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  • Lance Sutehall

Alabama A&M Events Center – Alabama A&M Bulldogs


Photos by Lance Sutehall, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86

Alabama A&M Events Center 4200 Memorial Pkwy NW Huntsville, AL 35210



Year Opened: 2022

Capacity: 6,000

 

The Bulldogs Got A New Building


In the city of Huntsville sits the campus of Alabama A&M University, one of the largest historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the state. The athletic teams are known as the Bulldogs and since moving to Division One in 1998 the school’s athletic programs compete in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).


The Bulldogs basketball program played basketball at the T.E. Elmore Gymnasium from 1974 until 2022. The basketball program succeeded at the Division Two level with ten NCAA tournaments and four elite eight appearances before jumping to Division One. The Bulldogs won the 2005 SWAC tournament.


The basketball teams moved to the new Alabama A&M Events Center in 2022 leaving behind the volleyball team that continues to call Elmore home. The Bulldogs hope their new venue will help raise the profile of their basketball program.


Food & Beverage 2

Three concession stands are selling classic stadium concessions such as hot dogs ($3), chicken tenders ($6), nachos ($4), popcorn ($3), peanuts ($1), and Coca-Cola brand beverages ($4). Alcohol is not sold at the arena and the stands are cashless.


Atmosphere 4

The venue's exterior includes a brick Alabama A&M logo on the ground and a main entrance with glass doors. The students walk upstairs passing by an Alabama A&M logo on the wall to enter the student section. Once inside the main entrance, there is a giant maroon and white Alabama A&M logo that you pass by before walking a flight of stairs to head to the seating bowl. 


The seats are all chair backs and there are only twenty-one rows meaning that there is not a bad seat in the house. The floor has a bulldog logo at center court and the out-of-bounds area is maroon. There are two scoreboards with each one being behind a basket.


Alabama A&M has a very proud and loud band that plays during the breaks in action and has a halftime show that is so loud you can’t hear yourself talking. An emcee also walks around the arena throughout the game to help keep the energy going throughout the game. The cheerleaders and dance team also do their part to keep the atmosphere at a high level.


Neighborhood 3

Huntsville is one of the South’s rising cities but to get the most out of a trip to Huntsville you will need to go 4 miles south of the Alabama A&M campus and head downtown. Attractions downtown include the Huntsville Depot Museum, Big Spring International Park, and Huntsville Escape Rooms. If you are willing to travel 5 miles west of downtown I highly recommend spending some time at the U.S. Rocket and Space Center. 


Dining options in Huntsville include Big Ed’s for pizza, Jack Brown’s for burgers, and Thai Garden. Bars include Catacomb 405, Baker & Able, and Miller’s Tavern. For lodging accommodations, chain hotels such as Hampton, Spring Hill, and Embassy Suites are available.


Fans 3

The fans are very passionate about the Bulldogs and show their appreciation for their efforts on the court. The band, cheerleaders, dance team, and emcee all help the fans keep a high amount of energy throughout the game.


Access 3

From I-65 you turn onto I-565 and drive until you get to exit 19B in Huntsville when you merge left onto Highway 431. The arena will be on your right and is very obvious when driving by the venue. There is free parking in a field by the arena (parking directly by the arena was reserved when I visited).


After walking by the side of the arena and entering the lobby the walkways were wide enough, there were enough restrooms, and the concession stands did not have long lines. The only complaint is leaving the field parking after the game takes a long time as there is only one exit point.


Return on Investment 3

Adult general admission tickets go for $20 and typically include both a women’s and men’s game. Children can attend for $10 provided a parent or guardian accompanies them. If you pay $10 for concessions that means you pay $30 for a day of SWACtion. A date night at the Events Center will be $60 while a family of four is likely to drop around $100. You are getting two games and performances from one of the most proud bands in the country for your money.


Extras 2

As of the writing of this article, this is the newest college basketball arena in the state of Alabama. 


Final Thoughts

Alabama A&M has a modern arena that can be a tough place for opponents to play at. The fans hope that the new arena can help the Bulldogs become a more competitive basketball program.

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