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  • Writer's pictureDavid Welch

Ross E. Templeton Center - Presbyterian Blue Hose

Photos by David Welch, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86

Ross E. Templeton Center 105 Ashland Ave Clinton, SC 29325

Year Opened: 1975 Capacity: 2,000


Goooooo Blue! Let’s Go P.C.!

The term “Blue Hose” is said to have been born from the blue socks worn by the football team after then head coach, Walter Johnson, incorporated blue socks into the team uniform. Local sports writers picked up on and began referring to Presbyterian as the Blue Stockings, which over the years morphed to Blue Hose.

With the roots of the Presbyterian Church going back to Scotland in the late 1600s, the college has incorporated a Scottish warrior as the face of its mascot, to pair with the Blue Hose.

Since their jump to the NCAA’s Division I in 2007, Presbyterian College has played as members of the Big South Conference. Prior to moving to D1 the Blue Hose spent eighteen seasons in the Southern Athletic Conference of Division II, where they made four NCAA D2 tournament appearances. Before their time in the NCAA, Presbyterian was a long-time member of the NAIA.

While the Blue Hose have yet to qualify for the NCAA tournament at the Division I level, they did make a run in the 2019 Post Season Tournament (CIT) to the quarterfinals, where they fell to the eventual tournament champion Marshall Thundering Herd.

Presbyterian, a relatively new Division I NCAA member with just one winning season (2018-19) at this level, seemingly is still in the process of building the foundation for their men's basketball program.


Food & Beverage   3

As soon as fans walk through the doors of Templeton Center, the concessions are front and center. Options are typical of what would be found at most basic concession stands – hot dogs, popcorn, pretzels, chips, and an assortment of candy. Cheese sauce and chili are also available as add-ons.

For beverages, Presbyterian provides both bottled and fountain soft drinks from the Pepsi line of products. Alcoholic beverages are not available for purchase at Presbyterian basketball games.

The concession stand does seem to close up shop rather early, so make sure to grab what you might want before the halfway point of the second half.


Atmosphere   3

Ross E. Templeton Center uses a classically designed portico, with large support columns that welcome fans inside. The facility itself though does not have a lot of extras.

Bleachers across from the team benches have a center section with seat backs, while the rest of the seats are backless benches. Behind the team benches the first few rows of seating have been removed, but seat back chairs are five rows deep at center court, while the truncated sections behind the team benches run three rows deep – all these chairbacks are designated as reserved seating.

Basic scoreboards are affixed to the walls at opposite ends of the floor, which provide fans with time, score, and team foul information. Similarly sized videoboards are also at each end of the floor, one showing a live feed of the game while the other rotates between advertisements and Blue Hose graphics. The scoreboards and videoboards unfortunately do not display a running total of in-game statistics or player fouls for fans to keep up with.

Stoppages in play are often filled by either performances from the cheer squad, on court recognitions, or contests run by the two in-game hosts. The games and contests that are conducted seem to be a fan favorite in filling the downtime before the ball is put back in play.

Though played in a small venue with attendance that can be sparse, the Blue Hose faithful who are there do bring a great deal of passion and excitement to the environment.


Neighborhood   3

Ross Templeton Center sits at the end of Presbyterian’s long, oak-lined quad toward the back of campus, neighbored by the soccer field, Martin Stadium, baseball’s Elton Pollack Field, and football’s Bailey Memorial Stadium.

Presbyterian's campus is about a mile from Clinton's town center with a handful of shops and restaurants. The town center features a replica of the brick, arched train depot that serves as a tribute to Clinton's railroad history. Additionally, there are 15 bronze historical markers scattered around the town as part of a walking tour. Those interested in the town's history can access an accompanying narration of the tour through the distrx app, available on Apple's App Store or Google Play.


Fans   2

The Blue Hose typically draw 200-300 fans per game to Templeton Center. According to US News & World Report, Presbyterian College’s enrollment of just under 1,000 students makes them the smallest member of NCAA’s Division I. Naturally this impacts both the size of the student body and the size of their alumni base, but it doesn’t take away from the enthusiasm at games.

The stands appear to be comprised mostly of alumni and residents of Clinton, with student representation seemingly being predominantly athletes from other sports. Despite the smaller crowd size, those in attendance remain actively engaged in cheering/jeering at appropriate times throughout the game.


Access   3

The easiest access to Clinton from nearby cities comes via I-26, which runs between Spartanburg and Columbia and on to Charleston on the South Carolina coast. From Greenville, I-385 provides direct access to Clinton before joining up with I-26 just north of town.

Parking does seem to be a bit of a free for all – with a small lot behind the gym, many cars line Ashland Street, which runs in front of Ross Templeton Center. Larger lots closer to the football and baseball stadiums are a bit of a walk.

The main entry point is on the right side of the front of Ross Templeton Center. Fans are directed into a somewhat snug lobby area leading directly to the ticket table, either for ticket purchases or to have pre-purchased tickets scanned. Once inside the Gregg Hibbert Gymnasium, the name of the Blue Hose's home court itself, seating can be accessed from the court floor behind the team benches or along the sidelines opposite the benches. The easiest way to move between sides of the floor is back through the main lobby.


Return on Investment   4

Tickets start at $10 for general admission seats, which seems consistent with prices of similar levels of college basketball. Free parking and reasonably priced concessions make the experience affordable all around.


Extras   2

Each of Presbyterian’s athletic facilities features sculptures of the sports that the building hosts; the entry plaza of Ross E. Templeton Center displays bronze statues representing men’s and women’s basketball along with volleyball.

The wall at the end of the team bench displays plaques recognizing Everett Booe for initiating the Presbyterian Men’s basketball program in 1914. A second plaque honors the 2007-08 team that was the first to transition to NCAA Division I.


Final Thoughts

Basketball at Presbyterian College has a nice balance of keeping the game as the feature of the experience, while also getting fans involved during breaks in the action.

Sometimes less can be more when it comes to the overall basketball experience at Presbyterian. There definitely are limitations that can impact the overall game presentation, but the in-game entertainment crew does a good job with what they have, to give fans an entertaining experience that nicely complements the game between the lines.


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