Photos by Joseph Oakes, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14
Cameron Indoor Stadium 301 Whitford Dr Durham, NC 27706
Year Opened: 1940
One of the Toughest Road Games in the USA
Cameron Indoor Stadium opened in 1940 and was originally named Duke Indoor Stadium. The facility was named for former Eddie Cameron in 1972. Cameron underwent a $2 million renovation in the 1980s and another set of improvements in 2009 to improve the gameday experience. The building follows the gothic architecture of the other buildings on Duke’s campus. The plans for Cameron were first sketched by Eddie Cameron and Wallace Wade on a book of matches in 1935. Even though Cameron is one of the smallest indoor arenas in the nation, its quaintness and sellout crowds give Duke one of the top home court advantages in the nation.
Food & Beverage 4
Cameron Indoor offers a good variety of concessions despite the concession stands being small in the historic facility. Options include a Fully Loaded Double Stack Cheeseburger ($8), Hog Heaven BBQ Sandwich ($7), All Beef Grilled Hot Dog ($5), and Pizza (cheese or pepperoni) for $10. Snack options include candy bars ($4), nachos ($5), peanuts ($4), popcorn ($5-$8), and soft pretzel ($5). Duke offers Coke products, $4 for a 20oz and $5 for a souvenir 32oz, as well as Dasani Water for $4.
Cameron Indoor is small and from the outside, it doesn’t look much different than any other campus building. Upon entrance, you still may not realize you are in one of the hallowed halls of college basketball, except for displays showing various national championships and all-Americans, as the concourse is extremely cramped.
The portals to enter the seating bowl are small, and the seats are wooden, small and cramped. Be prepared to be “jammed” into your seat once it fills up. However, this just adds to the charm of attending a game at Cameron.
Since the building is small, all the seats are right on top of the court and offer a great a great view of the action. There is a large four-sided center hung video board which offers score, time, fouls, and video replays.
The Cameron Crazies, pep band, and the Blue Devin mascot are all very involved in the action, creating on of the loudest environments in college basketball. There national championship banners, and jerseys of retired All-Americans hanging from the rafters that just add to the atmosphere and experience.
Cameron Indoor Stadium is located in the middle of the Duke campus. While there are not a lot of food options in the immediate area, the campus has many points of interest that are worth checking out, including the Duke Chapel and the Duke Gardens. The Chapel and Gardens are only a short drive away.
The American Tobacco Campus is only a few miles from Cameron Indoor Stadium and has revitalized downtown Durham in the last 10 years. There are a plethora of restaurants and bars surrounding to eat at. Be sure to visit the Tobacco Road Sports Café which sits above the blue monster at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. It offers great local food, and several TV’s so you can keep up with other games. Other popular restaurants around at the American Tobacco Campus include Mellow Mushroom, Tyler’s Taproom, and the Bullpen. For a complete list of restaurants and attractions at the American Tobacco Campus visit: https://americantobaccocampus.com/restaurants.
Duke basketball fans are perhaps the most famous and well known in all of college basketball. Every men’s basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium has sold out since November 26 1990. The Cameron Crazies camp out in order to obtain tickets to the games and surround the court with chants and antics constantly throughout the game. Even though Cameron Indoor seats just over 9,000, the Duke fans always fill it to capacity to ensure that it is one of the loudest buildings in all of college basketball.
While sitting in the midst of campus gives Cameron Indoor a picturesque setting, it makes access a nightmare. Unless you are an Iron Duke club member, parking near Cameron Indoor is essentially non-existent. Be prepared to park across campus and walk at least 10-20 minutes. These parking areas are signed well though, so just follow signs and attendants and you should be ok. Once inside the building, it is signed well and pretty easy to navigate to your seat.
Return on Investment 4
Since Duke sells out every game it is unlikely that you will be able to find tickets for face value from the university itself. So, if you are interested in attending a game at Cameron, be prepared to for out some serious cash for tickets on the secondary market. Depending on the game, these tickets can range from a couple hundred dollars a piece to several thousand dollars, as was the case in Coach K’s final season, 2021-22.
A few things to check out on your visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium:
Krzyzewskiville (a tent city) just outside the entrance to Cameron where Duke students camp out for weeks to obtain tickets to the biggest games of the season.
The Duke basketball museum adjoins Cameron and has trophies from ACC and national championships, retired championship, and historical memorabilia from Duke basketball.
The famous Cameron Crazies are in their place surrounding the court nearly an hour before every game and have planned chants and cheers throughout the game to give Duke an unbeatable home court advantage.
USA Today has named Cameron “one of the toughest road games in the USA”.
Even though Cameron Indoor Stadium is old, small, and cramped, the experience of attending a Duke game is like one you won’t experience anywhere else. From the sellout crowds to the Cameron Crazies to the product on the floor (which is always good) a trip to Cameron is a must for any college basketball fan.