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Official Review by Michael Davis, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Reed Arena is located in College Station, Texas on the west side of the Texas A&M University campus. The arena is home to the Texas A&M men’s and women’s basketball teams, the volleyball teams, major concerts, commencement ceremonies and a variety of other events. The two level seating arena with a single concourse has a seating capacity of 12,989. The arena opened in the fall of 1998 and is named for Houston veterinarian Dr. Chester J. Reed, a 1947 graduate of A&M, and his wife, Billie Jean.
Reed Arena has served as the site for both Men’s and Women’s first round of the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). The largest crowd for a Men’s basketball game of 13,717 took place on February 27th, 2010 vs the Texas Longhorns.
Reed Arena is home of the 2011 NCAA Women’s basketball National Champions.
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".
Reed Arena has nine permanent concession stands located on the concourse level along with various temporary stands. The concessions offer all of the expected stadium fare items with typical stadium prices.
The Aggie nachos are the highest cost on the menu at $10, while a regular nachos costs $4.50, and you can add extra cheese or chili to either size for an additional $1.75. There are a couple of food values found inside the arena, such as a combo of a hamburger, chips, and souvenir cup soda, or a souvenir popcorn tub, for $10. The Slovacek sausage and bratwurst cost $5.50. The Aggie dog (a basic hot dog), pretzel, peanuts, and candy round out at $4 each. The temporary stands such as the Gig 'em Grub offers bottled soda, water, various choices of candy, popcorn, and cotton candy, but is cash only; while the permanent concession stands all accept credit cards.
The soda products offered inside Reed Arena are Pepsi products. The concessions offer two sizes - medium for $4, or the large, which comes in the 12th man souvenir cups, for $5.50. Aquafina bottled water and Gatorade cost $4 each.
While Reed Arena may not offer a significant number of novelty concessions, you should find plenty to choose from to satisfy any appetite while attending an event inside the venue.
The atmosphere in Reed Arena is excellent and although it may not be on the level of Kyle Field, the 12th Man and Aggie Spirit is alive and well in The Reed Rowdies. The Reed Rowdies namesake consists of a student group that promotes Aggie basketball on campus, however any student attending a game in Reed Arena is considered a Reed Rowdy. The Reed Rowdies are located on the baselines in white Reed Rowdies t-shirts and will be seen waving towels to rally the team and onlookers. These students, along with the Texas A&M Yell Leaders, keep the Aggie Spirit and tradition thriving during a basketball game.
The most recognizable Aggie tradition comes alive at the beginning of each half with the Aggie War Hymn, you'll witness Aggie upon Aggie link their arms and legs together and sway back and forth in a motion similar to that of a saw blade to symbolize "sawing Varsity's horns off," referring to the Aggie's rival, Texas Longhorns (originally known simply as "Varsity"). You'll also see the Corp of Cadets supporting the team from a section on the baseline where the Aggie Dance team is situated. The Aggie Dance team performs choreographed routines during timeouts and at halftime. Texas A&M doesn't have a traditional cheerleading squad, as the Yell Leaders and Reed Rowdies easily get the crowd participating in cheers. Overall, the atmosphere is really spectacular.
Reed Arena is located on the campus of Texas A&M University, just off George Bush Drive on the corner of Olsen and Kimbrough Boulevards in College Station, Texas. College Station with nearby Bryan is located in East Central Texas, 1.5 hours northwest of Houston. The two cities together are referred to as the Bryan-College Station metropolitan, making up the 16th largest metropolitan area in the State of Texas, with a population of approximately 170,000. College Station is constantly listed among the great college towns, and just north of Texas A&M University across University Drive is the Northgate District. The Northgate District provides many restaurants and bars for a pre and postgame atmosphere.
Where to Eat. The Dixie Chicken, commonly referred to as "The Chicken," has been serving College Station since 1974 and is located directly across from the Texas A&M campus. It's a great place to grab a beer before or after an event and listen to live country music. Not only is the Dixie Chicken known to be a favorite watering hole among Aggies, but claims to serve the most beer per square foot of any bar in the United States, and has a variety of food selections at reasonable prices. If you're looking to find some BBQ in the area, C&J BBQ has three locations just a few miles away from campus and is worth your time.
Attractions and Entertainment. The Texas A&M University campus is a great way to spend time before or after an event. The one place on campus that is truly a must while visiting College Station is the Bonfire Memorial located next to the TAMU golf course. This memorial stands to represent the bond that all Aggies have with one another, the spirit, history, and traditions long celebrated and honored by Texas A&M, and is a tribute to the individuals injured or who lost their lives during the tragic 1999 Bonfire collapse. The campus also is home to the George Bush Presidential Library.
The Aggies fans are unique compared to other colleges in that there is a bond among Aggies. Texas A&M University is recognized as the Home of the 12th man during football games as the crowd makes up the collective sense of having a 12th man on the field through their loud, energetic, and supportive nature to the team and fellow Aggies. The Aggie Spirit continues not just in football but in basketball as well. There seem to be no bandwagon fans when it come to the Aggies fans. You'll get the feeling that being an Aggie fan is much more than buying the university apparel; either you are an Aggie or you're not. Despite this extreme loyalty, you'll typically find Aggie fans to be polite and respectful, nonetheless.
The main box office is located at the main entrance across from the Student Rec Center. Four satellite box offices are located at the north, south, east, and west entrances. The doors open one hour prior to tip off. The Reed Arena is surrounded by parking lots on each side and cost $5. Handicap access and restrooms are easily accessible. Overall, you should have no problem finding parking. The access through the four entries is easy and quick, the concourse is wide and plenty of signage is offered to help you find your section regardless of if you're sitting in the lower or upper level of the arena.
TAMU men's basketball tickets range between $15-$25 a ticket with the parking only costing $5, resulting in a high return on investment. Texas A&M University participates in Flash Seats ticketing, a paperless way to manage your ticket.
Texas A&M University is one of only six senior military colleges in the United States. The Corps of Cadets is the largest uniformed body outside of the military academies.
The Spirit of Aggieland "spirit can ne'er be told."
The Aggie War Hymn was used as a wakeup call on Day 11 of space mission STS-121 for Texas A&M former student and mission specialist Mike Fossum.
Texas A&M basketball may not be on many sports bucket lists, since basketball isn't the premier sport at the university, but Reed Arena is a terrific venue to watch top SEC basketball with a high return on investment making a trip to Aggieland special in its own right. The spirit of Aggieland will amaze you, maybe even confused you, but a trip there is simply a must for everyone.
Member Review by pderrick
Heading to College Station I had high expectations of Texas A&M basketball, mostly due to my recent trip to wonderful Kyle Field in the fall. Well, I was definitely not disappointed.
Reed Arena which was opened in 1998 with the capacity to hold just under 13,000 spectators, and when the majority of them are Aggie fans it can spell disaster for their opponent. Texas A&M basketball is right on par with the rest of the Aggie athletics, in that their fans are right on point at making sure their Aggies' home court advantage is upheld.
307 University Dr
College Station, TX 77840
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