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Stratis Arena

Hackensack, NJ

Home of the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights

2.6

N/A

Stratis Arena (map it)
3 University Plaza Dr
Hackensack, NJ 07601


Fairleigh Dickinson Knights website

Stratis Arena website

Year Opened: 1987

Capacity: 5,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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A Fair Gym

If you’re looking for a throwback college basketball experience, taking in a Fairleigh Dickinson Knights game at Stratis Arena may be just your cup of tea. Though the gym lacks the bells and whistles of many other multi-million dollar NCAA facilities, there is something charmingly authentic about the arena that seems to say “I’m just here to watch basketball.”

The arena, which is part of the Rothman Center, a multipurpose facility, was named for alumnus and benefactor Mark Kay Stratis in 2007. The Rothman Center also houses athletic facilities for other Fairleigh Dickinson sports teams, a lounge, and training areas.

2.6

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    2

Concessions at Stratis Arena are about as basic as it gets. The variety of snacks offered is actually pretty good for a smaller venue and the pricing is modest for an athletic facility, but don't go expecting to get a meal. The concession vendors offer a nice selection of treats to tide you over during a game, but if you're looking for a meal, seek sustenance elsewhere in the area before or after the game.

Atmosphere    3

The word "arena" feels a bit too big for Stratis. "Gym" would have been a more appropriate moniker. There would be no confusing the facility with those you see hosting NCAA tourney games, but that isn't necessarily a horrible thing.

If you are looking to be awed and amazed by the facility itself, then this isn't the arena for you. But if you're looking for a place where the focus of attending a basketball game really is basketball, then you've come to the right gym. Though the structure and amenities are modest and the atmosphere inside the gym is restrained, this is about as cozy a place as an athletic facility can be, and will appeal to those who have a touch of nostalgia in their love of sports.

Neighborhood    2

Northern New Jersey, for the most part, isn't known for its tourist appeal. Hackensack, where Fairleigh Dickinson is located, is no exception. The school doesn't have much in the way of a campus, and the surrounding area is largely suburban and not designed to appeal to visitors.

On the plus side, the area is safe, has views of the river, and has some charming, if modest, green spaces nearby.

In terms of commercial property, there is little to be found in the area near Stratis Arena. Translation? It's tough to find a place to eat nearby. We found a Cosi and a couple of small, locally owned pizza/sandwich shops, though those appeared mostly to cater to carry-out customers.

Fans    3

Given the team's losing season and the modest venue, both the enthusiasm and the number of fans is impressive. As is the case with many smaller schools whose student body includes a significant number of commuters and part time students, turnout here for sporting events, school functions and other "organized enthusiasm" style functions, is modest at best.

Still, the Fairleigh Dickinson fans seemed above average to us, both in the number of seats they filled and the amount of noise they generated inside Stratis Arena.

Access    3

Though the freeways of Northern New Jersey make any destination in the area tricky to find, access to Stratis Arena via car is relatively easy. There is plenty of parking for the gym and little traffic to contend with in the immediate area.

One thing that gets confusing: If you are looking to an internet search or GPS for directions, be sure to input your destination as Stratis Arena/the Rothman Center, rather than Fairleigh Dickinson University. The main campus is across the river, and directions ending there will put a body of water between you and your final destination.

If you are using public transportation, note that there is no major NJ Transit train line to the area. You can reach the area from New York City or other parts of New Jersey, but be prepared for transfers and/or a lengthy bus ride.

Return on Investment    3

Reserve seating is $10 and can be purchased on a first come, first serve basis. General admission seating is $7 and kids can attend for $5.

One thing worth noting: Stratis Arena does boast one modern, high-end selling point that is missing from many other more luxurious venues. That would be chair back style seating. For anyone who has ever sat on bleachers for the duration of any athletic event, you'll appreciate how this enhances comfort. These seats, tabbed "premium courtside seating" are well worth the $15 cost. We were comfortable for the whole game and had an excellent view of the action on the court.

The admission prices, whether you pay for premium seating or not, are very reasonable. The question of return on investment lies solely in how you plan to get there. If you're in the local area, it's a very worthy trip. For those from farther afield, transportation costs will likely become too high to make the trip worthwhile.

Note that tickets are cash only, but can be reserved in advance and paid for at will call before the game.

Extras    2

There just isn't a lot happening for visitors in Hackensack, New Jersey, or on the Fairleigh Dickinson campus. However, the school is just over 15 miles from New York City, which is always a worthy day trip or long weekend if you need a little extra something to get you to the area. Likewise, as long as you're game for a long bus ride, heading out to see the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights play a game would be a worthy side trip added to a visit to Manhattan as well.

Every D1 gym.

Cheers, guys.

by definedancing | Apr 04, 2014 07:01 AM

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