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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Joan Perry Brock Center – Longwood Lancers

Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57

Joan Perry Brock Center 201 High Street Farmville, VA 23901

Year Opened: 2023

Capacity: 3,000


Brockin' it in Farmville

Located on the campus of Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, the Joan Perry Brock Center is one of the newest basketball arenas in Division I, having opened in November of 2023. Home to Lancers basketball, this 3,000-seat arena replaced Willett Hall, which was aging and unsuited for Longwood once they made the move to Division I.

Food & Beverage 3

There are two concession stands at the JPBC, which serve an identical menu, so go with whichever one has a shorter line. Despite being a new arena, the options are somewhat limited and include Chick-fil-A sandwiches ($7), hot dogs ($4), nachos ($5), and pretzels ($4). Chips, candy, and popcorn are also available, as are fountain soda, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages. There are also combo meals available to bring down the price.

Atmosphere 4

The Joan Perry Brock Center has a unique architectural style, resembling a cathedral or old southern mansion more than a basketball arena. With white walls and arched glass windows, the JPBC is unlike most modern arenas and is instantly recognizable.

The arena seats only 3,000 fans, with most of the lower sideline seats reserved for season ticket holders, although there are a few single seats that are available for purchase. Otherwise, you can sit in the corners, behind the basket, or in the 200-level seats, which involve walking up from the concourse rather than down but are still extremely close to the action. Every seat here is close to the action - it's a small, intimate arena, much like Willett Hall was, but far more modern.

The Lancers have a pep band known as the Stampede, as well as cheerleaders, a dance team, and a mascot named Elwood who is a horse. The pep band plays during breaks in the action, not just typical pep band songs but also music you would expect to come out of an organ at a baseball game rather than a pep band in college basketball (think the "CHARGE" music).

Neighborhood 3

Farmville is a quaint, small town, and while it’s in the middle of nowhere, there is still plenty to do here. Although there are typical chain places, your best bet is to check out the local color at places such as Walker’s Diner or Riverside Café, both of which are very close to the stadium. Everything in Farmville is very close to the arena because it’s a very small town. Just head off campus and turn onto Main Street and just about everything will be right there.

Fans 4

Although officially almost all the lower level seats are sold to season ticket holders, there were many empty seats when we visited and the arena was only about half full. Nonetheless, the crowd here is extremely loud. After the Lancers hit a big bucket, the place erupts in cheers. The low ceiling does a lot to trap crowd noise, and the unusual architecture may help as well. Regardless, this arena was designed to be loud, and it is.

Much, though certainly not all, of that energy comes from the band and student section, who seek to be as loud as possible, especially during opposing free throws. When the visitors are shooting from the foul line on the student side of the arena, they will get even louder and wave posters and their arms in an attempt to distract the shooter.

The students and band are certainly not the only ones making noise here, though. Everyone in this arena is loud. You might not expect it from the crowd size, either in relative or absolute numbers, but the fans here are certainly rowdy.

Access 3

There are a few roads into Farmville, but regardless of how you get into town, you are going to have to drive quite a bit. Most likely you will end up taking either State Route 45 or U.S. Route 460, but if you’re coming from any sort of populated area, Farmville probably isn’t close to you. Lynchburg is the closest remotely large city, and it’s a full hour away. Richmond is about an hour and 15 minutes, while Washington, D.C. is about three hours.

Once you’re on campus, there is a garage next to the arena, but that is reserved for season ticket holders and those with handicap permits. Everyone else can park anywhere else on campus except in lots reserved for residential students, which are pretty far from the arena and would be bad places to park anyway. None of these other lots require more than a few minutes to walk to the arena.

There are several restrooms located around the Joan Perry Brock Center. They are clean, modern, and of a sufficient size for the crowd.

Return on Investment 5

Tickets to Longwood basketball games start at just $8, and even the most expensive seats cost just $12. Concessions are affordable and parking is free. You may spend some money on gas to get here, depending on where you are coming from, but a Longwood basketball game is still an excellent value.

Extras 3

The unique architectural style of the Joan Perry Brock Center is worth an extra star here. As mentioned above, this place feels more like a cathedral or southern mansion than a basketball arena, at least in terms of design. The style is unique, and there are few if any other arenas like it.

A team store and the Longwood Athletics Hall of Fame are located just inside the two entrances. Each of these is worthy of an extra star.

Final Thoughts

The Joan Perry Brock Center is a modern arena with a unique architectural style. The crowd is loud, the band and student section are rowdy, and this feels not like like a literal cathedral but like a figurative cathedral of the game as well. Although Farmville may be far from most other places, basketball fans in Virginia will want to make the trip to check out the Joan Perry Brock Center.

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