Cassell Coliseum – Virginia Tech Hokies
Photos by Joseph Oakes and Josh Oakes, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
Cassell Coliseum 675 Washington Street, SW Blacksburg, VA 24061
Year Opened: 1962
The Hokies “Cassell”
Virginia Tech first started playing basketball at Cassell Coliseum in 1962. It is not only the home of the men’s basketball team, but also women’s basketball, volleyball, and wrestling.
Virginia Tech has bounced around conferences the past 30 years, playing in the Metro Conference, Atlantic 10, and Big East. Since 2004, Virginia Tech has found a home in arguably America’s top basketball conference, the ACC. This move gradually brought new life into the program, and the Hokies are not a consistent top 25 team. With Tech’s recent basketball success, the argument can be made that Cassell Coliseum is now one of the toughest places to play in the ACC.
Food & Beverage 3
Cassell Coliseum offers standard concession fare, just enough to get you by, but nothing special. The following are offered at the concession stands: hot dogs ($4), nachos ($4), soft pretzel ($4) with cheese cup for $1, popcorn ($4), candy ($3.50), peanuts ($3), and chips ($2). Fountain Coca-Cola beverages are offered for $5.50 for a large and $4 for a regular size. Dasani bottled water is also available for $4. Both cash and major credit and debit cards are accepted at concession stands.
Upon entering Cassell Coliseum, you are immediately greeted by Hokie stone that is so predominant on campus. The seating bowl is a single level and you enter about halfway up. The lower half of seats are fold down cushioned seats, while the upper seats are fold down wooden seats. One unique factor of the seating bowl is the steepness of the seats. Therefore, all seats are essentially right on top of the court. Be aware though that it is a steep climb up the steps, especially if you are sitting near the top. Since there is only a single seating bowl, there are no suites or premium seating areas. This does not take away from the atmosphere however, as the fans are right on the court, and all the noise and energy creates a loud environment.
There are two 18 feet x 29 feet video boards above each goal. These do a great job providing video replays and updating the score. All students plus the band sit behind one of the goals. They are known as the Cassell Guard and are constantly jumping and chanting, which provide a great home court advantage for the Hokies.
Due to the design of Cassell Coliseum, there is not a bad seat in the house. However, if you are scared of heights, we recommend sitting in the lower half of the coliseum due to the steepness of the seating bowl.
Since it is in the middle of campus there is not much to do within walking distance of the ballpark before or after a game. However, Virginia Tech’s campus is gorgeous with the rolling hills, sidewalks, and Hokie stone.
Lane Stadium is right next door to Cassell Coliseum, and it is worth a walk around if you have never been. If it is your first time on the campus, try to spend some time walking around campus. Be sure to stop by the April 16th Memorial near the Drillfield dedicated to the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting.
If you take a stroll down Main Street Blacksburg, you will find several food options including local eateries as well as chain restaurants such as Mellow Mushroom, Five Guys, and Jimmy Johns.
If you like the outdoors, this is the place for you as there are many activities in the surrounding mountains like hiking and canoeing. The Inn at Virginia Tech is a great place to stay if you are in town overnight. There are also several other hotels around Blacksburg and Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech fans are known for the passion for football, but their passion for basketball is no less. For ACC games expect close to a capacity crowd each game. And did we mention the Cassell can get loud? The steepness of the seating bowl and the close confines of the building make it loud when the fans get into the game. Expect to hear one side of the crowd to chant “LET’S GO” and the other side “HOKIES” at several points throughout the game.
Virginia Tech’s campus is easily accessible from I-81, about 10 miles away on US 460. Take the new Southgate Dr. exit off of US 460, then turn left onto Beamer Way. Cassell Coliseum will be on your right just past Lane Stadium. Free parking is available adjacent to Lane Stadium at the corner of Beamer Way and Southgate Dr. It is only a 3-5 minute walk to the Coliseum.
Be aware that a clear bag policy is in place, and it is well enforced. If you do not have one, they are available for sale at the CVS Pharmacy next to campus and at the Walmart in Christiansburg.
Once inside, there is a single concourse the wraps underneath the seating bowl. One thing to keep in mind as you look for your seats, odd numbered seats are located on one side of the aisle and even numbered are on the other side. The restroom and concession areas are all very clean, and easily accessible on the concourse. Handicapped accessible seating is located in several seating sections as you enter the seating bowl.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets for non-conference games are $20. For higher profile ACC games, tickets are $50; while for lower profile games they are $30. This may seem a little steep, but compared to their ACC peers, this is quite a deal. Often tickets for many games can be found at lower prices on the secondary market. For certain games, the Hokies offer the Coca-Cola family 4 pack, which includes four tickets, four Coke products, and four concession items for $80. If you are going with a group or taking the family, this is certainly the way to go. Free parking and free game programs also add to the affordability of a Virginia Tech game.
Game programs are free and include rosters, fun facts, and a player bio or two. This place sells pie! Not cheap, store-bought pie, but legitimate, homemade with fresh, local ingredients pie! Finally, there are no obstructed view/limited view seats.