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Mitchell Center

Mobile, AL

Home of the South Alabama Jaguars



Mitchell Center (map it)
5950 Old Shell Rd
Mobile, AL 36608

South Alabama Jaguars website

Mitchell Center website

Year Opened: 1998

Capacity: 10,041

There are no tickets available at this time.


Local Information


The Jungle

The University of South Alabama (USA) is located in Mobile, Alabama and has a student body of more than 16,700 students. It has one of the only two state-supported medical schools in Alabama, with the other being UAB in Birmingham. There are more than 50 majors offered on the 1,200 acre campus located on the western outskirts of the city.

The USA athletic teams are known as the Jaguars and they compete in the Sun Belt Athletic Conference. South Alabama is actually the lone charter member of the conference left. The Jaguar basketball program has seen a great deal of success over the years, as they have gone to the NCAA Tournament eight times. Unfortunately, they have drawn the eventual national champion as their first round opponent on three occasions. The school’s main rival within the Sun Belt is Troy University.

The Mitchell Center at the University of South Alabama has served as the home court for the Jaguars since 2000. It is known to students and alumni by its more colorful moniker of “The Jungle.” The on-campus arena has seating for 10,041, including 16 luxury suites. It is large enough to have served as a two-time host for the Sun Belt Conference basketball tournament and also hosted a few New Orleans NBA games in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.


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 Mitchell Center has four concession stands in the building, but unless the game is a sellout the school tends to keep two or more closed. This results in some of the longest concession waits I have experienced. This is true throughout the game, not during just halftime or timeouts. The concession stands often run out of food by halftime, which further exacerbates the lengthy lines. Have a filling lunch or dinner prior to the game, and only rely on the concession stands for snacks.

Atmosphere    3

As befits an educational institution that often goes by the shorter "USA" name, the Mitchell Center's basketball arena is predominantly covered in the colors of red, white, and blue. The seating around the playing court is broken down into a lower level and an overhanging upper level. This design ensures that all seats provide a good view of the game and that there really are no bad seats in the house.

Another feature that is impossible to ignore is the octagonal shaped scoreboard over center court. It features four panels of scoring and statistical data and four panels of video boards, providing fans with an excellent view of replays and game stats.

Neighborhood    4

The Mitchell Center is surrounded by the University of South Alabama campus. This is located midway between the Mobile Regional Airport and tourist attractions along Mobile Bay. Restaurants within a mile of the campus include the Mellow Mushroom, Heroes Sports Bar & Grille, and Chicken Salad Chick.

The city of Mobile and its Historic District are approximately six miles east of the South Alabama campus. Amongst the attractions you will want to visit are Bellingrath Gardens, the USS Alabama, and Henry Aaron Stadium, home of the Mobile BayBears and the transplanted childhood home of Hank Aaron.

Foodies will delight in such restaurants as Mama's on Dauphin, Wintzell's Oyster House, and Dreamland Bar-B-Que.

Fans    3

The University of South Alabama draws a very solid fan base, as the Jaguars have had a number of successful seasons. They have appeared in the NCAA Tournament eight times and have participated in the NIT in four different seasons.

Helping keep the fans fired up throughout the game are the USA pep band, the Prowlers Dance Squad, the USA cheerleaders, and the South Alabama Jaguar mascot SouthPaw. The Jaguars draw their largest crowds for Sun Belt conference contests, especially the games against in-state rival Troy University.

Access    3

Getting to the Mitchell Center is very easy, as you follow two main arteries, Airport Road and University Avenue to reach the campus from the west. From I-65, you exit at Old Shell Road and turn right. In eight miles you will reach the campus and the arena.

There are more than 4,500 free parking spaces within a 10 minute walk of the facility. If you still need tickets, or are picking them up at will call, there are 16 ticket windows to take care of you promptly.

Return on Investment    4

Prices for tickets to Jaguar games run as follows: General Admission- upper level ($7), Lower Baseline and Lower Sideline ($12), and Courtside ($50).

Parking at the Mitchell Center is free of charge, Concessions are reasonably priced and rooms away from the beach areas of Mobile run around $100. A visit to a Jaguar game, along with the many Mobile area tourist attractions can make for a reasonably priced weekend getaway.

Extras    3

One of the more unusual features of the Mitchell Center is in its north lobby. The Waterman Globe stood for many years as a landmark atop one of the first tall buildings in downtown Mobile. Eventually the building became out of date and was scheduled to be torn down. Local citizens were bemoaning the loss of a treasured landmark and then the university stepped in and installed the globe structure within the Mitchell Center to show its commitment to the city of Mobile.

You might want to think about catching a February Jaguar's game to coincide with Mardi Gras. Mobile has the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in the U.S. (dating back to 1703), which predates the more famous New Orleans celebration by a number of years.

The University of South Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is well worth a visit while you are in the Mitchell Center. Plaques of the honorees and USA memorabilia line the concourse of the arena.

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Crowd Reviews

The Mitchell Report

Total Score: 3.14

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

The Mitchell Center on the campus of South Alabama has twice hosted the Sun Belt Conference basketball tournament, and with a capacity of over 10,000 for basketball, it is one of the biggest basketball venues in the state of Alabama.

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Local Food & Drink

Mellow Mushroom  (map it!)

5660 Old Shell Rd

Mobile, AL 36608

(251) 380-1500


Heroes Sports Bar & Grille  (map it!)

273 Dauphin St

Mobile, AL 36602

(251) 433-4376


Chicken Salad Chick  (map it!)

2370 Hillcrest Rd

Mobile, AL 36695

(251) 660-0501


Mama’s on Dauphin  (map it!)

220 Dauphin St

Mobile, AL 36602

(251) 432-6262


Wintzell’s Oyster House  (map it!)

605 Dauphin St

Mobile, AL 36602

(251) 432-4605


Dreamland Bar-B-Que  (map it!)

3314 Old Shell Rd

Mobile, AL 36607

(251) 479-9898


Local Entertainment

Bellingrath Gardens and Home  (map it!)

12401 Bellingrath Gardens Rd

Theodore, AL 36582

(251) 973-2217


USS Alabama  (map it!)

2703 Battleship Pkwy

Mobile, AL 36603

(251) 433-2703


Hank Aaron Childhood Home and Museum  (map it!)

755 Bolling Brothers Blvd

Mobile, AL 36606

(251) 479-2327




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