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Timmons Arena

Greenville, SC

Home of the Furman Paladins

3.3

3.4

Timmons Arena (map it)
3300 Poinsett Highway
Greenville, SC 29613


Furman Paladins website

Timmons Arena website

Year Opened: 1998

Capacity: 3,500

There are no tickets available at this time.

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A Knight's Tale

It is not so common that colleges and universities are founded in one city, only to move on to a new home. This is the case in at least two institutions in the Carolinas – Catawba College and Furman University. Furman began as Furman Academy and Theological Institution in Edgefield, South Carolina in 1826. Twenty-four years later, the school made the almost 100-mile move north to Greenville, South Carolina, its current home.

Furman basketball has also had multiple homes, formerly taking up residence in Greenville Memorial Auditorium. The 1997 opening of the Bon Secours Wellness Arena (formerly the BI-LO Center) in Greenville rendered Memorial Auditorium obsolete, and the city destroyed it in that same year. Furman opened Timmons Arena on what is referred to as South Campus in 1998, bringing Paladin basketball to the school's grounds. Furman is on the rebound, having recently earned their first postseason victory in greater than 40 years, and their participation in the highly-competitive Southern Conference, combined with the sights on the expansive campus, make Timmons Arena a great place to visit.

3.3

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

The concession offerings at Timmons Arena are reasonably similar to those found in many other arenas. "Entree" offerings include chicken tenders ($5), hamburgers or cheeseburgers ($5), grilled chicken sandwiches ($5) and french fries ($3 for regular, $4 for cheese). Each of the first three options are available as "plates" (combos) for a dollar more. Snacks include nachos ($3), popcorn ($2), candy ($2) and chips ($1).

Sodas (Pepsi products) are $2 for regular size and $4 for large. Bottled water is $2.

There is also a funnel cake stand that features funnel cakes, fried Oreos, frozen lemonade, cotton candy and Dippin' Dots; however, it, like all but one other stand, was not open on the day we visited. The concession offerings are actually quite good, if the stands are open.

The stands are somewhat small, but the lines seem to remain manageable.

Atmosphere    3

There are four areas in which to enter off the lobby at Timmons Arena. There are two entries on the upper level and two on the lower level. The general admission seats are accessible from the upper-level entry, along with the reserved seats on the same side as the teams' benches. There is a concourse separating the upper and lower levels.

The general admission seats are fairly comfortable chair backs - assuming, of course, that the bleachers are not pulled out for general admission use. The concourse provides what appears to be a great place to stand and watch the game, but the ushers tend to chase off fans before the game starts, even if they are standing in an area that would not block anyone's view. When speaking of having one's view blocked, the seats - especially those in general admission - are not pitched on a very large incline, which makes for the occasional obstructed view. The upper-level seats are already reasonably far from the floor, with the concourse making the distance seem that much further.

The public address system is as one would expect, and the musical selection during breaks is fine. The overall expanse of the arena can make the announcements seem a bit distant at times, however, announcements may not always be evident when being made.

There is a scoreboard on the wall at either end of the floor. The scoreboards show all of the necessary game information (line score, etc.), but do not have any video capabilities.

Furman has a very talented pep band seated behind the basket opposite the corner from which the players enter the floor. The group plays during breaks in the action, sometimes accompanied by the cheerleaders. The cheerleaders stay behind the opposite basket for most of the game, except for media and halftime breaks.

Neighborhood    3

Furman has a very large campus (750 acres), and the campus is tailor-made for lovers of the outdoors. Walkers and bikers can frequently be found enjoying the bike paths, hiking trails and outdoor spaces. There is a gorgeous area on campus that feels much like a state park, with an outdoor amphitheater, athletic fields, a cottage, hiking and biking trails, a lake and the bell tower for which the campus is known. This gives the campus a feel of being in a much more secluded area, despite being just minutes from downtown Greenville.

The benefit of the "remote" feel of the campus is also a downfall, as the campus is off US Highway 276 in northern Greenville, heading toward Travelers Rest and the North Carolina mountains. The only things truly near the area are a McDonald's, a Publix grocery store and the Olympian Grill. This is all in or near a strip mall that is nearly a mile from campus along a busy road, so walking may be out of the question. If you are in search of food choices, movie theaters, shopping and the like, it is best to head to Cherrydale, which is three miles away at the intersection of 276 and South Carolina Highways 253 and 291. Civilization is certainly reachable, but likely not walkable.

Fans    4

With the return of Furman's quality product on the floor, the numbers in the stands are starting to grow, as well. The arena is still not packed on a regular basis, but those who go to Paladin games are in full voice supporting their purple-clad home team. The game we visited saw Furman fall behind early and rally several times, and the fans neither left early nor dampened their support for the Paladins. You also may hear an occasional -- well, okay, more than occasional -- complaint about the referees and how they handle their jobs.

The seats on the same side of the floor as the benches may be far away from the floor, but those on the opposite side are quite close, in many cases. They are close enough, in fact, that the football team had to be asked to move back away from a player attempting to throw an inbounds pass at one point. The players were merely having good-natured fun and not doing anything that would poorly reflect on their school, but it does reflect the somewhat hostile environs on that side of the floor.

Access    3

We stated earlier that Furman is in the northern part of Greenville along US 276. Fans flying in for a visit will probably want to utilize Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport. With the airport's location, this is approximately a 25-30 minute drive via South Carolina's Interstates 85 and 385, South Carolina 291 and US 276.

Once you arrive at Timmons Arena, parking is free and plentiful. The lots directly in front of the arena are marked as reserved, but with the arena being part of an athletic complex, there should never be a problem finding a place to park. Traffic moves freely along the road leading to the facility, so there should not be excessive delays back to US Highways 276 or 25, or any chosen destination.

The layout inside the arena is somewhat choppy and convoluted. This starts in the arena lobby, with the entrances to the seating bowl to the left and right, with the ticket windows in the middle and a turnstile leading to either entrance. The upper-level men's bathroom is on the right side, with the women's bathroom on the left side. The easiest way to get from one bathroom to the other is to walk into the seating bowl and across the concourse, due to the crowd and turnstile setup in the lobby. There are two restrooms (one each of the men's and women's variety) on the lower level. The restrooms are clean and reasonably appointed, though oddly-shaped.

Speaking of the lower level, if your seat is on the opposite side of the arena from the entrance, your path will include a trip to the lower level and a walk across the floor through either end zone. The concourse does not ring all the way around the arena, which makes for a somewhat circuitous route across the facility. There is an elevator to the lower level, should you require it.

Return on Investment    4

Furman basketball is a great all-around value, particularly when considering that this is Division I basketball in the Southern Conference. Tickets for regular-season games are $12 for the reserved (purple lower-level) seats, with general admission priced at $8. Spend the extra few dollars for a purple seat, as you'll get a much better view of the action. Should Furman appear in a postseason tournament that enables them to host a game, those ticket prices slightly go up ($15/$10).

Extras    3

There is not much of a program offered at Furman games, but ushers do provide a single-sheet offering free of charge to fans. This is very basic, but offers a roster and stat sheet for both teams. Though there is no background on the program, it does at least help to know the names of the players on both sides.

Though Timmons Arena is still a relatively young facility, there is plenty of athletic history at Furman. The school pays homage to this history in several ways. There is a trophy case in the lobby that celebrates some of the school's athletic successes, and banners hang in the arena for both the men's and women's programs. A group of retired numbers is among the banners, with the most prominent being the number 28 of the NBA's first overall draft pick by the Baltimore Bullets in 1954, Frank Selvy. Selvy had a 100-point game at Furman, and experienced great success as a collegian and professonal.

There is also a Wall of Honor on the lobby wall mentioning the names of those who are friends of Furman athletics and have helped with the process of building and improving Timmons Arena. It is well-known that every collegiate program has benefactors, but this is a good way to pay tribute to those who help grow the program.

Final Thoughts

If a combination of history, natural beauty and athletic history is what you seek when planning your athletic travels, Furman is a destination that checks off each of these boxes. You can even bring along your bicycle, your soccer ball or your walking shoes and make a day out of exploring the Furman campus. Should you love the outdoors as much as you love the indoors, start planning a visit. You will not be disappointed.

Timmons Arena

I really liked the historical aspect of your review.The mention of former players for both schools,Selvy and Curry was especially nice.The food being included in with the admission cost is a real plus,and looks like a real hook for fans.
I,especially liked the descriptive nature of the campus and the almost vacation aspect of a visit there with the scenery that exists.This sounds like a fine place to come and see a game and enjoy the day.

by jerry | Jan 15, 2013 12:48 PM

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Crowd Reviews

A Knight's Tale

Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

It is not so common that colleges and universities are founded in one city, only to move on to a new home. This is the case in at least two institutions in the Carolinas – Catawba College and Furman University. Furman began as Furman Academy and Theological Institution in Edgefield, South Carolina in 1826. Twenty-four years later, the school made the almost 100-mile move north to Greenville, South Carolina, its current home.

Furman basketball has also had multiple homes, formerly taking up residence in Greenville Memorial Auditorium. The 1997 opening of the BI-LO Center in Greenville rendered Memorial Auditorium obsolete, and the city destroyed it in that same year. Furman opened Timmons Arena on what is referred to as South Campus in 1998, bringing Paladin basketball to the school's grounds. Though Furman has not seen an NCAA Tournament bid in over three decades, their participation in the highly-competitive Southern Conference and the sights on the expansive campus make Timmons Arena a great place to visit.

Timmons Arena

Total Score: 3.29

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 1
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 3

Everyone complains about the sightlines here which are better suited for theater, but Timmons Arena is one of the best bargains in the SoCon especially when they gave food away for free.

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Local Food & Drink

Olympian Grill  (map it!)

402 Duncan Chapel Rd

Greenville, SC 29617

(864) 246-8199

http://www.olympiangrill.com

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