The Fieldhouse at Greensboro Coliseum Complex (map it)
1921 West Gate City Blvd
Greensboro, NC 27403
Year Opened: 2016
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Mar 12, 2017
Formerly known as the Pavilion, the newly renovated Fieldhouse at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex opened in 2016, just in time for basketball season. The venue is home to the NBA Developmental League's Greensboro Swarm, an affiliate of the Charlotte Hornets. The facility holds about 2,200 fans, and hosts 24 Swarm games each season, as well as roller derby matches, gymnastics, boxing, and wrestling. The venue includes a 30,000-square foot open area, as well as locker rooms, dressing rooms, and a box office.
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".
The Fieldhouse does not have a large variety of concessions options, but there is a lot more than you could ever expect from such a small venue.
Food options include burgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, hot dogs, French fries, pretzels, popcorn, and packaged candy, at prices ranging from $3 (candy) to $8.50 (burger). Beverages include bottled water and bottled soda, as well as beer, wine, and cocktails. Bottled soda and bottled water are $4 each, which is pretty typical, but the alcohol is on the high side; beer is $7.50 or $10 depending on size, wine is $7, and cocktails are $10 for a "single" or $18 for a "double."
Attending a Swarm game at the Fieldhouse is incredibly fun. The mascot is absolutely nuts, and is constantly running around with the rest of the Buzz Brigade, interacting with fans, messing around with them, and revving up the crowd by tossing out mini basketballs and t-shirts. The mascot and the other members of the Buzz Brigade do this thing where they run back and forth between the sidelines, trying to decide which side is loud enough to earn a t-shirt. Then, they start acting all scared, and start tossing the shirt between themselves (sort of like hot potato), all acting like they don't want to be the one to make the decision. It is really a blast to watch the groups' antics.
Besides the Buzz Brigade, the staff does a great job keeping the fans entertained with fun music, including occasional recordings of hornets buzzing; they could actually play that track more often, as it only seems to happen two or three times per game. They also play some of the classic Carolina tracks that fans love to sing along to, such as Sweet Caroline. Of course, they also do the typical fan contests that you see at sporting events everywhere, with fans dressed up in silly costumes trying to accomplish some task, in this case shooting lay-ups or trying to make a three-pointer into a trash can.
The staff at the Fieldhouse also does a tremendous job with their promotions. One such example is their tie-in with breast cancer awareness month, which includes decorating the Fieldhouse with pink balloons, honoring breast cancer survivors at halftime, and even having the players dress in pink uniforms. It is a really nice nod to see management showing such support for people in the local community.
The Fieldhouse is part of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, home to UNCG basketball. The Coliseum is located in a heavily trafficked part of the city, so there are plenty of restaurants nearby. The most popular eateries, however, are probably in the downtown area, two or three miles from the Fieldhouse; two of the most popular destinations are Natty Greene's Pub & Brewing Co, which has plenty of craft beers on tap, and Dame's Chicken & Waffles, which is so popular it often has a long wait. There are also plenty of hotels you can stay at, if you plan to be in town overnight.
While Greensboro is not a huge city by any stretch, depending on what you are into the area does offer some interesting attractions. The most popular is probably the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, which commemorates the sit-ins that occurred here in Greensboro in the 1960s; these sit-ins were actually some of the most influential and significant protests of the entire Civil Rights movement. You can also visit the Greensboro Science Center, which includes an aquarium, zoo, and hands-on activities for the kids. Or, if you are a military history buff (or aspire to be one), you can visit Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, and learn more about General Nathaniel Greene's actions during the Revolutionary War; the museum here does an excellent job teaching visitors about some of the lesser known battles that actually had a huge impact on the outcome of the war.
The fans at Swarm games are decent, but in a venue this small that only gets maybe half full, there just can't be that much crowd noise, especially with the cavernous ceiling overhead. Some of the fans really get into it though, and many stay engaged throughout the game, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Buzz Brigade; even during the fourth quarter, fans can still be seen on their feet, and heard screaming for the free t-shirts.
Take a look at the inside of the Fieldhouse during a game here:
You would be hard pressed to find a sports venue with easier access than the Fieldhouse during a Greensboro Swarm game. There is a parking lot right next to the building, where parking only costs $5, and you are literally only a couple hundred feet from the front door. Thanks to the small capacity and even smaller crowd, there are no lines to get in (except if you arrive during the National Anthem, in which case everyone has to wait for the song to end before they can enter). Also, there are bathrooms and concessions stands on each end of the floor, so no matter where you sit, you won't be too far from them.
Attending a Swarm game at the Fieldhouse is well worth it, as long as you are thoughtful when buying tickets. If you just show up at the door you will be charged $25 to get in, because all of the cheaper seats will have already been purchased (even though the arena is half empty). However, if you buy online beforehand, you can get tickets for as little as $7 to $10 each, and possibly less if you buy from a third party. In a venue this small, no seat is too far from the action on the court, and you can move around if you want to, since there are so many empty seats.
Parking at the Fieldhouse is about as cheap as it comes, and the concessions are reasonable for most items (except maybe the alcohol). Of course, since basketball games are only about 2 hours long, you could save money by waiting to eat until the game is over.
One major plus at the Fieldhouse is that the seats are very comfortable; all of the seats are padded, even the bleacher seats in the top few rows. Specifically there are three types of seats here: padded folding chairs courtside, padded chair backs most of the way up along each sideline, and padded benches in the top few rows on each side, as well as in the section behind one of the baskets (there are no seats behind the other basket).
The mascot also deserves another nod; s/he spends the entire game running around like a creature possessed, desperately trying to get the fans to let out just one more cheer for the home team. The Buzz Brigade lends their full support to this effort, including the MC himself, and the pep squad does a fabulous job all around. They actually seem to really enjoy what they're doing, and continually find new ways to delight the crowd.
Unless you are a really diehard basketball fan, you may not have known that the NBA even had a developmental league, much less considered seeing one of their games. In the case of the Greensboro Swarm, however, I would urge you to reconsider. Attending a game here will be an absolute blast, and as long as you can find some decent prices on tickets, would be well worth your time and money. Whether you are a child, teen, or full grown adult, I guarantee you won't be able to stop yourself from having fun.
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