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  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

Case Gymnasium - Boston University Terriers

Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86

Case Gymnasium 285 Babcock St Boston, MA 02215

Year Opened: 1972

Capacity: 1,800


Up On the Roof


Case Gymnasium, referred to at Boston University as “The Roof”, is the home to the Terriers men’s and women’s basketball teams. The Roof is located on the top floor of the Harold Case Physical Education Center, above Walter Brown Arena, home of the BU women’s hockey team.


The Case Center stands on the site of Braves Field, which served as home to the Boston Braves of Major League Baseball from 1915-1952. The Center is located approximately where the left field pavilion once stood. Many pieces of Braves Field still stand, as the stadium (now named Nickerson Field) is still used by BU’s lacrosse and soccer teams.


From 2005-2015 the Terriers played the majority of their home games at nearby Agganis Arena. Unfortunately, Agganis proved to be too large for Terrier basketball, so in 2015 it was decided to return all basketball games to the cozy confines of Case Gym.


The Terriers have qualified for the NCAA tournament eight times, advancing all the way to the Elite Eight in 1959. In addition, Boston University has qualified for the NIT six times.  Five Boston University alumni have gone on to play in the NBA.


Food & Beverage 1


 There is a small concession stand in the gym lobby that will do the trick if you need a bite to eat during a Terrier basketball game. Hot dogs, nachos and assorted snacks comprise the entire menu.  On the plus side, nothing sold here costs more than six dollars.


Pepsi products are featured at Case Gym. There is no alcohol served at this on-campus facility.


Atmosphere 3


Case Gymnasium has a real old school vibe to it. It’s a simple facility that probably looks much as it did when it was built in the 1970s. There’s no giant, center-hung video board, just a pair of dot-matrix scoreboards at either end of the court that post basic game information.


One of the things that drives the game day atmosphere at a college basketball game is the presence of the pep band, cheerleaders and student section. While there’s not a huge turnout by the student body at Terrier basketball games, the pep band leads the way in creating a lively atmosphere. They play during all stoppages and keep the energy level up. Performances by the cheerleaders and dance team help keep the fans entertained and engaged.


A typical crowd at Case Gym consists of locals, alumni and plenty of youth groups and families. The team keeps the younger fans involved with contests and giveaways throughout the game, including t-shirt tosses, free posters and the very popular pizza giveaway. Younger fans take over the court at halftime. You may even see Rhett, the school’s mascot, roaming the gym and interacting with fans.


As you might imagine, a small gym like Case gets really loud when it’s filled and the Terriers are rolling. Unfortunately, a full gym is the exception rather than the rule.


Neighborhood 4


Boston University is an urban campus, straddling Commonwealth Avenue for approximately a mile and a half on the Boston/Brookline city line. Located adjacent to Case Gym is Nickerson Field, home to BU’s lacrosse and soccer teams. It is also known to baseball historians as Braves Field, which was home to the National League’s Boston Braves from 1915 to 1952. Walter Brown Arena is located on the ground floor of the Case Center, with Agganis Arena  a block to the east.


Fans coming to the BU campus will find plenty of choices for dining in the area. BU students recommend Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers and T Anthony’s Pizzeria, both located within a block of Case Gym. The neighborhood features a diverse variety of dining options, with excellent Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese eateries nearby.


The Paradise Rock Club, known nationally for hosting prominent bands like U2 and REM before they hit it big, is located a block away from Case Gym. It continues to host both local acts and up-and-coming national acts.


If you expand your search beyond campus, Kenmore Square and Fenway Park are just over a mile away. Not far beyond that are the tourist destinations of Copley Square, Back Bay, Boston Common and Chinatown. All are easily accessed by the Green Line, which has stops up and down Commonwealth Avenue.


Fans 2


The Boston University basketball team stands perpetually in the shadows of the school’s very successful hockey team, and the attendance at Case Gymnasium reflects this. Average attendance at Terrier games is just under 900 fans. This figure ranks below the average of the Patriot League, which itself is one of the more sparsely attended basketball conferences in the nation.


Despite the smallish crowds present, Case Gym provides an excellent home-court advantage to the Terriers. With its cozy confines, the place can get really loud when the home team gets on a roll. This is done the old-fashioned way, as the fans in the stands provide the noise and energy here.


Access 4


It can be easy to pass right by Case Gymnasium without even realizing it. Located at the end of a dead-end street, this nondescript building is marked only by a small sign containing the Boston University logo.


Boston can be a difficult city to drive in, with streets laid out in seemingly random directions and construction projects a constant presence throughout the city. However, it’s pretty easy to get to the Boston University campus. It’s located right on Commonwealth Avenue, one of the city’s major drags. Case Gym is located at the end of Babcock Street, right off of Commonwealth Ave. Detailed directions can be found here


Parking is available in a covered lot located underneath New Balance Field, right across the street from the ground floor entrance to Case Gym. On-street parking is also available in the vicinity of Case Gymnasium but be aware of the times that meters are in operation. Additional parking can be found in the garage underneath Agganis Arena.


The best method for arriving at Case Gym is to take public transportation, known in Boston as the “T”. The Green Line’s B train has a stop at the top of Babcock Street just a short walk from Case Gym.


The main entrance to Case Gym is located on the back side of the Case Center, adjacent to Nickerson Field. Entering into the gym’s lobby, fans will find the concession stand, trophy cases and rest rooms.


Depending on where your seats are, you’ll enter Case Gym through one of two doors. Seating consists of individual red folding stadium seats on both sides of the court with excellent views of the action no matter where you sit. We recommend you sit a few rows up to see over the constant traffic on the floor.


Return on Investment 4


Tickets to Terrier basketball games cost twelve dollars for all seats. Parking is available in the lot across the street from the Case Athletic Center or in the garage underneath the Agganis Arena for twelve dollars. There is plenty of on-street parking within a few blocks of the gym, but it can be tough to find an open spot when there are several events going on in the area at the same time. If you are lucky enough to find a spot, make sure to check the meters, as times of operation and prices may vary.


To save money, many fans will take public transportation to Boston University. Known in Boston as the “T”, a one-way fare costs $2.75 and accesses most of the city. The Green Line’s B train has a stop at the top of Babcock Street, just a short walk from Case Gym. If you play your cards right, you can watch a Terriers game for under 20 dollars. Even if you aren’t so frugal, you won’t break the bank at Case Gymnasium.


Extras 2


Boston University displays their basketball history throughout Case Gym. Banners honoring conference championships, tournament appearances, and retired numbers hang throughout the gym. A trophy case in the lobby is loaded with mementos from the school’s storied history. On the first floor of the Case Athletic Center is the Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame. BU may not play with the big boys in most sports, but they are certainly a local athletic powerhouse.


Veteran ballpark travelers will want to check out Nickerson Field, originally known as Braves Field, home of the Boston Braves until they moved to Milwaukee in 1953.  The Case Athletic Center is located approximately where the left field pavilion at Braves Field once stood. The grandstand of Nickerson Field is the former right field grandstand, and the former ticket offices are now the school’s security offices.


Final Thoughts


Case Gymnasium, while a fairly basic facility, has many features that make it a unique Stadium Journey. From its location above a hockey rink to its past as a Major League Baseball stadium, there aren’t many gyms quite like this one.


Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter and Instagram @PuckmanRI.


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