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  • Richard Smith

Physical Education Complex – Coppin State Eagles

Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Physical Education Complex 2500 W. North Ave Baltimore, MD 21216

Year Opened: 2009 Capacity: 4,100


The Eagles of North Avenue

Coppin State University is a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) located in Baltimore, MD. The school is a publically-funded State of Maryland university. It was founded in 1900 and was eventually named in honor of Fanny Jackson Coppin, an African-American woman who was a pioneer in teacher education. Famous alumni include NomaD and former NBA player Larry Stewart.

The Coppin State Eagles compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). The MEAC is a collegiate athletic conference whose full members are HBCUs in the Southeastern and the Mid-Atlantic United States.

The Eagles were the 1976 NAIA National Champions before joining the NCAA. In 1997, the Coppin State Men’s Basketball team defeated the University of South Carolina in the opening round of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship becoming just the third #15 seed to defeat a #2 seed. In the 2007–08 season, Coppin State became the first team in NCAA College Basketball history to reach the NCAA Tournament with 20 losses.

The boring-ly named Physical Education Complex was built in 2009 and became home to the Coppin State University basketball team in the 2009–2010 season. The arena replaced the Coppin Center.

Food & Beverage 2

There are concession stands on either side of the stadium.

Chicken and hot dogs are the two main selections, in case you’re looking for something filling. Snacks include nachos, popcorn, chips, and pretzels.

Concession stands are cash only. The offerings are basic but good.

Atmosphere 3

The very open and spacious concourse circles around the seats. All the seats are blue and yellow and provide a nice look and atmosphere. There is a four-sided scoreboard hanging above the center court with a video screen on one end of the arena.

The Coppin cheer and dance squad will also help the atmosphere. There may also be the Coppin Pep Band to help out the atmosphere.

Neighborhood 2

The neighborhood right near the university can be pretty rough. It is a good idea to be extremely aware of your surroundings in this part of the city. Mondawmin Mall is located across the street from the arena itself. An early development of the influential Rouse Company, the mall was one of the earliest enclosed malls in the country.

You may also recognize it from scenes in the film Species II. Unfortunately, the mall area was in the heart of both the 1968 and 2015 riots in Baltimore. That is not mentioned to scare you but make you aware that one needs to be careful.

Baltimore is a great metropolitan city, with many fun and exciting places to spend time both before and after a game. Relatively close to the stadium is the Mt. Washington neighborhood that straddles I-83 South (known as the Jones Falls Expressway, or the JFX, by locals). The Mt. Washington Tavern (5700 Newbury Street) is an excellent restaurant with both fine food and bar food type menu. The place is large, and there always seems to be room for more.

Towson is another good option for visitors. There are many shops, restaurants, and attractions in this area.

Also check out the Hampden neighborhood, with its variety of quirky shops and restaurants.

Fans 4

The fans are good and knowledgeable. Depending on the opponent, the crowd sound and participation level can differ. The team tends to start with a bad non-conference record because they play so many games at bigger teams for the paycheck. It unfairly starts them in a hole by the time the MEAC season begins.

Access 2

The university is located a bit away from the closest major highway in the area, the Jones Falls Expressway, known locally as the JFX. The best option for visitors is to head towards the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, located not far away.

From the north take the JFX South to Exit 6 (North Avenue). Turn right and go to 2500 West North Avenue. From the west take I-70 East to I-695 South and follow to Exit 15 (Rt 40 East). From Rt 40, turn right onto Hilton Parkway – Hilton Parkway eventually turns into Hilton St. Turn right on North Avenue and follow to the 2500 West Block.

Return on Investment 5

Tickets are nicely priced and parking is low or free depending on the game. Tickets go on sale at the ticket window, located in the Physical Education Complex, approximately one hour before tipoff. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under, $5 for high school students with a valid student ID, and $5 for non-Coppin State students with a valid ID. Prices and access may be different for Homecoming and Morgan State games.

Coppin State students are admitted free of charge with a valid student ID for all games including Homecoming.

This is a fair value for a nice level and quality of basketball.

Extras 4

There are historical displays around the venue celebrating the history of the men’s and women’s teams at Coppin. Pay special attention to the ones mentioning long-time coach “Fang” Mitchell, who was quite a character around the area.

There are some nice banners above the court, especially the NAIA championship banner.

The side of the arena offers a nice window view of the nearby road and offers a good amount of light into the arena.

HBCU schools always offer a great atmosphere from the cheer and dance squads.

Final Thoughts

The Coppin State University’s Physical Education Complex is one of my favorite arenas to watch a basketball design. It is a well-designed arena that offers a great deal of basketball atmosphere.

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