Millett Hall – Miami RedHawks
Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00
Millett Hall 500 E Sycamore St Oxford, OH 45056
Year Opened: 1968
Millett Hall is the Home of the Redhawks
Millett Hall is home to the Miami Redhawks basketball and volleyball programs. The 9,200-seat multi-purpose venue hosted its first basketball game on December 2, 1968, with an 86-77 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats. The $7.5 million arena was named for John Millett, the university’s president from 1953-1964.
The Redhawks have home-court advantage, posting a 147-37 record since the start of the 1993-1994 season. The close to .800 winning percentage is somewhat of an anomaly since the building is not considered one of the more intimidating places for opposing teams in the Mid-Atlantic Conference.
The building was designed to host a myriad of events: from concerts to commencement ceremonies and is home to the ROTC program. Fans are somewhat at a distance from the court and many of the upper bowl seating is far away from the action.
The Redhawks men’s basketball program has captured 20 MAC championships and has made 17 NCAA tournament appearances. A bronze statue of Wayne Embry stands outside the main entrance. Embry led the school to the 1957 and 1958 tournaments before an 11-year career in the NBA. He is currently a senior basketball advisor for the Toronto Raptors.
Food & Beverage 3
There is not a large amount of variety in the game, but enough to satisfy you while watching the game. The concession stands are located near the entrance to the seating bowl and offer hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, and soda. Alcoholic beverages are not sold during the game.
It appears that Millett Hall has not changed drastically since its opening in 1968. The building is somewhat of a time warp that offers new visitors a look back at arena construction from another era. It might not be as romantic as the likes of The Palestra or Hinkle Fieldhouse, but there is a sense of style throughout the building.
The outer concourse is wide and features speckled floor tiles, natural lighting, and a slant roof that supports the upper-level seating. Fans enter the seating bowl up to levels of staircases that seem out of place at an arena. Brick interior, glass paneling, and open areas repeat a pattern in this area.
A kid’s zone with multiple blow-up rides makes good use of the open space. There is plenty of activity for kids to take advantage of from slides, bouncy houses, and games. There is another area dedicated to the school’s Hall of Fame members that features framed photos from their playing days at Miami.
Millett Hall Play Area, Photo by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
The inner bowl offers two sections of seating that include red and mustard yellow cushioned seating. The aisles are carpeted and there are multiple areas where fans can enjoy a different vantage point of the game. The ceiling is low and features multiple lighting that provides a bit of darkness to the game in certain areas.
There are plenty of open spaces at each end of the court, and one knock against the venue is that fans are not on top of the action. It is not necessarily the case with the first few rows of seating, and additional court-side seats are set up for fans to enjoy an up-close and personal view of the action.
Additional highlights inside include a cube-video board that keeps up to the date record of players’ stats, retired jerseys, and multiple banners of the programs that play inside the arena. The band section is situated at one end of the court, and the cheerleaders and dance team are at the opposite end.
Oxford, Ohio has a population of 22,700, and the university has slightly fewer with an enrollment of 17,327. The small town is quite attractive and provides a scenic college atmosphere for its students while keeping visitors entertained during a visit to a basketball game.
The campus has been described as “one of the prettiest campuses that ever was” by poet Robert Frost; its buildings are in the style characteristic of Georgian Revival architecture with all of them no more than three stories tall.
The main college drag is High Street, a few blocks away from the campus and ballpark, where you can find a bevy of commerce at its bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. The action starts early on the weekends with local watering holes packed with students. CJ’s, Varsity, Brick Street, and Steinkeller are a few of the hot spots if you choose to mingle with the young crowd.
The area offers a few restaurants: High Street Grill, Paesano’s Pasta House, and local favorites Mac & Joe’s, Spring Hill Tavern, and Hitching Post Saloon. Skippers and Bagel & Deli Shop are next to one another and offer patio seating, half-yard pints of beer, and amazing sandwiches. It is a great way to fraternize with the local population on a warm fall afternoon.
The Miami faithful is a knowledgeable group of supporters who cheer for every bucket or three-point made. The student section seating was not set up for the game we attended, and the lack of them could have added a bit more ambiance to the proceedings. However, the crowd gave the Redhawks an encouraging backdrop of claps, cheers, and a few boos when appropriate.
Miami University is tucked away in its little oasis and the town feels miles away from the metropolitan areas of Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Indianapolis. The small two-lane roads take you past farms, cornfields, and gravel roads; once on campus, it is easy to get around to and from the building.
Millett Hall is on top of Weeb Ewbank Hill from the football stadium Yager Field. It is easily recognizable and offers plenty of free parking for motorists. Once inside the arena, the concourses are wide, and signage is plentiful for bathrooms, exits, concessions, and seating.
Return on Investment 3
The price of a ticket to the game is $15 and $8 (12 and under) in advance. There is no longer a fee to park your vehicle, and concession items are fairly priced. A Redhawks basketball game should also include a visit to High Street or a hockey game at the Steve Cady Arena.
Millett Hall earns a point for the statue of Wayne Embry on the outside of the building. The building receives a second point for free parking and easy access to the campus.
There is something different about attending a basketball game at Millett Hall. It’s not a basketball arena but a multi-purpose venue that serves many purposes, from sports to concerts. The building’s size hinders the experience slightly for fans who enjoy being close to the action of the court. The interior design could be updated and include touches that 21st-century fans marvel at. The place has good bones for such a transformation; perhaps that day will be here sooner than later.