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Official Review by Michael Davis, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Moody Coliseum originally opened on December 3, 1956 on the campus of Southern Methodist University, located just north of downtown Dallas, Texas. Over the next 50 years, the multi-purpose coliseum would be a large part of the University Park neighborhood providing not only SMU athletics but concerts, academic ceremonies, Boy Scout conferences, and basketball and volleyball camps. The coliseum also served as the temporary home for a Dallas Mavericks playoff win in 1984 versus the Seattle Supersonics which is referred to as “Moody Madness.”
Over the years Moody Coliseum has had minor renovations keeping the gym current with the times. However, not until 2013 has Moody Coliseum undergone a major renovation project. Approximately $40 million in renovation costs transformed the old-school gym into an updated arena now offering a new main lobby, wider concourses, updated concessions, improved lighting and seating, luxury boxes, Wi-Fi capability, new locker rooms, and an LED scoreboard with LED signage around the arena, along with a new floor scheme.
The newly renovated Moody Coliseum opened on January 4, 2014, to a sellout crowd, and an upset win over then #4 ranked and the eventual National Champion, Connecticut Huskies.
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 renovation of the coliseum included the concession spaces throughout the concourse. As you walk around the concourse you may notice that the concession stands have two names, Hilltop Grill and the Peruna Kitchen. The menu includes the typical fare of deluxe nachos with chili and cheese served with jalapenos for $5 while the hot dogs, peanuts, bagged popcorn, pretzels, potato chips, large cookie, and Minute Maid Italian ice is a little less at $4 per item.
The premium menu offers a few more options from those above, with costs topping out at $10 for the Peruna Burger, an all-beef Bubba burger with smoked bacon, roasted pepper aioli, and blue cheese on a brioche bun. Other premium options include the brisket nachos and brisket sandwich. Besides the beef choices on the premium menu, you can also choose the chicken tenders for $7 or the waffle fries for a dollar less. Pepperoni or cheese pizza is offered at $10 and is catered in from a long-standing Dallas staple restaurant, Campisi's.
SMU athletics serve Coca-Cola products on campus, so for a $6 32oz cup, you have a choice of Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Mr. Pibb, and Sprite. Along with the soda offerings there is also Dasani bottled water for $4.
Beer and wine sales began inside the concourse areas with the re-opening of Moody Coliseum in 2014. The selection of beer is limited to three choices; Bud Light and Michelob Ultra costing $8; while a Shock Top Belgian White will cost a little more at $10. The wine offered is a Copa Di Vino Chardonnay for $10.
Just like anywhere else when things are new or the product has improved, so has the volume of people that use the concessions stands, so be prepared to wait. More speed is needed from the concessions at Moody Coliseum.
Moody Coliseum renovations may have updated the building with today's accessories but the feeling of a basketball gymnasium is still kept with the seating capacity being downsized from 8,998 to 7,000 seats. This reduction in seating is due to the addition of suites along the upper sidelines.
Moody Coliseum is a smaller arena and it provides close knit seating around the court. This helps the atmosphere as the fans can easily get involved with the game. The coliseum has three levels of seating, the 100 level, 200 level, and the suite level. The suite level is above the 200 level and runs along the sideline across from the team benches. In the lower 100 level, the seating is dominated by the SMU students, leaving only the seats across from the team benches for premium seating. The students, known as "The Mob," surround the baseline and bench-sideline inside Moody. They are continuously loud, energetic, and provide an intimidating atmosphere for the visiting team.
The Mustang band is positioned in section 100 behind the baseline, while the SMU cheerleaders and SMU Pom Squad are positioned along the baseline on opposite ends of each other. Each group works tirelessly throughout the game to entertain and engage the crowd.
Moody Coliseum is on the beautiful campus of Southern Methodist University. The campus itself is 243 acres with an enrollment of about 11,000 students. The neighborhood surrounding the campus is called University Park.
Within a short walking distance is Mockingbird Station, a development of shops, dining, and living complexes that were developed around the Mockingbird DART light rail stop. Mockingbird Station has about 11 different restaurants and 18 shops. A few of the restaurants in the station include Trinity Hall Irish Pub and Restaurant, Rockfish Seafood Grill, and Café Herrera. The complex also includes the Angelika Film Center which provides an eight screen, stadium seating center devoted to independent and specialty films. If you can't find what you're looking for at the Mockingbird Station then the DART light rail can easily get you to a place that does, with downtown Dallas being just a short commute south.
There are a various levels of fandom when it comes to college sports; the fans that grew up rooting for a certain school, the alumni of the school, and of course the current students. The SMU fans and alumni combine to form a wonderful fan base, but it is the current student base that is the heart and soul of Moody Coliseum and continue to bring the arena to life game after game.
Southern Methodist University is located in University Park, just north of downtown Dallas, making the campus accessible by public transportation, yet it doesn't provide the most ideal parking situation for sporting events.
Moody Coliseum is located on the SMU campus and is accessible from Interstate 75 near the President George W. Bush Presidential Library.
There are three cash parking areas; Moody Garage, Binkley Garage, and Westcott Surface lot around the coliseum that are close and accessible to Moody Coliseum, costing $10 each to park. The Meadows Garage on campus has free parking if you can arrive early. Otherwise, if you don't mind a short walk, you'll find free parking at Expressway Tower or at the Dallas Area Rail Transportation - Mockingbird Station.
The campus is accessible by public transportation, with the DART light rail being the best option to avoid the Dallas traffic. The Mockingbird Station is a rail stop on the Red, Orange, or Blue lines.
When you enter the arena through the only public entrance to Moody Coliseum you'll walk into the Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers Lobby. The lobby houses the Moody Coliseum ticket office along with the Mustangs Pro shop. The concourse is well lighted compared to years past, signage is well marked, and free game day programs are provided.
The resurgence of Southern Methodist basketball since the hiring of Coach Larry Brown, along with the renovation of Moody Coliseum, produced seven sellouts during the 2014 season. Moody Coliseum has become the place to "see and be seen," as Former President George W. Bush, Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, Dallas Cowboys players Tony Romo, and Jason Witten, along with Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett have all been in attendance.
The high expectations of the 2014-15 Mustangs basketball team has sold out the 2014-2015 season so you'll have to purchase tickets through a third party reseller. A visit to the SMU campus along with a game at Moody Coliseum is well worth the price and trip for sports enthusiasts.
The excitement for college basketball in a football driven state is definitely an extra, providing an atmosphere rival to other basketball powerhouses.
The number of sellouts in 2014 shattered SMU basketball attendance records along with the 2014-15 season tickets being sold out is a great sign of things to come.
The SMU heritage recognition area in the east side concourse is a real tribute to the school's history and its students with SMU student athletes' plaques depicting their athletic accomplishments opposite a wall mural of pre-renovated Moody Coliseum.
Moody Coliseum is an updated classic from the past. The revival of SMU basketball with the hiring of Coach Larry Brown, the rebirth of Moody Coliseum, the new life of SMU basketball with a spot in the 2014 NIT Tournament, and national rankings, give the alums a true sense of pride and offer the current student body a bright future. Moody Coliseum is a great place to be during the college basketball season.
Member Review by EGrant on Feb 05, 2013
Southern Methodist University has a rich tradition of history when it comes to athletic accomplishments. Those traditions haven’t carried over into the 21st century yet, but Moody Coliseum embodies everything about SMU that Mustang students and alumni love to celebrate.
Home to the Texas and Dallas Chaparrals before the NBA franchise moved to San Antonio and became the Spurs, Moody opened up in 1956—coincidentally the last year the Mustangs reached the Final Four.
Since then, it’s been home to SMU basketball and women’s volleyball games, but has also doubled for games including the Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and various other events like cheerleading competitions and concerts.
Renovations in the early 1980's and again in 2006, which included a jumbo-tron in the middle of the arena, have helped to keep the building current, but the old-school feel you get while experiencing the Mustangs play basketball is one of the best parts of the entire experience.
Students and fans are quick to describe the home-court advantage as “Moody Magic”, a phrase that gained popularity after looking up SMU’s all-time record at the Coliseum.
SMU is a university with rich tradition, and Moody Coliseum is at the center of the past, present and future that the Mustangs look to embody with each home game in Dallas.
2900 Thomas Ave
Dallas, TX 75204
5321 E Mockingbird Ln
Dallas, TX 75206
5331 E Mockingbird Ln
Dallas, TX 75206
5321 E Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, TX 75206