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Mohegan Sun Arena

Uncasville, CT

Home of the New England Black Wolves

3.7

N/A

Mohegan Sun Arena (map it)
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT 06382


New England Black Wolves website

Mohegan Sun Arena website

Year Opened: 2001

Capacity: 7,700

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Season One at Mohegan Sun

The Philadelphia Wings were one of the founding members of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League and its successor, the National Lacrosse League. During their 28 year history, the team won six championships and established themselves as the premier team in the league. At the conclusion of the 2014 season, it was announced that the Mohegan Tribe had purchased half of the Philadelphia team, and would be moving the team to their arena at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. As part of this move, the team was renamed the New England Black Wolves.

The Black Wolves won their first game, on January 2, 2015 over the Buffalo Bandits, 12-8 in front of over 6,000 fans.

3.7

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    4

The Mohegan Sun Arena offers an impressive variety of concessions options for the hungry lacrosse fan. However, with the Black Wolves failing to fill the building to capacity thus far in their inaugural season, the arena does not open all the concession stands for their games. While this may necessitate a little bit of searching to find your desired item, it does not affect the food available.

Most stands offer your standard sporting fare, such as quarter pound steamed hot dogs ($4.50), sausage and meatball grinders for $6.00 ("grinders" are what we call "subs" here in New England), or nachos with cheese ($4.00). For fans looking for something a little more substantial, specialty stands offer slices of Connecticut favorite Frank Pepe's pizza for $5.00, or assorted deli sandwiches ($6.50). Italian grinders, chicken salad wraps, or chicken caeser wraps can be found for $6.50, as can nachos loaded with chili, queso, jalapenos, and sour cream for $8.00. The quality is good, and prices are in line with other arenas in the area. Fans who expect extra high prices due to the arena's location in a casino may be pleasantly surprised.

Fans looking to satisfy a sweet tooth will find plenty of snack foods available to do the trick. Concession stands at Mohegan Sun Arena offer potato chips ($1.00), Pepperidge Farms snacks ($3.50) and cookies ($2.00), pretzels ($3.50), popcorn ($1.00), and assorted ice cream novelties ($3.50). There are even homemade treats available at selected stands. Fans looking for a healthier snack will be pleased to find fruit cups available for $2.00.

Thirsty lacrosse fans won't be disappointed here, either. A nice variety of adult beverages are sold at Black Wolves games, with Sam Adams, Shock Top, Blue Moon, Smirnoff Ice, Heineken, Bud, Coors, and a selection of brews from local brewery Goose Island sold here. Bottles start at $7.00, with drafts priced as high as $9.00. Glasses of wine, as well as mixed drinks, are also sold here. Fans looking for a non-alcoholic beverage can choose from coffee (iced or hot), as well as a variety of Coca-Cola products (both fountain and bottled). The arena runs a special for Black Wolves games, with a small fountain beverage sold for only one dollar. This is a 16 ounce cup, not a kiddie cup.

The only complaint that could be made about the concessions at the Mohegan Sun Arena is the lack of a signature item, but with several great restaurants literally steps from the entrance to the arena, many fans will choose to eat before or after the game.

Atmosphere    4

Lacrosse is a rapidly growing youth sport in New England and the Black Wolves certainly attempt to tap into that market with their game day presentation. Unfortunately, there is not a huge turnout by the youth lacrosse crowd here at Mohegan Sun. Whether this is due to the team's presence in a casino or just due to the novelty of the team is unclear at this time. Whatever the reason, it is clear that the Black Wolves staff are still trying to find what works best in this market.

Fans who are not familiar with indoor lacrosse will find many similarities with minor league hockey in terms of the game day presentation. Perhaps the most unique aspect of the NLL experience is the presence of music playing throughout the game, even when the action is going on down on the field. While most younger fans will likely have no problem with this, older fans may need a little time getting used to this.

There is an emcee who speaks throughout the action as well, exhorting the fans in attendance to chant "DEE-FENSE," but his efforts generally are for naught. There is a dance team that performs on the sidelines and during breaks in the action. T-shirt tosses and other minor league staples, such as the Kiss Cam, are incorporated here as well.

Perhaps the most unique feature at the Mohegan Sun Arena is the Party Pit, an area set aside on one sideline where fans with tickets can mill about right on the side of the field while mingling, drinking beer, and enjoying the sights. Unfortunately, most fans hanging out in the Party Pit seemed to pay little attention to the game going on just a few feet away, and this area did little to add to the overall atmosphere of the game.

Neighborhood    5

Eastern Connecticut is an area full of small towns and wooded countryside, removed from the urban areas of southern New England, so visitors to the area may not find a whole lot to do outside the casino. Still, Mohegan Sun Casino is centrally located within the region, and is located roughly an hour from Providence, Worcester, Hartford, and New Haven. Neighboring Foxwoods Casino is just over 10 miles to the east.

Mohegan Sun is one of the largest casinos in the United States, with over 364,000 square feet of gaming space. For fans who come to Black Wolves games and do not want to gamble, the casino also contains theaters, night clubs, several high end restaurants, and 130,000 square feet of retail space, all located just steps from the arena's front entrance. While the casino may not be your traditional neighborhood, the number and variety of entertainment options available before or after a Black Wolves game are impressive.

Fans    2

In their inaugural season, the Black Wolves are bringing up the rear in the NLL in terms of attendance, averaging just under 4,000 fans per game. This ranks them 8th out of the 9 teams in NLL. A bigger turnout from the youth teams in the area would be expected, but the fact that Mohegan Sun is located in the middle of the sparsely populated area of eastern Connecticut may play a role in the lack of youth teams noticed here. The larger programs are located about an hour away in many directions, making travel to Black Wolves games somewhat of a project.

Access    5

Mohegan Sun Casino is located just off of Interstate 395, which runs north-south through eastern Connecticut. Interstate 95, which runs east-west parallel to the Connecticut shoreline, is a few short miles away. Fans coming from the north or west will take route 2A off of I-395, and will be deposited right at the casino. There are several free parking garages surrounding the casino, none of which are more than a 15 minute walk to the arena entrance. If you can resist the bells and lights of the casino floor, you will be at the game in no time.

Once inside the arena, fans will enter into a clean, attractive concourse that is more than large enough to handle a typical Black Wolves crowd. Not all concession stands are open for lacrosse games, but lines are not long and move quickly. Likewise, restrooms are new, clean, and more than sufficient to handle a typical Black Wolves crowd.

The seating area is octagonal and separated into upper and lower levels. The arena is designed to accommodate several different types of events, and several sections of seating are moved to facilitate the lacrosse rink. While this may make for a strange looking seating bowl, the view from all seats are excellent.

Return on Investment    3

Tickets for Black Wolves games range in price from $15 (upper level end zones) to $50 (seats on the glass). Waiting to buy tickets on the day of the game will raise prices from $2-$5, so plan ahead if possible. Parking is free in any of the several garages that surround the casino, with no garage located more than a 15 minute walk from the arena. Concessions are in line with other minor league venues in the area, so a visit to a Black Wolves game is not the money gouge you might expect when going to a casino. Be sure to remember that this is a casino, so there are numerous ways for a visitor to be parted from his or her money, so plan accordingly.

Extras    3

Extra points are awarded for the overall visual appeal of the arena. The Mohegan Sun Casino's overall decorative theme reflects the Native American roots of the tribe, and this theme is carried into the arena as well. The bronze-orange terrazzo floor, muted colors, and decorations hanging from the ceiling create a visually pleasing setting to take in a game. Just outside the entrance to the arena, visitors will find an indoor waterfall as well as several mechanical wolves atop faux stone towers. These wolves will sit back, wag their tails, and howl from time to time.

The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame is located at the Mohegan Sun Arena, with plaques commemorating local boxers lining a wall on the concourse. You may be surprised at some of the names produced by the small state of Connecticut honored here.

Just outside the arena is a Walk of Fame which honors some of the bigger acts to have played at the arena. Also, just steps from the arena entrance is the Wolf Den, where up-and-coming artists as well as some well known names, play free concerts. Acts as diverse as Rick Springfield, the Monkees, the Robert Cray Band, and Queensryche have played free shows in this intimate, 300-seat setting.

Final Thoughts

While a casino may not be the first place that springs to mind when thinking of where to bring the family for an evening of sporting fun, the Black Wolves staff do their best to put on a family friendly event. The game day presentation remains a work in progress as the team figures out what works and what doesn't in this market and how best to attract the growing youth lacrosse population. In the meantime, having a resort casino just steps from the front door can't hurt.

You can follow all of Paul Baker's stadium and arena journeys on Twitter @puckmanri

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Local Food & Drink

Ballo Italian Restaurant  (map it!)

1 Mohegan Sun Blvd.

Uncasville, CT 06382

(860) 862-1100

http://mohegansun.com/poi/dining/ballo-italian-restaurant-and-social-club.html

Michael Jordan's Steakhouse  (map it!)

1 Mohegan Sun Blvd.

Uncasville, CT 06382

(860) 862-8600

http://mohegansun.com/poi/dining/michael-jordan-s-steak-house.html

Geno's Pub  (map it!)

1 Mohegan Sun Blvd.

Uncasville, CT 06382

(860) 862-3918

http://mohegansun.com/poi/dining/geno-s-pub.html

Local Entertainment

Wolf Den  (map it!)

1 Mohegan Sun Blvd.

Uncasville, CT 06382

http://mohegansun.com/poi/venues/wolf-den.html

The Cabaret Theatre  (map it!)

1 Mohegan Sun Blvd.

Uncasville, CT 06382

http://mohegansun.com/poi/venues/the-cabaret-theatre.html

Lodging

Mohegan Sun Hotel  (map it!)

1 Mohegan Sun Blvd.

Uncasville, CT 06382

(888) 226-7711

http://mohegansun.com/hotel-spa-and-golf.html

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