Jake Nevin Field House – Villanova Wildcats
Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86
Jake Nevin Field House 800 E. Lancaster Avenue Villanova, PA 19085
Year Opened: 1932
Volleyball at the Jake
Jake Nevin Field House opened on the campus of Villanova University in 1932. Despite seating only 1,500 fans, the arena was home to Villanova basketball until 1986, including their national championship-winning season in 1985. Today, the field house is home to Villanova's volleyball team, which, like all its athletic programs, competes in the Big East Conference.
Food & Beverage 1
Concessions are sold at a table in the lobby of Jake Nevin Field House. Only snacks such as candy and chips are available to eat here, as are soft drinks and bottled water, although they ran out of the latter by the third set when we visited. Surprisingly, beer is available for sale here as well. Nothing costs more than a couple of dollars except the beer, which is about $10.
Jake Nevin Field House is an old building, almost a century old, and lacks many of the amenities of modern venues. Fans enter through a lobby that has been recently renovated and will then need to walk through a door, behind the team benches, and up a couple flights of steps to get to a concourse that surrounds the seating area on three sides.
The area behind the baseline is used for cameras, while fans sit in bleacher seats along the two sidelines. It is a weird angle since you are so close to the action yet pretty high up. There is also a stage with a curtain behind the baseline that doesn't have the concourse above it. This serves no role at volleyball games other than gameday staff occasionally coming out from behind the curtain, but it is a very weird place to have one.
The PA announcer loudly announces "Point, Wildcats!" every time Villanova scores, and music is played occasionally as well. This seems like the standard college volleyball experience, albeit in a venue older than most.
Jake Nevin Field House is located on Lancaster Avenue on the Villanova campus in suburban Philadelphia. There are a few options along that street within walking distance or a short drive away depending on your tolerance for walking. The Refectory is a popular restaurant within easy walking distance, Campus Corner is a popular pizza place with local students, and there are numerous other options a short drive away including Minella’s Diner. There is no need to deal with traffic and city parking to head into Philadelphia.
Villanova draws surprisingly well to volleyball matches, with the field house typically being a third to half full. While some of those in attendance are friends and family of the players, there are many other Villanova fans as well. Even students attend in decent numbers, filling almost a whole section of the stands. Everyone is loud, especially the students, and with the tightly packed crowds and low ceiling, it can get quite loud in here after Nova points.
Jake Nevin Field House is located just off of I-476. Parking is available at an hourly rate in the I-1 garage across the street from the stadium. It will probably cost between $2 and $5 depending on how long the match goes and how early you get there, but when Stadium Journey visited on a Sunday evening, the gates were up and parking was free.
If you are not so lucky, take a ticket as you come in and pay as you leave. If paying with cash, you will need to pay at the station. If paying by credit card, pay the attendant as you go. When arriving, exit the garage on the second level and cross the street to the field house.
Finding the main entrance to the field house can be tricky, as several exterior doors along Lancaster Avenue are kept locked. Instead, you will need to walk along the side of the building through the parking lot (which is reserved for permit holders 24/7, so you can't actually park there) and then you will see a ramp leading to the main entrance.
Once in the building, you will need to walk up and down a lot of steps to get where you are going, including some that seem completely unnecessary. This can prove to be a challenge, especially for those with accessibility needs.
Return on Investment 5
Admission to Villanova volleyball games is free. Your only costs will be parking and concessions, and neither of those should cost you much. That can make a Villanova volleyball game an excellent value.
Look for the photos of historical Villanova teams on the concourse behind the seating area.
While Jake Nevin Field House certainly isn't the most modern or glamorous arena, Villanova volleyball has made it their home. The team has a steady fan base, including both students and others, and manages to create an exciting atmosphere here. It has its quirks and isn't the easiest venue to get around, but Jake Nevin Field House is a unique and exciting place to take in a volleyball game.