- Lloyd Brown
Curb Event Center – Belmont Bruins
Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
Curb Event Center 2002 Belmont Blvd Nashville, TN 37212
Year Opened: 2003
Belmont’s Good News Bears
Belmont University is a private Christian university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It was founded in 1890 and has an enrollment of just under 8,500 students. The school offers more than 90 academic majors but is best known for its College of Music and Performing Arts and its College of Entertainment and Music Business. Many of Nashville’s top country music stars and recording executives are Belmont alumni.
The sports teams at Belmont are known as the Bruins and are members of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC). The home court for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams is the on-campus Curb Event Center, also known as the CEC. The facility opened in 2003 and has a capacity of 5,085 in its basketball seating configuration. It also offers eight concourse level suites. As the name suggests, the CEC is used for a wide variety of activities, including athletic events, concerts, graduation exercises, business conventions and consumer shows. It is named for Mike Curb, the CEO of Curb Records and a Belmont graduate.
A short video on the Curb Event Center (produced by Belmont University):
The basketball Bruins are by far the most successful team in the Belmont Athletic program. They won five conference championships when they were members of the Atlantic Sun Conference and have won another four as members of the OVC. Since 2005 they have appeared in eight NCAA Tournaments and four NIT Tournaments.
Food & Beverage 3
The CEC has three full-service concession stands within the arena itself, plus nine concession vendors set up in the Maddox Grand Atrium just outside of the seating area. The school-managed concession stands sell hot dogs ($3.50), pretzels ($4), nachos ($4), popcorn ($3.50), candy ($4), Coca-Cola brand sodas ($3), cups of water (.50) and sports energy drinks ($3). No alcohol is served at the arena in keeping with the school’s religious beliefs.
Outside vendors include Chick-fil-A, a popcorn wagon, a pizza stand, a sandwich shop, and a candy concessionaire. The team spirit shop is also in the Atrium.
The atmosphere at Bruins games is always electric, as the team is always in the hunt for another OVC title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The team plays an up tempo of offense that results in a high scoring game.
The design of the Curb Event Center plays an important role in creating an enjoyable environment at the game. It features two HD video boards and a very high-end sound system. The acoustics within the seating bowl help make the arena a loud and intimidating place for opponents to visit. It should be no surprise that this results in the home team winning the game 86% of the time. Only Kentucky and Kansas have a higher home winning percentage over the last ten years. You’ll also enjoy an excellent view of the court as the arena is small enough to provide a sense of intimacy with the game.
Belmont University is located two miles west of downtown Nashville in the West End neighborhood. The West End is a quieter, more residential section of town. In addition to Belmont, it is also home to both Vanderbilt and Lipscomb Universities.
You will want to check out the on-campus Belmont Mansion, a historic house museum dating back to 1853. Just down the street from the Belmont campus is Centennial Park and the Parthenon. The park has a bevy of activities available and the Parthenon is a to-scale replica of the temple in ancient Greece. On the lower level of the building is a wonderful art museum. Further west from the campus is a suburb known as Belle Meade, home of the Cheekwood Estates and Gardens. You’ll be passing the homes of numerous country stars as you head out Forest Park Drive.
If you are in town for a long weekend you must try out the Pancake Pantry, a Nashville institution since 1961. Their pancake selection is broad, and no matter which one you select you can’t go wrong. After the game, check out the Redlands Grill on West End Avenue. You can end your day at either the Moxie Hotel at Hillsboro Village or the Holiday Inn located nearby at the entrance to Vanderbilt University.
You can almost always count on a sellout crowd at Bruins game, as they are a dominant basketball power in the greater Nashville area. You are likely to see some famous Nashville stars sitting courtside as they are alums of the school. The student body turns out in force, wearing the red and blue colors of the school. Their cheers are led by Bruiser, the school’s mascot Bruin and the excellent Belmont Pep Band (it is a music school after all!)
You will see an enthusiastic, yet well behaved crowd at Bruin games. The school’s honor code discourages trash talking or any negative behavior towards visitors.
Getting to Belmont University and the CEC are very easy to reach via I-40, as it helps you to avoid the busy streets in downtown Nashville. Head west on I-40 until you reach I-440. Take the I-440 exit and continue to exit #3 (21st Avenue). Take 21st Avenue until you reach Blair Avenue. Turn left on Blair, then take a left onto Belmont Boulevard. Turn right on Barnard and the parking deck will be on your right, adjoining the CEC.
There are multiple entrances into the Curb Event Center, and you will approach your seat through the Maddox Grand Atrium. This area will be filled with vendors and exhibits featuring the many post-season achievements of Bruins basketball.
Return on Investment 4
The Curb Event Center offers a wonderful return on investment. Tickets are very reasonably priced at $15 for adults, $8 for children ages 7-18 and children under the age of 6 and retired or active duty military can attend free. Parking in the parking garage adjacent to the CEC is free of charge. The concessions are also very reasonably priced. In a town filled with entertainment options, it is hard to beat a night at a Bruins basketball game for value.
Among the alumni from Belmont’s College of Music and Performing Arts are singers Stephen Curtis Chapman, Lee Ann Womack, Trisha Yearwood, Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line and country music icon Minnie Pearl.
The CEC has hosted such varied events as the CMT Video Music Awards and the 2008 and 2020 Presidential Town Hall Debates. Many Nashville country music stars, including Vince Gill, Amy Grant, MercyMe, Wynonna and Heart have performed concerts at the venue.
Belmont has also provided space within the CEC for a wide variety of student-run businesses, including the Curb Café Restaurant.
Belmont’s main rival is Lipscomb University, which is located just down the street from Belmont’s campus. They play each other twice a year in a game known as “The Battle of the Boulevard.”
Belmont University and the Curb Event Center play an active role in the Nashville community. The CEC provides a very attractive site for the school’s very successful basketball program, while also serving as a center for outreach to the surrounding community in keeping with the school’s mission. It welcomes the public for concerts, inspirational speakers, special events and has twice housed presidential debates.