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McBrayer Arena

Richmond, KY

Home of the Eastern Kentucky Colonels

2.9

3.3

McBrayer Arena (map it)
521 Lancaster Ave
Richmond, KY 40475


Eastern Kentucky Colonels website

McBrayer Arena website

Year Opened: 1963

Capacity: 6,500

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Ballin' in Richmond

Alumni Coliseum in Richmond, Kentucky, opened in 1963, and has a capacity of 6,500. It is currently home to Eastern Kentucky University's men's and women's basketball teams, as well as EKU's women's volleyball team. The court itself is named after Paul McBrayer, a former EKU basketball coach. The venue is unique, in that its ceiling is made entirely of wooden beams, and is believed to be the largest such ceiling in existence.

2.9

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    3

While Alumni Coliseum does not offer a ton of choices at its concessions stands, there is more than enough variety to suit most tastes.

Food options include chicken sandwiches, tacos, burgers, hot dogs, brats, and pizza; these items range in price from $3.50 to $4.75. Snack options include popcorn, chips, candy, nachos, soft pretzels, peanuts, cookies, and Dippin' Dots, which cost between $1 and $4. The food quality is actually fairly good for a sports stadium, especially the burgers (simple, but tasty).

Drinks available at Alumni Coliseum include all of the basics, such as bottled soda (Pepsi products), bottled water, Gatorade, coffee, and hot cocoa, all of which cost $2.50 to $3. No alcohol is sold here, as the venue is located on a college campus.

There are two types of concessions stands at Alumni Coliseum - the main ones are permanent, and the others are just plastic tables set up in the concourse. The tables only take cash, so if you specifically want a burger, cookies, or Dippin' Dots, make sure you bring some cash. But all of the other items can be purchased from the main stands, which take cards.

Atmosphere    3

Alumni Coliseum is a decent basketball venue, with a good crowd, and some nice features.

Alumni Coliseum appears very imposing from the outside, but seems a little smaller once you get inside. The basketball court itself only has seating on three sides (along both sidelines and behind one backboard), but the video screen is located behind the opposite backboard, so is easy for all fans to see, even though it is not that big. See a video of the layout here:

One nice feature of Alumni Coliseum is that the walls in the concourse are lined with trophy cases and plaques showcasing different teams' accomplishments, as well as commemorating notable players and coaches. There are also flags outside on the plaza, and massive posters for both the men's and women's basketball teams adorning the wall outside the front entrance.

Most of the seats are wooden bleachers, but there are three sections of metal chair backs (lower level along both sidelines, and upper level on one sideline). The lower-level chair backs are reserved for donors, but the upper-level chair backs are definitely worth the extra $2 they cost, since they are more comfortable than the bleachers.

Neighborhood    2

There is not a lot to do in the small town of Richmond, besides visit the university. However, there are several decent restaurants near Alumni Coliseum, and the town has a little Civil War history, as well.

About a mile from the stadium, near I-75 on your way into town, there is a Hooters and a Logan's Roadhouse, either of which would make a fine hangout for before or after the game. But if you are looking for something more local, check out Madison Garden on Main St (northeast of Alumni Coliseum) - Madison Garden offers pretty standard bar fare, including wings and burgers that they are well-known for, but the real draw is that they serve over 175 different beers.

Richmond was the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War, and there are a couple of monuments in town memorializing the battle, including the Visitor's Center and Battlefield Park.

There are a number of hotels about a mile from Alumni Coliseum, ranging from Best Western to Holiday Inn. Most of them are located off I-75 to the west of the venue, but there are also a couple on the northeast side of campus.

Fans    3

The fans at Alumni Coliseum are very loud and supportive of their team, and the venue draws a pretty good crowd.

During a typical game in a good year, a men's basketball game will draw between 4,000 and 5,000 fans, or about two-thirds full. Most of the fans wear team colors, and stay fairly loud throughout the game.

The student section is clearly marked, but the students do not seem any louder than the rest of the fans, if not less so. Regardless, the concourse is absolutely deserted while the game is going on, so that definitely shows how engaged the fans are.

Access    4

Alumni Coliseum is easy enough to find in the daytime, since it is located on a hill and is thus very visible. However, at night, it is a different story - the venue is surrounded by other campus buildings, so the only way you can really get there is from the main drag.

Parking is free right outside the Coliseum's main entrance (on the south side), so that is a major plus. Most fans enter on that side, and there are two ticket booths there, one of which only takes cash.

Since the crowd is small, the concourse is rarely crowded and there is plenty of room to move around. There are more than enough bathrooms to accommodate everyone, and the lines at concessions are almost non-existent since there are multiple stands you can buy from. Once you get into the arena itself, there is a walkway that divides the upper and lower seating areas so you can still watch the game as you make your way to and from your seat.

Return on Investment    3

Tickets to EKU basketball games are very cheap and concession prices are very reasonable. The atmosphere is not over the top, though, so unless you just want to see a game, there are other venues nearby which provide a lot more energy.

Ticket prices are $10 for general admission, and $12 for upper-level chair backs ($8 for youth). Nothing at the concessions stands is over $5, and parking is free.

Extras    2

Alumni Coliseum has some great architectural features, some of which are more easily seen during the day, such as the impressive entrance and the plaza outside, but the wooden ceiling is also notable. Having the trophy cases and plaques on display inside is also a nice touch, instead of having them hidden away in some museum far away.

Final Thoughts

Alumni Coliseum has some nice features but the crowd, while decent, is on the small side and probably won't blow you away. That said, if you live nearby, it may be worth a visit to take in a game here, but it may not be a venue to travel very far for.

Updates to AC

In the last few seasons, Alumni Coliseum has seen some major upgrades. first a huge video board has been added to the wall end of the arena, as well an entire new floor has been installed along with new arena lighting and sound. The updates have helped a lot.

by Colonel 17 | Jan 11, 2015 05:35 PM

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Crowd Reviews

Colonels of Kentucky

Total Score: 3.29

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

Paul S. McBrayer Arena is a unique venue in which to enjoy a college basketball game, boasting the world's largest wooden cross-arched roof. As the home of the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, McBrayer Arena provides a wide range of Ohio Valley Conference matchups. The Colonels' men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams have called these Richmond, Kentucky confines home since the 1963 season.

McBrayer Arena features a setup common to college football venues, with a horseshoe shape that seats 6,500. The wooden benches in this three-quarter bowl provide a classic college basketball feel, supplemented by seats with backs for higher-paying attendees.

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Local Food & Drink

Paddy Wagon Irish Pub  (map it!)

150 E Main St

Richmond, KY 40475

(859) 625-1054

http://www.richmondpaddywagon.com/

Madison Garden  (map it!)

152 N Madison Ave

Richmond, KY 40475

(859) 623-9720

http://www.madisongarden.net/grill/

Hooters  (map it!)

241 Eastern Byp

Richmond, KY 40475

(859) 626-3900

http://www.hooters.com

Local Entertainment

Battle of Richmond Visitors Center  (map it!)

101 Battlefield Memorial Hwy

Richmond, KY 40475

(859) 624-0013

http://www.battleofrichmond.org

Lodging

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