William Neal Reynolds Coliseum – North Carolina State Wolfpack
Photos by Joseph Oakes, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.43
William Neal Reynolds Coliseum 2411 Dunn Ave Raleigh, NC 27607
Year Opened: 1949
A “New” Home for Women’s Basketball at Historic Reynolds Coliseum
Reynolds Coliseum first opened in 1949 as the home of the NC State men’s basketball team. For much of its early life, Reynolds was the largest basketball arena in the southeast with a capacity of 12,400. Due to its size, Reynolds hosted the first 13 ACC tournaments from 1954-1966. Reynolds has also hosted NCAA regionals eight times. It has been the home to two NCAA men’s National Championship teams as the NC State men’s team won it all in 1974 and 1983. Famous coaches Everett Case, Norm Sloan, and Jim Valvano have all lead their teams at Reynolds Coliseum. During its heyday, Reynolds was one of the toughest home courts for visiting teams in the country. Former UNC player and current head coach Hubert Davis said, “The toughest place I ever played was Reynolds Coliseum. Cameron Indoor Stadium didn’t even come close…”.
In 1999, the men’s team left their on-campus home to the larger and more luxurious PNC Arena across town. Reynolds now is the home of the women’s basketball team, the wrestling team, and the gymnastics team. In 2018, the newly renovated Reynolds Coliseum was renamed James T. Valvano Arena at William Neal Reynolds Coliseum in honor of the former men’s basketball coach.
Food & Beverage 4
Reynolds Coliseum offers many concession choices to keep you well fed at the game. These include hot dogs ($4), Chick-fil-A Sandwich ($7), pulled pork sandwich ($7), and chicken club wrap ($7). Snack items include popcorn ($5), nachos ($5), cotton candy ($5), peanuts ($4), candy ($3), and Howling Cow Ice Cream ($3), which is made at the NC State Dairy. Bottled Coke products, including Dasani water and Powerade, are available for $4. Alcoholic beverages are also available. These include: Coors Light and Michelob Ultra ($8), Corona Extra ($10), Truly Wild Berry ($10), Wicked Weed Pernicious ($10), and Babe Wine ($10). Keep in mind that cash is not accepted at Reynolds Coliseum.
Reynolds Coliseum was originally built in 1949, so from the exterior it resembles the historic basketball arena that it is. It was built as a long and narrow building with several seating sections far away from the action. However, a $35 million renovation in 2016 pushed the court to one end of the building and created a Hall of Fame and Grand Hall in one end of the building. While this reduced capacity from 8,300 to 5,500, it created an intimate experience with all the seats right on top of the action. There is a lower level on each sideline with 4 rows of courtside seats. The upper level is designed in a horse-shoe, with pull out bleachers on the end zone side below the Grand Hall. Standing at the top of these bleachers in the Grand Hall offers a great view of the action.
There is a four-sided center hung video board that provides the score and replays. There are also several ribbon boards around the arena. The NC State pep band provides a great atmosphere throughout the game, as well as, Mr. and Mrs. Wuf mascots that make their rounds taking pictures with children, etc.
Due to recent renovations, there is not a bad seat in the house. However, keep in mind that sections K and L and not chair back. The rest of the seats except for the student section (sections D-F) are.
Reynolds Coliseum is also the home to the NC State Athletics Hall of Fame. This is located on the main concourse underneath the upper seating level. It features pictures, videos, trophies, retired jerseys, etc from all NC State sports teams throughout the years. Depending on events, this Hall of Fame is open to the public Monday-Friday 8am-4pm. Be sure to arrive a few minutes early to check this out.
Since Reynolds Coliseum is located on campus, there are no eateries within walking distance of the arena. There are three can’t miss restaurants within a couple miles of Reynolds Coliseum. If you are looking for something quick before or after the game, Cook-Out is the place for you. It is located down the street from campus on Western Boulevard and is famous for its “trays” which feature a burger (or chicken sandwich), two sides, and a drink for less than $10. Amedeo’s Italian Restaurant is also located on Western Boulevard and was started by a former Wolfpack football player. There is a large variety of NC State memorabilia located at each booth, and their Italian food is some of the best in the area. Another popular local restaurant is Mitch’s Tavern, located on Hillsborough Street across from campus. Part of the movie Bull Durham was filmed at Mitch’s; it is where the initial meeting between Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins was filmed.
Being located in Raleigh, there is no shortage of other activities to participate in when visiting the city. A good activity before or after a game would be to take the short drive to downtown Raleigh and take a stroll around the state Capitol. The North Carolina Museum of History and the North Carolina Museum of Science are both located within a block of the state Capitol.
The closest hotel to campus is Aloft Raleigh, located across the street from the NC State Bell Tower. Aloft is a relatively new hotel and gives you easy access to both the NC State campus and downtown Raleigh.
Coming off back to back Sweet 16 appearances, an Elite Eight appearance in 2022, and back to back to back ACC championships, fan support for the Wolfpack Women’s basketball program is at an all time high. Expect crowds of 4000+ for most games and near sellouts for the majority of ACC games. Due to its size and full crowds, Reynolds is loud and raucous. Chants of “WOLF” and “PACK” break out routinely throughout the games. Due to the high demand for tickets, we suggest to purchase your tickets ahead of time.
Aside from rush hour traffic, Reynolds Coliseum is easily accessible from both I-40 and I-440. If coming to a game on a work night, it is wise to add a few minutes to work your way through Raleigh traffic and onto campus. Raleigh-Durham International Airport serves the Triangle and is about a 20-minute drive from NC State. Parking for women’s basketball games is free in the Coliseum Deck adjacent to the Arena, just off of Western Boulevard. It is about a couple minute walk to Reynolds Coliseum from the parking deck. There main entrance is on the north end of the building, which is also where the ticket window is. There is also handicapped seating above sections D, E, F, K, and L.
Return on Investment 5
NC State women’s basketball tickets are extremely affordable, with many games available for $10 or less. This is a great value for a perennial top 10 team. Add in free parking and affordable concessions and you have a great value. However, most conference games sell out, so be sure to purchase your tickets on-line ahead of time.
NC State does a great job honoring famous former coaches that battled cancer, Kay Yow and Jim Valvano. The basketball court is named Kay Yow Court, and the Arena bears Jim Valvano’s name. There are statues to both coaches outside the main entrance. There is also the aforementioned NC State Athletics Hall of Fame in the grand hall and on the main concourse. Reynolds has hosted numerous ACC tournaments, NCAA tournament regionals, as well as former presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.
With its recent renovation and reduced capacity Reynolds Coliseum is a perfect for a top-tier women’s basketball program. Wolfpack fans routinely fill Reynolds to capacity, to create a great home court advantage for Wolfpack Women’s Basketball.