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  • Miles Markiewicz

Moore Gymnasium – Bethune-Cookman Wildcats

Photo Courtesy of Bethune-Cookman University

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.57

Moore Gymnasium 640 Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Year Opened: 1954

Capacity: 3,000


Daytona Beach Hoops

The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats play their basketball games at Moore Gymnasium in beautiful Daytona Beach, Florida. There are quite a few points of interest around town, including Bethune-Cookman University. This basketball team is a proud member of the MEAC Conference, but have never been able to attain great success. They did have a bid to play in the NIT back in 2011, but were quickly eliminated by Virginia Tech. Moore Gymnasium was built in 1954 and only holds 3,000 fans, but provides a surprisingly loud punch to the face for opposing teams.

Food & Beverage 2

The refreshments are similar to what you’ll find at your local high school basketball game. Every food item is under $4. The menu includes a pulled pork sandwich, hot dog, cheeseburger, boiled peanuts, and nachos. There is also a nice selection of shaved ice flavors. The concession window is easy to find, located to the left of the main entrance. The line is backed up at halftime, so I suggest purchasing your items before then.

Atmosphere 3

The tiny size of the gymnasium coupled with 3,000 passionate fans creates a hectic, and enjoyable, stadium atmosphere. The cheers and whistles are so deafening, it’s difficult to speak to the person next to you. Not to say this is a bad thing. If you’re a fan of loud, raucous environments, this experience will be for you. Even the squeak of the sneakers will reverberate around this intimate space. You can only imagine the passion this venue would offer during a rivalry or championship game.

You will be so close to the action you’ll feel like you can jump in and attempt a three-pointer yourself, especially depending on where you sit. The seats are open to everybody with the price of admission, so if you arrive early you can grab a seat right on the floor!

The mascot is really interactive and has a lot of fun with his role in the game. The Wildcat will pose for pictures, join huddles with the players, and dance with the cheerleaders.

The walk to Moore Gymnasium is a great part of the atmosphere. The venue is located in the heart of the campus and makes for a great walk on a beautiful Florida afternoon. The gymnasium blends in with the surrounding architecture, therefore it may be easy to miss. Walking into Moore Gymnasium will provide some rare nostalgia of a high school game, but offers the talent of Division I basketball.

Neighborhood 2

The neighborhood around Bethune-Cookman University doesn’t offer anything special during your visit. However, Daytona International Speedway is located about ten minutes down the road, right next to the Interstate. It is highly recommended to check out this iconic sports venue. The stands are massive and will leave you in awe when seen for the first time. Check out tour information here and be sure to schedule your visit anytime you can make it. It’s a must-see for any stadium traveler.

The area surrounding Daytona International Speedway is full of chain restaurants and bars. It’s a great place to spend some time before or after the basketball game on campus. The only reason for the low rating is the attractions area is not located close to campus, so it is a bit of a drive but offers the best tourist experience in the city.

Fans 3

The noise inside Moore Gymnasium is a testament to the small size of the venue, but the fans offer a good amount of support for the Wildcats. Even en route to a blowout win, fans loudly suggest advice for the players. The atmosphere generated by the crowd is a combination of different aspects, including whistles and player communication, but the fans are here for the game.

It’s common to find small schools with little interest in the happenings of the court. These are mere social events as compared to an actual interest in the team, so credit is due at this small basketball school. The interest is here and you can hear it during the game.

Access 2

The traffic for a Saturday afternoon game is nonexistent, even around the attractions area. The campus is fairly easy to find, located down the road from US-92. Moore Gymnasium is tricky to find within the campus. There are zero signs or indications of its location. If you know the general area and address, you will eventually pinpoint its location in the middle of campus. Due to its small size, it’s easy to overlook. Allow some extra time if you plan to make an opening tip.

Parking is free with plenty of spots available in the main parking lot. Once inside Moore Gymnasium, you’ll find space is limited in the hallways near the court. The seats are uncomfortable bleachers with limited legroom, but the games don’t last very long due to limited commercial interruption.

Return on Investment 4

Any seat in the house will only cost $10 and the parking is free. The game is entertaining and doesn’t take up too much of the day. Plus, the campus is situated near the race track and offers an entire day’s worth of events to attend. Not to mention the beautiful beaches to spend an afternoon. Overall, the experience is worth the cost and offers plenty of extra sights to check out on your visit.

Extras 2

The attractions of Daytona Beach are rare in relation to a small school. There is usually a campus and a long drive home. Here, there is plenty to experience to complement the trip.

Moore Gymnasium holds onto a historic feel that you won’t find with many other small arenas.

Final Thoughts

Daytona Beach is a premier tourist destination and for good reason. It’s a beautiful area with history and picturesque scenery. The Bethune-Cookman campus is a nice addition, but the sports experience doesn’t match the charm of other small schools. Usually, there is momentum and promise with a small school building towards a name, but the energy here is stagnant. There may never be necessary funds to provide a modern venue, and without it, the experience cannot improve.

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