus as the RAC, on a cold winter night reminds one of what Russia looked like during the 1950s. A squat, trapezoidal concrete structure set in the middle of a large empty field, the facility doesn't exactly inspire hope and excitement as one approaches it during a snowy evening.

The Rutgers basketball program has resembled its ugly home lately, with naught a winning season since 2006, and conference records along the lines of 3-15 year after year. New head coach Mike Rice has revitalized the program, however, putting together a recruiting class with a number of four-star recruits, including national recruited St. Anthony's HS point guard Myles Mack. This night's game, a nationally televised Big East game against #2 Pittsburgh, would be an interesting test of the young Scarlet Knight's ability, as well as a test of how the fans have reacted to the program. No matter how good the basketball program gets, though, it's pretty clear this stadium just won't cut it.

small venue for big time hoops

Total Score: 3.14

  • Food & Beverage: 2
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 2

One of the smaller arenas in the Big East, it's easy to get up close and personal with the RU program.

When built RU didn't have any crowds at all, so it's not really conducive to sold-out hosting, but it's a nice intimate setting for college basketball, and when you do get a big crowd, they are known to produce one of the greater home court advantages in Division 1 hoops.

Attack the RAC

Total Score: 2.00

  • Food & Beverage: 2
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 1
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 2
  • RoI: 2
  • Extras: 1

I could see no sign of the name Louis Brown anywhere in the facility, which is once again the RAC. With Rutgers in the Big Ten, this facility is severely stretched. Two concession stands had long lines before the game, so you were forced to the Premio stand and its $9 sausages. Fans were mostly of visiting Indiana. Nothing around here, getting in is easy enough off the 287, but once inside the venue, you will be fighting crowds. Positives are the trapezoid shape, the steep seating angle which allows for great views from the 200 seats, and the giveaways that actually come into the upper seats for a change. Traffic on the way out will slow you down. Rutgers basketball is not very good, so cheer for the visiting team if you want to leave happy. Possibly the worst hoops venue in the power conferences.

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