Strahan Coliseum (map it)
700 Aquarena Springs Dr
San Marcos, TX 78666
Year Opened: 1982
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Ethan Grant, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
College basketball can be a tough draw for a University, particularly when the last big name to come through the program is former NBA player Jeff Foster (Class of 1999).
That’s the case with the Texas State Bobcats, who play their home games in Strahan Coliseum—the University’s multi-purpose gym that also hosts volleyball, UIL tournaments and graduation ceremonies in the spring and fall.
Strahan has been home to the Bobcats since 1982, when construction was completed at a cost of $8.8 million.
Cheerleading competitions and other events that require most of the 7,200 seats in the arena also grace San Marcos from time to time, but the venue gets the most use from the athletic teams of the school.
The oddly shaped stadium is really one of a kind. The Eastern wall cuts off right at the baseline, making for a U-shaped arena that has seating in the North and Southeastern corners that isn’t very popular. The rest of the stadium is a normal bowl, but you’d be hard pressed to find a stadium like this one anywhere else in Texas.
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".
At Strahan Coliseum, there are regular concession stands in the corridors that have the normal hot dog, nacho and drink options you would see at many other sports venues.
Since the building only seats a little over 7,000, there isn't much need for novelty concession stands or a specialty food. That being said, you get what you would expect here. Be sure to grab your food early on in the game-it can get particularly backed up during half time since there are only a few options for food.
If you are expecting the atmosphere of a big-time program like Duke or North Carolina when you visit Strahan, temper your expectations.
Texas State is a transitional school. Not only is the athletic program in the midst of moving from the WAC in the 2012-13 season and then to the Sun Belt starting in Fall 2013, but the school has never had more students on campus.
A commuter school during its popularity as Southwest Texas State, the students haven't quite caught up with the expectations of having more than 35,000 people that attend class each semester. Since it isn't a priority, you can grab a seat any time from tip off to the final horn-unless of course a big-name program is in town.
Strahan Coliseum is roughly one mile off Interstate Highway 35, and is fairly easily accessible in terms of the rest of the landmarks around it.
Right across the street, the San Marcos River runs right through the school, and you can actually exit the stadium and walk down to historic Sewell Park to take a peak at one of the South's best treasures.
Elsewhere, the downtown square is a hot spot for activity for those interested in night life, and the food options range from the traditional fast food locations or the specialty places like Gil's Broiler or Grin's.
Overall, San Marcos as a city helps to make up for the smaller feel of the basketball team, even if the school isn't small at all.
Texas State students aren't very invested in the game, and besides the traditional yells during free throws and chants for defense, you won't hear much uproar for the team.
However, the group is a prideful bunch, and has no problem defending the decision of a referee who might have made a questionable call.
Still, if the team is losing or in a bind, don't expect much support from the stands. Like the football team at Bobcat Stadium, Texas State has a ways to go when it comes to making the arena a place opponents fear on their schedule.
The parking is fairly convenient, and worst-case scenario you can park at Bobcat Stadium and walk about a half of a mile to Strahan. Parking is pretty good in the designed lots, and since there aren't usually more than 7,000 folks visiting, it isn't a problem.
During the game, the seating is easy to get to, and if you have an assigned seat you won't have any problem getting in a chair to watch the game.
It doesn't cost much to attend a game-if you're a student it's free and the assigned tickets run anywhere from $10-$30 per game. Season tickets are also available, and parking up close is an additional fee.
If you're an alumni of the school or a big fan, this category probably gets a 4 or 5, but as a casual college basketball fan don't expect anything other than the ordinary basketball experience with a beautiful city on the outside.
Half time shows are usually a treat, as the school brings the band, a local group of young cheerleaders or the Texas State Strutters, the University Dance Team.
During time outs, H-E-B will also help provide entertainment with a supermarket sweep-type game, drawing off of suggestions and things that the San Antonio Spurs do during breaks of their games.
Texas State has a long way to go to catch up to the rest of the college basketball world. Just like the football team, it's going to be a process, and the student base will have a big hand in making the stadium a better place to watch games.
If more students showed up, the small seating would help make for an extremely loud venue. Until then, it appears the Bobcats are going to struggle to fill up on a nightly basis.
It doesn't appear that the school is going to renovate the stadium any time soon, but if it does, don't be surprised if the Eastern wall is demolished to make room for more seating and a more traditional stadium feel.
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328 N LBJ Dr
San Marcos, TX 78666
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