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Official Review by Mark Vasold, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Sojka Pavilion, located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, is home to the Bucknell Bison men's and women's basketball teams. Bucknell is a member of the Patriot League. Sojka Pavilion is a 4,000-seat arena that opened in 2003. The arena was named for Dr. Gary Allan Sojka, a former president of Bucknell. Bucknell has appeared in the NCAA tournament in 1987, 1989, 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2013. Since 1990, the men's basketball team have been Patriot League champions four 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".
Sojka Pavilion provides your basic arena/stadium food, including hot dogs ($2.50), hamburgers ($4.25), cheeseburgers ($4.75), chicken tenders ($5.00), french fries ($2.00), pizza slices (cheese and pepperoni) ($2.00/$2.50), nachos ($3.75), soft pretzels ($1.75), popcorn ($2.00), and a small variety of chips, candy bars and ice cream. They provide Dasani bottled water, tea, lemonade, coffee and hot chocolate. Fountain sodas are Coke products. A 24-ounce fountain soda is $2.50 and a large $3.00. They also provide a variety of meal deals and family meal deals. I bought a meal deal that included a Nathan's hot dog, 24-ounce fountain soda and bag of chips for $5. The hot dog was very good and was about a foot long. There are two concession stands located in the arena. Sojka Pavilion doesn't sell alcoholic beverages. The lines move very fast. Cash and credit cards are accepted.
Sojka Pavilion is a beautiful arena. There is a wide variety of the ages of fans in attendance. A lot of families were also in attendance. During timeouts, the cheerleaders do some performances, and the band occasionally plays. They also have a few tee shirt tosses, as well as pizza giveaways. There are also performances from the Bucknell Bison dance team. During halftime of our visit, there was a putting competition on the court.
There really isn't a bad seat in the arena. I sat in section D, which is located behind the visitor bench. The Bucknell bench is located in front of sections F and G. The teams enter the court between sections C and D. I thought the seats were fairly comfortable. However, there are no cup holders.
The fans are fairly loud at various points throughout the game, which makes it hard to hear the PA announcer. The student sections are A, S and R, and the band is located in front of those sections. There are two suites, which are located behind section K. I couldn't get into them, but it doesn't appear there is anything special about them. I also didn't see a mascot at all during the game. There is a scoreboard located above the court, as well as one on the wall, behind the student sections. The scoreboards display basic information, such as score, player numbers, points and fouls.
There is not much to do around the university. If you are looking for a place to eat dinner or have a few drinks before or after the game, there are a few decent places. Try The Bull Run Tap House, which is located about a mile from Sojka Pavilion. They have 47 beers on tap and 130 different bottled beers. They have half-price appetizers every day from 4-6, as well as drink specials. They are open seven days a week. The menu consists of wings, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, ribs, steaks, crab cakes and pizza.
The Smiling Chameleon Draft House is also a short distance from Sojka Pavilion. This is another good restaurant if you are looking for a few drinks before or after the game. They have 30 different beers on tap. They are open every day but Sunday.
There are also some stores in the area, such as Walmart, Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, Michael's, etc. There is also a movie theater, as well.
There were fans of all ages at the game I attended, with a lot dressed in orange. The fans definitely show their support for the team. The students represent the team and university well by the student turnout. The fans are consistently cheering and making noise, even making it hard to hear the PA announcer at some points.
Sojka Pavilion is located on Moore Avenue, which is right off the main road. There is a parking lot, which is free of charge. There is also street parking available, also free of charge. I didn't have any issues locating the parking lot or finding a parking spot. The will call window is located right next to the entrance. Sojka Pavilion has 21 wheelchair-accessible seats with 32 companion seats and eight seats for the hearing-impaired. There are four women's restrooms and two men's restrooms. The men's room is very clean and never has a line. There is no security checkpoint to go through, so the ticket check is very quick. The seating sections are clearly marked and easy to find.
Ticket prices are very reasonable. Adult prices are $14, while youth and senior (62 and over) tickets are $7. I attended the game, parked and had lunch for under $20. A family of four or five could attend the game and eat for well under $100.
There is one souvenir shop, along with two concession stands. There are banners hanging from the walls all throughout the arena. There is a banner from every school in the Patriot League. There are banners for Patriot League tournament champions, as well as Patriot League regular season champions. There is a banner for every NCAA tournament appearance. Upon entrance into the arena, the championship trophies are on display, as well as commemorative basketballs highlighting the school's success in both the Patriot League and NCAA tournaments.
Overall, the Sojka Pavilion offers a great experience and an enjoyable game and venue. The food selection is average, but other than that, it's hard to ask for a better experience. The arena is beautiful and very clean. The fans and employees are all very polite. I would love to go back and would recommend to anyone that has the opportunity to do so.
Member Review by collegiatestdms
The Bucknell University Bison play in Sojka Pavilion, which was built in 2003 as the final piece of their Recreational & Activities Center. The Pavilion itself can seat 4,000 for a game with some stationary seats and some that can be retracted to allow for three regulation basketball courts. I walked around a good bit and was really surprised how good the view was from every section.
2593 Old Turnpike Rd
Lewisburg, PA 17837
235 Market St
Lewisburg, PA 17837
605 Market St
Lewisburg, PA 17837
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