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Official Review by Scott Bultman, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Millett Hall was built in 1968 and is host to Miami University (Ohio) basketball as well as volleyball. It is also home to the ROTC program as well as other campus events such as concerts and guest speakers.
Millett Hall seats 6,400 fans for basketball, but has seating for 9,200 for other events. The RedHawk men's basketball program has enjoyed a .760 winning percentage in games played at home since its opening.
Miami has made the NCAA tournament seventeen times and have four Sweet Sixteen appearances. Perhaps the most famous tournament run in school history was in 1999 which featured wins over #7 seed Washington and #2 seed Utah.
Basketball has been played in Oxford, Ohio, since the 1905-06 season and two of the school's all-time greats are Ron Harper and Wally Szczerbiak who both went on to NBA careers.
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 food and beverages here are limited. Hot dogs can be had for $3 and a generous condiments bar is nearby. Pretzels and nachos sell for $4 and snack offerings include popcorn, candy, potato chips, and apples.
The beverage choices are much better than the food offerings. Pepsi products are sold and a fountain drink will set you back $3. Gatorade and bottled water are available as well for around the same price. Tim Hortons coffee is sold here for $3 a cup.
The atmosphere here is not the greatest as Millett is not a basketball arena, but clearly a multi-purpose venue built to hold everything from major guest speakers, traveling productions and concerts, and college commencements. The hall is even home to the headquarters and training facilities of Miami's ROTC branches.
As you can see in the photos, the floor sits in the middle of the hall floor, leaving fans in the curved portion of the seating bowl at the end line far away from the action. Also, fans sitting in these seats have to turn their heads at an angle to see the action. For games where most of the seats are filled, these seats would not be desirable. Luckily, most seating is general admission so fans can choose to sit in most sections here.
For now, with the downturn in interest in the program, the school doesn't need all of the 9,200 capacity. Unless demand calls for it, the upper bowl is mostly tarped over, bringing the capacity down to around 6,400.
One bonus is putting curtains up to block the volleyball practice court and storage area behind one of the baskets. This gives the place a slightly more intimate feel.
Miami's campus is just beautiful with the majority of buildings built in the Georgian Revival style. The university is considered a "public Ivy school," a term people associated with the school wear with pride. If you have the time, be sure to walk, or at least drive, through the area and see the campus. Yager Stadium is located outside the northeast entrance of Millett Hall and is worth a look just for the cradle of coaches sign alone.
For food and drinks, the main drag is High Street, just a few blocks away from Millett. There are plenty of cheap options, sports bars and fast food. A landmark for the after-bar crowd is Bagel & Deli, a tiny restaurant that serves over 90 different steamed bagel sandwiches--the 'Pig in the Mud' is highly recommended and great. Other than that, there's plenty of other options for pizza (try Bruno's), burritos, and burgers.
Fans here are knowledgeable and are into the game. Every hustle play, basket, etc. are cheered. One thing that the university could work on is getting more students to these games. Tickets are free for students yet very few were in the stands on this day. It is easy to draw fans when a team is winning but more could be done no matter what the records are.
Getting to the Miami campus in Oxford is somewhat easy. The small town sits about an hour away from both Dayton and Cincinnati. From Cincinnati, I would recommend taking State Route 27 the entire way to campus as the alternative route of I-75 to the Fox Highway will lead you right into downtown Hamilton, Ohio. If you hit the city at rush hour M-F, it will add some time to your trip.
From Dayton, you can take three major routes, though they all involve some travel on two-lane country roads. Depending on the time of day, traveling on I-75 to State Route 73--which will take you from just south of Middletown straight to campus,--is your best bet.
Signage is plentiful all around the area, if you do get lost keep in mind Millett is north of the campus. It's a small town and really shouldn't be difficult to navigate, even if it's your first time in the area. There are parking lots on the grounds containing Millett and Yager Stadium.
Parking is $5 and flows pretty well both before and after the game. If you're considering finding on-street parking (and it is plentiful), be careful to check the surrounding residential streets for signs requiring parking permits or Oxford P.D. may leave you a nice memento for your visit.
Adult tickets are $20, kids seats are $10. If you buy in advance, ticket prices are $13 for adults and $7 for kids. The seven dollars in savings is well for it for an adult. If buying at the ticket office on the day of a game, $20 seems a bit much. You are close to the action if you are in the lower bowl.
An added bonus is catching both the women's and men's games on the same day--that is--if you don't mind a long day at the gym. These doubleheaders are plentiful and two games for the price of one is always great return on investment.
Food and drink is priced fairly and a family of four can have a fun afternoon without spending over $100.
Bonus points are given for a good scoreboard that keeps up to the minute stats on full display for the players in the game. A second bonus point is earned for the roster sheets and scorecards given out to fans in attendance. A third bonus point is given for the amount of history displayed on the concourse that include trophies and artifacts on display giving fans a reminder of past successes within the Miami athletic program.
Millett Hall is to be commended for the many uses of the building. However, to compensate for the seating bowl challenges--as well as a lack of a big student section-- game day staff might be able to do a better job with contests and scoreboard games to keep fans entertained. Too often during timeouts, it felt like being in a classroom due to the lack of activity.
The home of the RedHawks is a tidy and efficient way of keeping costs down by having multi-purpose arenas that house different sporting teams. However, the atmosphere and coziness doesn't seem to be there at basketball games here. Miami would do well with enticing students to come to games and getting more of a big time basketball feel back here again.
Member Review by conradklank
Millett Assembly Hall, pronounced (mil-let) as I was immediately corrected by some fans, is named after former Miami University President John D. Millett and serves as home to the university's basketball and volleyball teams. The arena opened on December 2, 1968 as the men's basketball team hosted The University of Kentucky Wildcats. Since that day, the men's basketball program has accomplished an impressive winning percentage of .762 with an overall record of 361-113 prior to the start of the 2011-2012 season; talk about a home court advantage.
Member Review by cadence80 on Jan 30, 2013
The home of Miami basketball since 1968, Millett Hall has been a fortress. Miami’s teams have posted a collective winning percentage north of .700 at home before a downturn in recent years. Now led by Coach John Cooper, the RedHawks are hoping to regain the collective interest of the university and reclaim Miami’s strong basketball history.
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