Rose Hill Gymnasium – Fordham Rams
Photos by David Hanson and Greg Venuto, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14
Rose Hill Gymnasium Fordham University Bronx, NY 10458
Year Opened: 1925
A College Basketball Cathedral
The historic Rose Hill Gymnasium, which opened on January 16, 1925, is often compared to some of the meccas of college basketball including The Palestra in Philadelphia, Matthews Arena in Boston, Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven. Rose Hill is the oldest gym still being used in Division I.
The facility, which hosts basketball & volleyball, has undergone a number of makeovers during the past decade. New video boards were installed in 2013, all of the stands were replaced in 2017 and in 2019 the entire floor and subfloor were replaced.
There are chairbacks on the sides of the court and benches behind one basket where the band and students sit. The area behind the basket closest to the Fordham bench was converted into concessions.
Food & Beverage 2
The concession stand is behind the basket closest to the Fordham bench and includes high tables for eating. The line can back up at halftime and selection is limited to basic stadium fare. Coca-Cola products are featured at Rose Hill. No alcoholic beverages are allowed at this campus facility.
The game day experience at Rose Hill Gym has been average for many years. The team is supported by a loyal but small contingent of alumni. Students have never provided adequate support to the team even with free admission. During the 2021-2022 season, due to Covid, fans were not permitted for most of December and all of January until February 2. Students and season ticket holders were then allowed, but full capacity was not permitted until the final game of the season on March 5.
The Fordham band, cheerleaders and dance team perform throughout the game. The two large digital scoreboards at each end of the court are clear and often provide replays. The sound system is excellent, but probably a touch too loud. The public address system seems much clearer behind the basket than at midcourt. On this visit, attendance was limited to students, faculty, some family members of the players and season ticket holders. The limited fans did not do much to inject enthusiasm into the event.
The campus, while set in the Bronx, feels like a suburban setting with plenty of trees and greenery. Visitors often can forget they are in the middle of a city until hearing an occasional horn or siren from outside the gate. The University also boasts an impressive church built in 1845.
The campus borders the New York Botanical Garden, with the Bronx Zoo located just a few blocks from campus. Visitors to the area looking for places to eat during their trip to Fordham should head over to Arthur Avenue where several fantastic Italian restaurants can be found in addition to some great bakeries. A few of my favorite restaurants include Roberto’s, Antonio’s and Tra Di Noi.
Attendance is typically about 1,000 to 1,500 when not under restrictions. Unfortunately capacity was 1,520 this season and expected to remain the same in 2022-23 as the Campus Center next door is being renovated and exits on the west side of the gym cannot be accessed. The school needs to find a way to get more locals and students in the building. When the place is packed it makes for a great atmosphere as sound reverberates and it can get loud.
Fordham University is located right in the middle of the Bronx, only a few miles from Interstates 95 and 87, as well as the Bronx River Parkway.
Public transportation is a good option to get to Fordham. The Metro North Railroad out of Grand Central Station or coming down from Westchester has a Fordham stop next to the campus. The Botanical Garden stop is another option and actually a shorter walk to the gym. The D line of the NYC subway system is located about a 12-minute walk from campus. In addition, city buses stop regularly just outside the gate.
If driving, there is a large parking garage ($20) on campus, located a short walk from Rose Hill Gym. Sometimes fans can get lucky and find a few free spots on Southern Boulevard. Parking is pricey but the university is forced to match the price of the Botanical Garden across the street.
Once inside, while the views are fabulous, the walkways are narrow and the bathrooms are outside of the arena.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets for Fordham Rams basketball games are affordable. Chairbacks are $25 ($20 for youth and seniors), baseline reserved is $15/$10. With affordable concession prices, catching a Fordham basketball game is a less costly entertainment option for New York sports fans. The biggest plus is Rose Hill Gym offers such an intimate setting that allows all spectators to be right on top of the action.
Fordham dubbed this 2021-2022 season #RamsRevival and, led by first-year coach Kyle Neptune, it came to fruition as the Rams went 12-12 (8-10 in the Atlantic 10) and 10-4 at home. It was Fordham’s most conference wins (8) and its highest seed (8th) in the A-10 Tournament since 2016.
The gym has all the Fordham conference and playoff appearance banners on one side and the flags of the Atlantic 10 and its 13 conference opponents on the other. Four retired numbers hang from the baseline – Ken Charles (44), Bob Mullens (7), Ed Conlin (11) and Anne Gregory (55).
Banners Hang from the Rafters at Rose Hill Gymnasium, Photo by Greg Venuto, Stadium Journey
There is also plenty to do in the area before or after to add to the experience. The campus, with its Gothic architecture, ivy-covered buildings and expansive lawns, makes Rose Hill one of New York City’s most attractive college campuses.