Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86
Chase Fieldhouse 401 Garasches Lane Wilmington, DE 19801
Year Opened: 2019 Capacity: 2,500
The Delaware Blue Coats joined the NBA G-League in 2013 as an affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers. At the time, they were known as the Delaware 87ers and played at the Bob Carpenter Center on the campus of the University of Delaware in Newark. In 2018, the 87ers rebranded as the Delaware Blue Coats, and in January of 2019 they moved into a new arena in Wilmington, the 76ers Fieldhouse.
The Fieldhouse was a joint venture by the 76ers and the Buccini Polin Group and is part of a sports complex which also contains a youth training center and several turf fields.
Food & Beverage 3
There is one concession stand at 76ers Fieldhouse on the lower level, serving a somewhat limited but sufficient menu. Main courses include chicken tenders ($7), pizza ($7 for a personal), cheesesteaks ($6) and hot dogs ($5). Snacks include tater tots ($5), and chips, muffins, and assorted snack cakes for $2 each. Drinks include soda, Gatorade, and bottled water for $4 and coffee for $3. Alcohol is also available at a separate stand next to the main one. Cocktails are $9 for a single or $17 for a double, beer is $8-$10, and wine is $8.
Unfortunately, the lines at concession stands can move very slowly, so get your food before the game if possible.
All seats at the 76ers Fieldhouse are chair backs along the two sides of the court, accessed by walking up from floor level. The one exception is a VIP mezzanine on the second level of the arena. There are two scoreboards, one on each end of the court. One of them shows detailed player stats while the other is more basic. Unfortunately, depending on where you are sitting, it is possible your view of one of the scoreboards will be obstructed by the basket. There are glass windows on three sides of the court which let in a lot of light during day games. The glare can often be distracting. 76ers championship banners hang from the rafters, which are a nice touch but also reinforce that the Blue Coats are always going to be secondary to the Sixers in this area.
The team does a good job of keeping the fans engaged. Music plays almost constantly and can get quite loud at times. Unfortunately, sometimes it gets so loud that it drowns out any noise the crowd makes. There is a mascot named Coaty, a blue horse who roams the stands and floor throughout the game.
76ers Fieldhouse is located in a business district, but as far as businesses you might actually go to for fun, as opposed to tire shops, pharmacies, and supermarkets, there isn’t much within walking distance other than a Domino’s. Your best bet is to take the bridge across the Christina River where you will find a lot of restaurants on the other side. You can find everything from bars to breweries to seafood joints, but although they’re just across the river from the arena, you will have to basically drive in a circle for two miles to get across and come back down.
Although the Blue Coats rarely sell out, they draw well for a G-League team, frequently drawing over 2,000 fans a game. Fans range from young families with small children to senior citizens, reflecting the affordable and family-friendly atmosphere here. Those who do show up are engaged in the game and cheer on the Blue Coats. The team also frequently partners with local youth groups and sports teams to fill up the arena further.
76ers Fieldhouse is located on U.S. Route 13 Business, just off I-495. This should not be confused with the regular U.S. Route 13, which also runs near the arena but cannot be used to access it directly. Parking is available in a few lots behind the arena for $5. While it can be confusing which lot to park in, staff will do a good job of directing you to the right place.
Once you’re in the arena, the concourse is plenty wide enough to allow room to move around. However, one odd quirk is that the path from the court to the locker rooms goes directly across the concourse. As a result, if you are sitting in Sections 6-10, you will need to wait until all personnel return to the locker room at halftime and the end of the game before you can leave the seating area.
Return on Investment 3
How much you will pay for tickets depends on where you sit and when you go. Tickets for weekday games range from $12 for seats in the upper rows to $26 for front row seats near center court. On weekends, prices will range from $14 to $31. Parking is a bit pricey for this level, and concessions are about average. If you’re willing to sit in the upper rows, a Blue Coats game can be affordable, but if you want to sit lower down it can get pricey. For what is essentially a minor league, this is a bit much.
The Blue Coats have a giant drum which they wheel out before every game to be played by a fan to pump up the crowd.
There will often be live music from a local band on the concourse before the game, which is a nice touch and adds some local color to the experience.
Sadly, the NBA has not done a good job of promoting the G-League. However, that doesn’t seem to have deterred the Blue Coats from marketing themselves. As the only professional basketball team in Delaware, and one of only two professional teams, period, there is a large untapped market potential here that the team has taken advantage of. However, as the name of the arena, the giant glass window with the 76ers logo, and the championship banners in the rafters reflect, any professional basketball team here is always going to be second class citizens compared to the Philadelphia 76ers.