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Official Review by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Loyola University may not be as well-known as Loyola in Illinois. Or Loyola in New Orleans. Or Loyola Marymount in California. But this university began in 1852 as Loyola College in Maryland. It is a Roman Catholic, Jesuit private university located in Baltimore, Maryland.
Previously an all-male college, Loyola became coeducational in 1971, following its joining with Mount Saint Agnes College. Currently, Loyola is located right next door to all-female Notre Dame of Maryland University.
Loyola has a strong liberal arts program, as well as a fine education school and the Joseph A. Sellinger School of Business and Management.
Notable alumni include Tom Clancy, author of The Hunt for Red October, Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down and ABC Olympics commentator Jim McKay.
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".
You should try and eat before the game. Why? There is a simple temporary food table set up in the entrance way to the game. There is no real lobby to the arena, so there is no room for additional offerings.
Chick-fil-A items are for sale. A chicken sandwich is $4.50, with the spicy option for $5. Bottled soft drinks are $3. The menu is rounded out by popcorn ($3) and chips ($1). The prices are good, but the selection is just not good enough to award more points here.
The arena changed the seats from all bench seating to a mixture of chairs with seat backs and plastic bench type seating.
The arena is small and there is not much space. That means it is loud if there is any type of a crowd. There is just not always a big crowd. The game I attended was an in-state rivalry game and had a decent number of fans from both schools in attendance.
Loyola has a very good cheerleader squad, dance squad and a highly visible mascot. A pep band is also there to make some noise for the game.
Loyola is in a very good part of Baltimore City. The problem is that there is just nothing much around the local neighborhood. Luckily Baltimore is a big city that is not too big to get around.
Miss Shirley's at 513 West Cold Spring Lane is noted for their great breakfast and down-home food.
Also relatively close to the university is the Mt. Washington neighborhood that straddles I-83 South (known as the Jones Falls Expressway, or the JFX, by locals). The Mt. Washington Tavern is an excellent restaurant with both a fine food and bar food type of menu. The place is large, and there always seems to be room for more. Parking is the biggest problem here, so it would be worth paying the nominal valet charges. Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys is the closest hotel and has a new and exciting lobby restaurant that is another option.
Venturing further from Pimlico, one may want to try out the suburb of Towson with its variety of shops and restaurants. Try the Charles Village Pub (19 W Pennsylvania Ave) in the heart of downtown Towson for good food and drinks. Some other great options are The Crease (523 York Rd), Glory Days Grill (1220 E. Joppa Rd), Sushi Hana (6 E. Pennsylvania Ave) and Zia's (13 West Allegheny Ave).
Maybe it was because of the rivalry game I attended, but the Loyola fans seem quite engaged with the game. They are loud and boisterous. The students also dance in unison at certain parts of the game.
Reitz Arena certainly has issues with access.
First, the campus is located in a quiet north Baltimore neighborhood. That means that getting to the campus is not easy. The best route is to travel I-83/The JFX, south and get off at Cold Spring Lane. Other options include exiting I-695, the Baltimore Beltway, and driving south via York Road or Charles Street. York is the busiest route, but may be easier than the high-speed curves of Charles Street.
Second, when you get to campus, you will need luck finding parking. Not only will you have trouble finding close parking, but you may have trouble finding any parking. If it is a weeknight game during the semester, you may be sorely out of luck. Look for spaces on Cold Spring Lane or one of the small lots around that area.
Then once you have found that parking space, you will need to find the Arena. There are very few markings for Reitz Arena. Look for the Andrew White Student Center. The arena is actually above the art gallery and the campus Starbucks in the Student Center.
And it gets even funnier, as the ticket windows are far away in the student center and not at all near the arena doors. And the doors to the arena itself are a pair of nondescript, unmarked doors back near Starbucks. Finding an arena should not be this difficult.
Tickets are $10 for general admission and $15 for seats with backs. That is way too expensive for this kind of arena. Luckily, the team does offer special ticket packages and prices for many games.
The maze of an entrance is almost an extra on its own, as it is so unique.
But seriously, look at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field just outside the Andrew White Student Center. This is the former home to the men's and women's soccer and lacrosse teams. Geppi-Aikens was a former star athlete and women's lacrosse coach at Loyola who died of brain cancer in 2003. Located just outside of the Reitz Arena, the field is valuable space, so visit it while you can. Hopefully if they do remove the field, the university can still find a way to honor the beloved former coach.
In 2014 the Loyola campus was designated an accredited arboretum by the Morton Register of Arboreta. The 80-acre campus boasts more than 2,200 trees that represent 84 varieties.
Reitz Arena is a small, crowded arena hidden away on a pretty campus. The small size of the facility can make it a loud place to see a game, if you can find your way to the arena.
Member Review by gtcrawley on Feb 27, 2012
Baltimore’s Reitz Arena is home to the Loyola University Greyhounds. This small Jesuit school has less than 7,000 students that call it home. It is the ninth-oldest Jesuit university in the country. It is far better known for its lacrosse teams than its men’s and women’s basketball teams, which play in Reitz Arena. I’m thinking they were using the term "arena" loosely, as Reitz is way too small to be called an arena. I guess it sounds better than Reitz Gym, though.
Member Review by Josh Greene on Feb 12, 2013
I loved it here. If I could give them a 10 on everything I would.
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