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Stroh Center

Bowling Green, OH

Home of the Bowling Green Falcons

3.4

N/A

Stroh Center (map it)
1535 E Wooster St
Bowling Green, OH 43403


Bowling Green Falcons website

Stroh Center website

Year Opened: 2011

Capacity: 4,700

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Go to Stroh

The Stroh Center opened in September of 2011, in the sports complex area of the campus of Bowling Green State University, near the football team's Doyt L Perry Stadium. The Falcons haven't made the NCAA tournament since Bill Fitch was the head coach, way back in 1968. The hope is that the new $30 million arena with seating for just under 5,000 will help change those fortunes as the Falcons look to return to relevance in the Mid-American Conference. The venue will also be one of the host facilities for the 2012 NCAA Women's 1st and 2nd round Tournament games.

3.4

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    3

A preliminary walk around the concourse and you may be bored to tears by the offerings. The main concession stands have hot dogs ($3), nachos ($4), pretzel ($3), popcorn ($3.50), candy ($3), Coca-Cola products ($3.50 & $4), and bottled water ($3).

Behind section 117, you can find slightly more interesting options at the Falcon Grill including chicken tenders with fries ($7), cheeseburger with fries ($7), Philly cheesesteak ($6), grilled chicken sandwich ($6), footlong hot dog with chili and cheese ($5), or a side of fries ($3).

Atmosphere    3

Almost all of the seats in the Stroh Center are brown plastic seats with above average legroom and no cupholder. The students sit beneath the basket closest to the opponent's end on orange plastic bleachers. You definitely want to avoid the corner seats as inexplicably they face straight forward, rather than toward the floor as they should.

The arena is new, but there is still a bit of a stale feel, and there just isn't anything unique other than the large falcon statue outside the arena. I do rather like that they have no center court scoreboard. Instead, behind the student section there is a large 10x20 foot screen along with score, time, etc. On the opposite end there is a 3x30 ribbon board that displays the numbers of the players on the court including points and personal fouls. The main drawback of this set-up is that it is difficult for the students to see the score. That criticism aside, it does make for a more uncluttered view of the floor.

Introductions start with the opposing squad, followed by the Falcons with the lights out treatment, which always feels overstated in a small arena like this. With a dance team and cheerleading squad adding to the bodies on the floor, it is a crowded space as tip time nears.

Along with the students behind the basket, there is also a decent pep band which entertains the crowd both before and during the game.

Neighborhood    4

I like downtown Bowling Green. It is about a mile drive away, but there are plenty of good options for bars or restaurants to spend some time before or after the game. If you are a slight beer snob and/or foodie, then a good option for you is Reverend's on Wooster. They have a fantastic beer selection, and tasty food ranging from burgers, sandwiches, and southwestern fare. I am told that the Buffalo chicken tacos are fantastic, although I tried the pork burrito on my most recent visit.

Along Main Street there are several more options, and I like Trotters for its cozy atmosphere, and good food. Both Reverend's and Trotters offer extremely friendly service, and reasonable prices, so you really can't go wrong with either.

Fans    3

It is never a good thing when the students are the quiet end of the crowd. These students, are seated for most of the contest, inexcusable for young men and women who should be going crazy for their athletic teams. The remainder of the fans certainly are into the game, and their praise and condemnations can be easily heard on the floor by all involved. BGSU students need to step up their support. They fill the student section well, but they should be more of a factor than they are currently. The students were more noticeable during the 6th grade exhibition game played at halftime than they were during the actual contest at stake.

Access    5

Parking is only $5 right outside the door at the Stroh Center, and the building is easy to find, just off of exit 181 on I-75. The game I attended went right down to the last shot, and most of the fans stayed in the facility to the buzzer. Due to the convenient location, I was on the highway within 5 minutes of that buzzer sounding. It is so convenient, that there is no reason why anyone would have to leave a game early to "beat the traffic."

There is plenty of room inside the arena, and bathrooms are large, modern, and very clean, as you would expect in a new building.

Return on Investment    3

Tickets are available on the team's site by the omni-annoying Ticketmaster and their many "convenience" fees (can you tell I'm not a fan?). That means your $14 ticket will actually cost you a little over $17, more than a 20% increase. Because of the way the seats are aligned at the ends, it is important that you try to get a seat as close to center court as possible. Section 103 would be best as it gives you a great view of both benches, the students/pep band, and action on the floor. The second best option would be section 115.

In either case, the total price is probably right on the edge between being worth it and slightly over-priced.

Extras    3

One extra point for the male and female falcon mascots, Freddie and Freida. They do a good job of interacting with the lackluster student section and the kids in the arena.

A second extra point to be able to watch the nonchalant Louis Orr on the sidelines of Bowling Green. The former star at Syracuse, is one of the least animated coaches that you will find. He is the anti-Frank Martin (Kansas State) and is his own unique way is a joy to watch.

Also, the Bowling Green dance squad is really good, and worth sticking in your seats for halftime to see them perform.

Final Thoughts

There aren't a lot of bells and whistles at the new Stroh Center, but the focus is appropriately placed on the basketball product. While slightly overpriced as a whole, this is still a good place to see a game in the MAC.

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Local Food & Drink

Trotters Tavern  (map it!)

119 N Main St

Bowling Green, OH 43402

(419) 352-5895

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Trotters-Tavern/116036438423537

City Tap and The Attic  (map it!)

110 N Main St

Bowling Green, OH 43402

(419) 352-0900

http://www.citytapandtheattic.com/

Reverend's Bar & Grill  (map it!)

130 E Wooster St

Bowling Green, OH 43402

(419) 352-0400

http://reverendsbarandgrill.com/

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Best Western Falcon Plaza  (map it!)

1450 E Wooster St

Bowling Green, OH 43402

(419) 352-4671

http://book.bestwestern.com/bestwestern/US/OH/Bowling-Green-hotels/BEST-WESTERN-Falcon-Plaza/Hotel-Overview.do?propertyCode=36052

Hampton Inn Bowling Green  (map it!)

142 Campbell Hill Rd

Bowling Green, OH 43402

(419) 353-3464

http://www.hamptoninn.com/en/hp/hotels/?ctyhocn=BGNOHHX

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