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Official Review by Brian Jones, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Stegeman Coliseum is the home of the Georgia Bulldogs men’s and women’s basketball teams of the Southeastern Conference. It has been the home of the Bulldogs since 1964.
When the arena first opened, it was called the Georgia Coliseum. The arena was then renamed to Stegeman Coliseum in 1996 in honor of Herman James Stegeman, who was a pioneer of college basketball in the South in the 1920s.
Stegeman does not get the recognition like some of the top college basketball arenas in the country, but it’s a place that has good fans, easy access and it’s located in a very good area.
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".
When it comes to eating, there are plenty of concessions stands that have the basics. The prices are fair, as only one item costs more than $8, which is a combo of chicken tenders and fries.
The other foods included at the concessions stands are hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, roasted peanuts, candy and Dippin' Dots ice cream. As for the beverages, fans can get Coke products, hot chocolate and coffee.
The only real downfall when it comes to food at Stegeman is there are not any unique foods to choose from, which is understandable, considering the basketball games are not as big as the football games. Also, there are no other places on campus to get food, unlike Sanford Stadium, where you can eat at the food court at the student center.
Stegeman Coliseum has a better atmosphere than one would imagine.
What's interesting about Stegeman is when you walk in, there is a U-shaped concourse. There are only a few upper level sections, so every seat at Stegeman is a good place to watch the Bulldogs take the hardwood.
There are two scoreboards at Stegeman along with one video board. The video board shows live action, replays and pre-game videos to get fans ready.
And speaking of getting fans ready, the band, cheerleaders and dance team knows how to make Stegeman a college basketball atmosphere. It's almost like watching the football team on Saturdays.
Stegeman Coliseum is in the heart of the UGA campus, which is in the heart of Athens. The city is known as one of the best college towns in the country, so there is never a dull moment.
When it comes to places to eat, there are Last Resort Grill, Blind Pig Tavern and Mama's Boy. All these places have a wide variety of food selections, and the prices are competitive.
And other than going to UGA sporting events, Athens offers plenty of things to do, such as going to the Georgia Museum of Art, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, beer tasting tours at Terrapin Beer Company and attending concerts at the Georgia Theatre. The best attraction has to be the Georgia Theatre, because many famous bands have performed there, such as the Zac Brown Band and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
As for hotels, the best place to stay is Hotel Indigo. It's a three-star hotel that is located right next to the UGA campus.
The UGA basketball fans are not like the UGA football fans, but they do enough to be a very solid fan base.
Stegeman seats over 10,000 fans, and there are normally over 7,000 UGA fans that make their way to each basketball game. That is not bad, considering the Bulldogs are not a powerhouse.
But the fans do get loud, especially when they are playing a conference rival. And they stay involved, even when the team is winning or losing big.
Another cool thing is that the fans do the same thing they would do at the football games in terms of pregame. They do different chants and hand motions to get ready for the contest.
Because Stegeman is located in Athens, getting to the stadium can be tricky, especially when it's a weeknight game.
In the area, there is public transportation, but it's only used for football games. So if you live in Athens and want to go to the game, driving and walking are the best options.
The good thing about driving to Stegman is parking is free and there are plenty of parking spots within walking distance of the arena. The best place to park is the Carlton Street Parking Deck, which is located right across the street from the arena.
The gate access is solid, because there are plenty of entrances to get inside the arena, and there is no long wait. And security does not stop you to do a lengthy pat-down, which is always a plus.
The concourse is wide enough to where you can move around and not feel congested. And there are plenty of bathrooms that are clean and roomy.
Tickets for a UGA basketball game are $15. The food at Stegeman will cost around $12, depending on what you get. Parking at Stegeman is free.
Because of that, it's well worth going to Stegeman to watch college basketball. The Bulldogs aren't the best team in the country, but the team is fun to watch, and it will not cost you an arm and a leg to see them in action.
The staff at Stegeman is friendly and helpful. They make the game even more enjoyable.
The concourse has an area where the athletic trophies are on display, as well as the displays of legendary UGA athletes. It's a good way to remember what the Bulldogs have done in the past.
There is a merchandise display as soon as you walk into the coliseum. It's a great place to get UGA basketball hats, shirts and jerseys.
UGA basketball is never going to overtake UGA football, in terms of popularity. But my whole Stegeman Coliseum experience was enjoyable. It is a fun atmosphere, where the fans are energetic and the quality of basketball is solid. With this, along with easy access to the arena and the quality of food, Stegeman Coliseum is a place that did not disappoint.
Member Review by jmccurdy
Its grey concrete exterior I ran by every day - literally, every day for three years - but after visiting the inside once, never could I shake my mental image of the University of Georgia's Stegeman Coliseum. That's not to be taken as pure praise, however; by reading this review, you'll come to understand just what I think of the arena I called "home" during my college career.
The outside may appear odd with gently sloping "ramps" on the four corners (and spiked fences to prevent mischievous fans from climbing on the roof), but there is no confusion to the inside of the building. This is the Bulldogs' building; the seats are overwhelming red and the "G"s are large and omnipresent.
For a spot that opened in 1964 (as the Georgia Coliseum), it's remarkably modern, clean and inviting. Unfortunately, on several levels it also feeds into the generic feeling that goes with UGA men's basketball.
Member Review by Brian L Jones on Mar 06, 2014
The University of Georgia will always be known for its football team and Sanford Stadium. But we can’t forget the school has basketball and Stegeman Coliseum is one of the older basketball arenas in the SEC.
Looking at the exterior of Stegeman, you would think the arena was just built. But when you walk inside and see the basketball court, you can tell that the stadium has had its share of wear and tear.
That doesn’t mean the arena is in bad shape, just that there’s no doubt that the arena looks like the era in which it was built (the 1960s).
Stegeman has gone through its share of renovations and the arena finished a major expansion project in 2010 where the concourse was completely overhauled.
While Sanford Stadium is the place to be in the fall on Saturdays, going to Stegeman in January and February is quite the experience as well, especially when the team is winning.
Member Review by BillVol on Apr 04, 2014
I first saw a game here in 1983, during the season UGA went to the Final Four. It was empty for the last game of that season, before the Dawgs went on their miraculous run to the Final Four. At that time, it was still officially an agricultural facility, with livestock pooping outside the facility. It also had a stage on one baseline, just like my old high school still has. But this isn't a high school. They have renovated this place many times since then. Georgia fans hate the place, although it's actually a good place to watch a game now. I wish food and beverage could be taken out of the ranking formula, because if that is an issue, you are not really a fan.
Member Review by ianmccor on Apr 18, 2014
An interesting older venue for SEC basketball. A good enough place to visit for what it is.
Member Review by alee1227 on Dec 01, 2015
Love the location of the stadium. The building itself is beautiful. The atmosphere just wasn't there. An empty student section the most likely culprit. Should be noted I went to a non-conference game during Thanksgiving week. Good selection of food and merchandise is available.
233 E Clayton St
Athens, GA 30601
485 Baldwin St
Athens, GA 30605
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