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  • Richard Smith

Heiges Field House – Shippensburg Raiders

Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey and Shippensburg Athletics

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Heiges Field House 333 Lancaster Drive Shippensburg, PA 17257

Year Opened: 1971 Capacity: 2,768


Ship Shape

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (Ship or SU) is a public university in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. The university offers more than 100 undergraduate programs and more than 50 master’s degree programs. Many of the original historic buildings of the campus, including Old Main, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Famous alumni of the school include Brent Grimes, former National Football League cornerback; Rob Davis, the Director of Player Development of the Green Bay Packers; and best-selling author Dean Koontz.

The Raiders are members of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and have been members of the PSAC since its foundation in 1951. The Dixon trophy is awarded to the top athletic program in the 18 universities Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Shippensburg has won the trophy seven times, the most by any PSAC member. The field hockey team at Ship has been the most successful team on campus winning the national championship in Division II twice in the last six years. Football has been a strong team as well. The mascot is “Big Red,” a red-tail hawk wearing a pirate hat.

Heiges Field House was the second-largest wooden-domed structure in the world when it opened. The arena is the home to the school’s volleyball, wrestling, and basketball programs, as well as housing swimming in the attached pool.

From 2004 to 2007, the Red Raiders posted a 37-3 record in home basketball games, which led the students of Shippensburg at the time to nickname Heiges Field House, “The Dungeon.” The arena has a wooden playing surface designed by the same floor designer as the University of North Carolina and the University of Kansas.

Food & Beverage 2

There are small food stands open for basketball games. The offerings are basic, so eat before the game.

Atmosphere 3

The arena feels very open and has a typical atmosphere for a Division II level school. The field house roof is on perfect display at all times with its cool style and large fans coming from it.

Neighborhood 3

Shippensburg is a nice little town located just to the north of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, as well as the Maryland border. There are a few food and drink options in the immediate vicinity. You can’t go wrong with CJ’s American Pub & Grill for dinner and then stopping by Goose Bros. Ice Cream for dessert. There are other options as it is a small college town with quite a few varieties of places to go. Nearby Chambersburg has many more local and chain options.

Fans 3

The crowds are pretty good as Division II schools in Pennsylvania tend to have a good following.

Access 4

Shippensburg is located right off Interstate 81, a major route from the south through to the northeast. Accessing the campus is easy as you get off that main road as it is marked well. The university is located about half an hour from the state capital Harrisburg. It is also about an hour and a half to Baltimore and the same distance to Philadelphia. Parking is fairly plentiful around the university and the field. Parking is usually free but if it is a weeknight when classes are in session, please make sure to check parking regulations.

Return on Investment 5

Tickets are around $10 and parking is free. This is a fairly good value for a decent quality game.

Extras 2

There are many trophy cases in the small lobby that offer a glimpse of the successes of the various Raider teams.

The unique architecture of the roof is a great extra all on its own.

Final Thoughts

Shippensburg plays at a good level of basketball and the opponents of the PSAC do offer some skilled opponents, which makes a game here a good value for the sports fan.

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