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Official Review by Brian Merzbach, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
McCann Arena, home of the Marist Red Foxes, is a quintessential college basketball venue. It is intimate and provides a great home court advantage when at full capacity. It underwent an extensive renovation prior to the 2011-12 basketball season which featured the installation of chair back seating and the addition of two high definition video boards. Among the facilities in the MAAC, McCann Arena is clearly one of the best. The best known alum of Marist is former Indiana Pacers center Rik Smits, the “Dunking Dutchman”.
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".
Like most smaller college basketball facilities, the selection of concession options is somewhat limited. The main concession stand is located to the right of the lobby, though there are two small stands located at the north end of the building (behind the endzone bleachers). Items available include popcorn, pretzels, and hot dogs as well as soda and coffee. Prices are very reasonable and the food looks decent enough. The hot pretzels are of the twist variety - this is a nice change from the Super Pretzels which the majority of sporting venues serve.
When the Red Foxes are good, McCann Arena is a fantastic place to take in a basketball game. Because of the small capacity (only about 3,000), it can fill up quickly as the students and general public come out in great numbers. Even when Marist has not been as good (such as in recent years), the atmosphere is still lively and fun.
A large student band takes up about a third of the seating area on one of the ends and plays music before the game and during timeouts. Playing an assortment of pop songs, the band ranks up there with many schools which have four or five times as many students and is probably the best in the MAAC.
The Red Foxes also have the usual cheerleader and dance squads which come out during timeouts to entertain the fans. There are also several contests for kids and t-shirts are tossed into the crowd at various times. With the large student turnout and a great band, it can get quite loud in the McCann Center, leading to a great home court advantage for the Red Foxes.
With the most recent renovation, the majority of the seats are now reserved chair backs, though there are some general admission bleachers available as well. No matter where you sit, you'll feel close to the action and part of a great atmosphere.
McCann Arena is located on the Marist College campus which is in Poughkeepsie, NY. Within walking distance (across the street from the campus) is an Applebee's and a McDonalds. But if you have time, there are many more restaurants to explore with a 10-15 minute ride. North of the campus in Hyde Park, there is the Hyde Park Brewery and the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) which features several upscale restaurants to choose from. If diners are more your thing, the Palace Diner and Eveready Diner are both just a short drive away as well. There is certainly no shortage of good food options near McCann Arena.
As with many mid to lower tier college teams, fans are a bit fair-weather at Marist. When the Red Foxes are good, the turnout is great and many games are a sellout. But when they are not so good, the crowds are smaller and tickets are easy to come by. Still, by and large, the fans (especially the students) are enthusiastic and into the game. Most of the students sit in the bleacher section at the north end, which means they can be very intimidating to the opponent while shooting free throws in the second half of games.
While finding the Marist campus is easy enough, its location along the busy Route 9 corridor can make it a bit of a hassle to get to. It is located close to 30 minutes from both I-84 and the NY State Thruway (I-87), so allow for extra travel time if coming in at rush hour on a weekday. There is free parking on campus for the games, however it is located at the far north end, which is about a 15 minute walk from the arena. All parking close to the McCann Arena is reserved for season ticket holders. Shuttle buses are provided for fans, which is a nice amenity when arriving, but they don't have enough when exiting so it is usually easier to walk.
As part of the most recent renovations, the bathrooms were expanded greatly meaning no more lines. They are located off of the lobby.
Ticket prices are about average for the MAAC here - $12 for chair seating and $10 for bleachers. Children 12 and under are just $6 no matter where they sit. This is quite reasonable for the level of play - the MAAC is just below some of the more well-known mid-major conferences. Concessions are reasonably priced and programs are just $2. With parking being free, it is a very affordable night out for a family.
The newly installed video boards are something rarely seen at a basketball arena that is this small. My only complaint with them is that they double as the scoreboard and the font is a bit too small. The actual score can be hard to find upon a quick glance.
Member Review by sportsroadtrips on Jan 29, 2016
The women's game is more popular here after several years of success, with the men's game an afterthought. Fans react accordingly, moving around during the game, showing up late, and leaving early. There are your typical promotions during the timeouts, but nothing special. Scoreboards are nice, and do show teams stats on occasion. Try the Derby pub near Poughkeepsie station with happy hour from 5-7, you can walk about a mile to the arena from there. After the game, a taxi back to the station might be your best bet if you are not comfortable with the area. Sideline tickets were only $10 for both games, a bargain and the highlight of what a slightly disappointing experience in terms of the facility.
4076 Albany Post Rd
Hyde Park, NY 12538
1946 Campus Dr
Hyde Park, NY 12538
194 Washington St
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
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