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Official Review by Patrick Westrick, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Opened on December 6, 1965, and named after the man who served 44 years as a player, coach, and athletic director for USM, Southern Mississippi's Reed Green Coliseum was once a crown jewel of basketball in the south. With its 8,095-seating capacity and uniquely designed seating bowl, fitting in a complete circle around the court instead of the tradition rectangle, USM had a very one-of-a-kind basketball experience to offer the Magnolia State. However in the 52 years since opening its doors, the Coliseum known as 'The Yurt' to Golden Eagle fans is in much need of a dramatic facelift to keep up with the times.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
If you're looking for something other than the standard basketball game concession you are going to be disappointed. In the two concession stands you will find the average $5 hamburger, $5 sausage dog, $4 hot dog, $3 cotton candy, roasted peanuts and pretzels. You can purchase a $5 32 oz. souvenir soda, a 22 oz. regular soda for $4 and a bottled water for $4. When comparing concession prices to other arenas this is quite cheap. However as far as variety goes, it is lacking.
Recent history has not served the Golden Eagles well as they are struggling to keep afloat in C-USA. This has played a part in the poor attendance in the past few years. Reed Green Coliseum still is a very tough place to play for road teams with USM boasting a .719 winning percentage and having a 23 home game win streak as recently as 2013 but those days seem very distant when watching a game in The Yurt today.
At the game of this review, the student section was completely empty except for the 50 person pep band. The band members were the only ones in the arena that cheered or brought any excitement from the crowd. Everyone else looked and sounded quiet and reserved.
Immediately around the arena is nothing of note. Only campus buildings and a parking garage but travel just off campus onto Hardy Street and you will find whatever you are looking for. Hattiesburg has quite a few well-known, local eateries for foodies and sports lovers alike. Keg and Barrel is always a top choice for Hopheads and for good reason. K&B offers up over 100 beers on tap (many of which are craft) and has an excellent food menu to boot. Don't get in a hurry though because they are always busy.
Ed's is another local stop for pre and postgame activities. Ed's offers up a wide variety of juicy burgers and a few beer options. Their outdoor patio is filled with 'tailgate' style games for adults and kids alike and given Mississippi's warm winter climate you can enjoy being outdoors even during basketball season.
Since you're in the south we have to mention the BBQ and Leatha's BBQ Inn is definitely one to cross off your foodie bucket list. Offering up your traditional pulled pork, half smoked chicken, 1/4 smoked chicken and full slabs of ribs, Leatha's will leave you wishing you brought your stretchy pants to Hattiesburg with you. Word to the wise, try the ribs. You will not be disappointed.
When Southern Miss is rolling, like during their 2012 NCAA Tournament appearance or their 2014 NIT run to the quarter finals, USM fans come out of the woodwork. They are knowledgeable and show great school spirit. However, during the normal years most USM fans could be classified as fair-weather fans and normally find themselves not attending games at all. The ones that do show up are very gracious to out-of-towners and always root for their Golden Eagles proudly but there just aren't enough of them. USM isn't alone in this problem. Most mid-major to low-tier programs battle this every season. Especially in states where Power 5 teams are king.
While there isn't a ton of parking immediately around the arena, except for season ticket holders, there is a nice parking garage about 200 yards away. It is easy to get in and out of, very well lit, and doesn't cost a thing to park in.
Once inside the arena, the concourse is very small and could be troublesome if attending during a rivalry game with bigger attendance. With only two sets of concession stands and two sets of restrooms, lines could stack up and frustration could take over. For the most part this is not going to hinder you with attendance not being as high as it once was.
With a $10 general admission ticket or a $20 chair back ticket, seeing a Division 1 C-USA basketball game is a very cheap option. You can really buy a $10 ticket and sit where ever you like, unless it's a larger crowd. While Reed Green Coliseum is quite old and doesn't have a video board, LED ribbon boards, or any amenities if you are just going to see a game then it will serve your needs. If you are looking for amenities then you may not have a fun-filled day.
Southern Miss commemorated their 1987 NIT championship with the tailgating location, Nitchampsburg. This special place is located near the stadium and was given its own zip code in honor of Mississippi's only men's division I basketball championship.
Member Review by tthornell on Feb 05, 2012
Affectionately known as the Yurt to the Golden Eagle faithful, the Reed Green Coliseum was built in 1965 and was named after the former player, coach and athletic director Reed Green. The coliseum is on the northwest side of campus and has an overall capacity of 8,095.
204 N 40th Ave
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
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