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Magness Arena

Denver, CO

Home of the Denver Pioneers



Magness Arena (map it)
2240 Buchtel Blvd
Denver, CO 80208

Denver Pioneers website

Magness Arena website

Year Opened: 1999

Capacity: 7,200

There are no tickets available at this time.


Local Information


Basketball Pioneers

Although Denver University (DU Pioneers) is more known for the success of its ice hockey program than its basketball program, their men’s basketball team is nothing to scoff at and has been on the rise in recent seasons.

The basketball program at Denver University has existed since 1904 and the team first played at the Denver Alumni Gymnasium, and then at the DU Field House Arena where they played for 50 years. Today, home games are played at Magness Arena which opened in 1999 on the same spot where the DU Field House Arena had once stood.

The Pioneers have recently played in the Sun Belt Conference, and the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Beginning the 2013-2014 athletic season the basketball team joined the Summit League.


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

Only three concession stands are open with just your traditional fare. The menu includes soda ($4-$4.75), bottled water ($3.25), peanuts, candy, popcorn ($3.75-$4;), pizza slices, pretzels, and foot long hot dogs ($4-$6.25).

Beer is served at Magness Arena ($5-$7.50). There is just your traditional macro brewed beers such as Budweiser, Bud Light, and Molson.

There are no extra carts with distinctive food, drink or special/micro beers.

Atmosphere    4

The arena was about 80% full for this review - a much larger crowd than I expected.

There are several very nice promotions during the breaks in the game. A kid shoots and gets a basket and wins $1,000 for his/her school, a T's for 3's promotion (every time a Pioneer got a 3-pointer, a t-shirt was thrown into the stands - 16 of them this game). Music is played at a good level, although there may be times that you have trouble hearing the person next to you.

During intermission, as a part of Black History month, the Pioneers and Denver University recognized and honored a Lieutenant from the Tuskegee Airmen, an all-black World War II fighter pilot squad. This gentleman received a standing ovation from all in attendance. Other local influential individuals are recognized and honored during breaks and time outs.

The announcer clearly calls the name of the player who scores a basket as well as announce any called violation and penalty shot.

It is comfortably warm so, unlike watching a DU Hockey game; there is no need to wear layers when seeing a basketball game.

Most of the banners and the history shown in the concourse (there are many to see and view) are not from the men's basketball program but from the other fine sporting teams and programs the University of Denver has developed. Do take some time to stroll the concourse to see and read the history displayed here.

The game I attended was part of a double header - women's basketball game in the early afternoon; men's in the late afternoon. It was announced at the men's game that since the national anthem was played during the women's game; it would not be played during the men's game.

Neighborhood    3

There are many eating establishments within walking distance (1/2 mile or less) of the University. There are the typical fast food chains including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Starbucks, Subway, etc. Two non-fast food places I can recommend are Crimson and Gold Tavern and Spanky's Urban Roadhouse. They are both sports bars with multiple TVs showing a variety of sporting events. Food and service is fine at both places, nothing fancy - a good salad or burger and a beer - which is fine by me.

There are plenty of sporting venues in the Ritchie Center (the sports complex of the University of Denver - including Magness Arena) and surrounding area: lacrosse, tennis, gymnastics, tennis, soccer, and more. Take a stroll through the campus and neighborhood to see the playing fields and the buildings that are rich with beauty and tradition - 21st century buildings mixed with those built from the 1890s - 1950s.

There are not any hotels within walking distance (1/2 mile) from the arena. However, there are many along the RTD light rail line. There's a LaQuinta one light rail station away (without light rail, it's maybe a 1.2 mile hike to DU).

Fans    3

At the game of this review, there were more than twice as many DU cheerleaders as DU players and those cheerleaders were very much a part of the fan base. At some games, there is a school band that does an excellent job at rooting for the Pioneers and providing music between breaks.

There is a good mix of youngsters, retirees, and middle aged folks. They all cheer and applaud when 3-pointers are made as well as during blocked shots and when all the other offensive and defensive plays are made.

Access    3

I took the RTD light rail for $4.50 round trip causing me no hassles with traffic after the game. Magness Arena is two blocks from the light rail station so very walk able.

If driving, Magness Arena is right off the I-25 interstate on South University Blvd. There is plenty of parking at and around the arena - nine parking lots. Parking prices are rather high - ranging from $3 in the summer (school is out) to as high as $25, depending on the event.

There are ample, clean bathrooms with plenty of stalls in the ladies room and no wait even right after the game ends. The concourses get crowded after the end of the game. If you're not in a rush, hang out a bit after the game and listen to a live interview with head coach Joe Scott and allow the crowd to disperse.

My recommendation, take the light rail!

Return on Investment    5

Game tickets for men's games are $9-$30 (women's game tickets range from $8-$12). During my most recent visit as I was approaching the ticket window, a lady asked me if I was buying tickets. I said yes, and she just gave me two extra tickets she had. I'll need to remember to pay that forward sometime when I have an extra ticket or two to any sporting event.

Turns out, it was a ticket to the woman's game that was currently being played and those same tickets could be used for the men's game. And, the seats were center court, facing the benches, five rows up. It was fantastic.

Extras    3

Getting a free ticket with a perfect seat deserves a point. Strolling through the university area and grounds that are in an arboretum setting awards another. And finally, anywhere one can take public transportation to a game/arena deserves a point.

Final Thoughts

If you are in the Denver, Colorado area, make a visit to Magness Arena at the University of Denver. It holds many sporting events including, but not limited to, Denver Pioneers men's and women's basketball and men's hockey. I'll be getting back there more often.

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Crowd Reviews

Pioneer Basketball

Total Score: 3.29

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

Although Denver University (DU Pioneers) is more known for its ice hockey program, team, and success than its basketball program, their men’s basketball team is nothing to scoff at this 2011-2012 season.


The basketball program at Denver University has existed since 1904 and was first played at the Denver Alumni Gymnasium, then at the DU Field House Arena where they played for 50 years, and is now played at Magness Arena which opened in 1999 on the same spot where the DU Field House Arena had once stood.


The Pioneers currently are in the Sun Belt Conference, however, the University of Denver accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), effective the 2012-13 athletic season.

Pioneers of College Hockey

Total Score: 3.29

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

The Denver University Pioneers began play in 1949 and have a proud history. They currently are in the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) and play in Magness Arena. Magness Arena is part of the Daniel L. Ritchie Center, a sports complex that houses most indoor DU athletics. It is not uncommon for fans to be able to see a swimming or water polo event while seeing a hockey or basketball game at Magness.

The proud history is evident with the Pioneers as they have won seven national titles. This total is tied for second in NCAA history with North Dakota. Only the University of Michigan has more national titles (9). Famous Pioneer alumni include Glenn Anderson, Kevin Dineen, Paul Stastny, Peter McNab, and Bill Masterton.

Share your thoughts about Magness Arena

Local Food & Drink

Crimson & Gold Tavern  (map it!)

2017 S University Blvd

Denver, CO 80210

(720) 379-5454


Spanky's Road House  (map it!)

1800 E. Evans Avenue

Denver, CO 80210

(303) 733-6886


Local Entertainment


La Quinta Inn  (map it!)

1975 South Colorado Blvd

Denver, CO 80222

(303) 758-8886



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