top of page
  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

Edward Leede Arena – Dartmouth Big Green

Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.57

Edward Leede Arena 6 South Park St Hanover, NH 03755

Year Opened: 1987

Capacity: 2,100


Big Green Hoops

The Edward Leede Arena is home of Dartmouth’s basketball and volleyball teams. It is named in honor of the class of 1949 alumnus, who was captain of Dartmouth’s basketball squad and one of the school’s leading all-time scorers. Leede Arena is located within the John W. Berry Sports Center, which also contains squash and racquetball courts along with locker rooms, offices and suites. The Berry Sports Center was dedicated in honor of John Berry, whose $5 million donation to Dartmouth athletics was the largest to the program at the time. The Berry Center was built to replace the old Alumni Gym, which still stands next door. It was built on the site of the old Davis Rink, the home of the hockey team from 1929 to 1975.


Dartmouth adopted a shade of forest green as its official color in 1866. Starting in the 1920s the school’s athletic teams were referred to as the “Indians” until the nickname came under criticism in the 1970s. The nickname “Big Green” refers to the Dartmouth Green in the center of campus.


Despite qualifying for seven NCAA Tournaments and appearing in a pair of Final Fours (1942 and 1944), The Big Green have not played in the Big Dance since 1959. This is the longest active tournament appearance drought in Division One, and the second longest in history. Since 1959, Dartmouth has only had ten winning seasons, most recently in 1999. Six Dartmouth alumni have played in the NBA.


Food & Beverage 2


 There are a pair of concession stands located in the first-floor lobby. These stands feature a very basic menu, with hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn, ice cream novelties as well as assorted snacks comprising the menu. Bottles of Coca-Cola products are sold here. There is no alcohol allowed inside the Berry Sports Center.


What the concession stands lack in variety, they more than make up for in value. No items here cost more than five dollars.


Atmosphere 2


As you might expect at a small gymnasium at an Ivy League school, the gameday atmosphere at Dartmouth has a very old-school feel to it. The pep band, cheerleaders and dance squad provide noise and entertainment throughout the game, and the arena’s DJ provides music during play breaks without being overly loud.


Simple scoreboards on either end of the gym provide basic game information while the PA announcer keeps fans updated without being too intrusive or over the top. There is not a great turnout from the student body, and those students in attendance don’t make a lot of noise or add a lot of energy to the proceedings.


The fans at Leede Arena are supportive of the Big Green, but are not overly loud or enthusiastic. They will let their displeasure be known to the referees on occasion. The youth groups in attendance bring a certain energy to the gym. This is a place where you can feel very comfortable bringing the whole family.


Neighborhood 5


The village of Hanover, New Hampshire boasts a population of about 9,000 citizens, not much larger than Dartmouth College’s enrollment of 6,350 students. As you would expect, there is a great small-town feel to Hanover. The Dartmouth Green acts as a focal point for all town activities and the campus is worth a stroll to experience its classic Georgian architecture.


Located just a five-minute walk from Leede Arena, Main Street features a bunch of shops and restaurants and is a great place to explore during your visit. Highlights include the Dartmouth Co-Op, where you can pick up some Big Green gear, Lou’s Restaurant and Bakery for a snack, and Murphy’s on the Green for a traditional pub experience. There are a good dozen eateries located within a few blocks here on Main Street.


Should you wish to stay in Hanover, there are lodging options located in this area as well, including the Hanover Inn and Six South Street Hotel. Visitors looking for other things to do in the area will find a wealth of outdoor options, including the Appalachian Trail, which runs right through Hanover. In the snowy winter months of the basketball season, several ski resorts are located just a short drive away.


For a unique and quintessential small-town New England experience, cross the Connecticut River into Vermont and visit the Norwich Inn. It’s said to be the inspiration for the television series Newhart. The Inn features a quaint, small pub that seats about 25. Despite its small size, the Inn brews their own beers and features an excellent pub menu.


Fans 2


Basketball clearly plays second fiddle in the Dartmouth winter sports scene to hockey. An average hoops crowd at Leede Arena numbers around 700 fans, which is well below the Ivy League average.


Even though the Dartmouth student body shows in small numbers, there is a good turnout from locals, who are friendly to visitors and will gladly tell you about the trials and tribulations of the Dartmouth athletic program in recent years. Fans are into the action on the court and will voice their displeasure with the results when appropriate.


Access 3


Dartmouth College and the small town of Hanover, New Hampshire may be well off the beaten path, but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to get to. Located just a few miles from the intersection of Interstates 89 and 91, Leede Aena is located near the school’s other athletic facilities, including Memorial Field, Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park, Thompson Arena and Scully-Fahey Field.


Driving is easily the most efficient method to arrive in Hanover, but there are bus and car services that run from Manchester, located an hour to the southeast, and to Logan Airport in Boston. Also, Amtrak has a train station just across the Connecticut River in White River Junction, Vermont.


There is ample on-street parking in the immediate vicinity of Leede Arena, as well as a large parking lot adjacent to nearby Thompson Arena which features free parking. If you happen to park at the Thompson or Dewey lots, shuttle busses run between Dartmouth’s athletic facilities. These can be very convenient if you visit Hanover on a frigid winter day.


Fans will enter through a nondescript entrance into the Berry Center’s ground floor. Ticket booths are located just inside this entrance. Visiting fans will find a pair of small concession stands, the basketball lounge and restrooms on this level. To get to the seating area, stairs will lead fans to the second floor, where Dartmouth’s 15 squash and racquetball courts along with the entrances to Leede Arena are located. Sections 1-4 are located on the west side of the basketball court, with sections 5-8 located on the east. To access the opposite side of the gym, one must leave Leede Arena, pass through the squash courts, and enter onto the opposite walkway.


Fans enter Leede Arena on either side of the basketball court onto a walkway located atop the seating bowl. Fans walk down to their seats, although some fans choose to take in the action from this aisle. Most of the seating consists of wooden bleachers without backs that are sold as general admission seating. Sections 2 and 3 are reserved seating consisting of individual folding stadium seats. With Leede Arena’s cozy confines, all seats provide excellent views of the action.


Return on Investment 3


Ticket prices for Big Green basketball games may run a little higher than you would expect. Chairback seats cost $22, while general admission bleacher seats are priced at $17. Youths aged 14 and under receive a five-dollar discount on general admission seating. Should you wish to splurge for a courtside seat, it will cost you $60.


Parking is free in the Thompson Arena lot located about a quarter mile from the Berry Sports Complex. There is plenty of on-street parking in the neighborhood, just be aware of when meters are in effect.


Concessions are affordably priced, with no items costing more than five dollars. Free roster sheets are available to all fans.


Extras 1


Dartmouth honors its basketball history throughout Leede Arena. In the main lobby are displays honoring the history of both the men’s and women’s programs. Inside the gym banners hang from the rafters honoring conference championships and tournament appearances for both programs.


Final Thoughts


Dartmouth basketball fans may pine for the “good old days,” but they continue to show up at Leede Arena to support the Big Green. This old-school gym will never be confused with big-time basketball, but if you bring your squash racquet, you may be able to squeeze in a game at halftime. At how many Division One gymnasiums can you say that?


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

Recent Posts

See All


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page