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  • Marc Viquez

Rothman Center – Fairleigh Dickinson Knights


Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.57

Rothman Center 1000 River Road Hackensack, NJ 07601


FDU Knights website

Rothman Center website


Year Opened: 1987

Capacity: 6,000

 

FDU Basketball Shines in North Jersey

George and Phyllis Rothman dedicated the Rothman Center on September 9, 1987, as the home of the Fairleigh Dickinson University basketball program. The self-made millionaire donated the entire $1 million to cover the cost of the building that is the centerpiece of athletics on campus.


On February 9, 2007, the naming rights to the athletic venue inside the building were renamed the Stratis Arena after a generous donation from alumna Mary Kay Stratis. The arena holds just a tad under 3,000 that includes 500 chairback seating bleachers and enough parking spots for more than 2,000 vehicles.


The building consists of four playing courts, a six-lane, 200-meter track, and the Stratis Lounge that overlooks the main arena that can seat up to 150 guests. Its trademark feature is its tent-like roof design that has hosted three former presidents (George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama) along with an array of campus events, trade shows, and entertainment options.


The Knights are members of the Northeast Conference and have made five NCAA Basketball Tournament appearances since 1985. The team has not ranked higher than 15 each year and has yet to win in the postseason tourney. The program's only victory in a tournament was in the NAIA in 1952.


Food & Beverage 2

There is a small concession area that serves hot dogs, nachos, and popcorn. There is at times pizza offered at the arena along with frozen treats. The prices are relatively inexpensive and will tide your hunger over until you can grab a bite to eat after the game.


Atmosphere 3

The Rothman Center is an interesting-looking building with a roof that is somewhat unique compared to other basketball arenas in the area. The ceiling roof comes together in a series of tan and dark brown triangular pieces that contrast beautifully with white-washed walls. A standard pull-out bleacher section pulls out from both sides.


Various championship banners hang from the rafters along with a centerpiece scoreboard that adds a nice touch to the building. The fans are close enough to the action on the field that you can hear every squeak of a sneaker or drop of sweat fall to the court. When it comes to a pure basketball environment, it is here at the Rothman Center.


Neighborhood 3

The FDU campus stretches between the cities of Teaneck and Hackensack. These two cities are a mix of residential and urban. The best part about attending an FDU game is that you are close to many places to eat and shop. The Shops of Riverside is a mall that features well-known chain franchises including P.F. Chang’s, Cheesecake Factory, Friday’s, Smashburger, and Houston’s.


There is also a Hooters and several other local pizza parlors nearby, but the best place for a pie is at Brooklyn Coal-Oven Pizza. It is a must before or after the game with their coal oven pizza and in-house mozzarella which give their pizza a kind taste at a low price. Also, try the fried ravioli, a somewhat rare treat in this part of the country. If you’re in the mood for more Italian food, then Donn Pomodoro is an excellent choice, especially for brunch on Sundays.


Fans 2

A typical crowd for an FDU game is anywhere from 300 to 500 games in an arena that seats about 5,000. The student section does its best to provide a home-court advantage against conference rivals LIU Brooklyn, Wagner, and Saint Francis, but the rather intricately detailed facility deserves more than the sparse crowds.


Access 3

The Rothman Center is located on the Metropolitan Campus of FDU and is accessible by either Route 17 or the Garden State Parkway. The arena is on Hackensack Ave. S exit of Route 4 on Temple Ave. There is plenty of parking in the lot and once inside, very easy to get around to all parts of the arena.


Return on Investment 3

Visitors have the option of purchasing general admission tickets for $10, reserved seating for $15, or premium courtside seating for $25. The parking is free and concession items are relatively inexpensive. However, with crowds hovering around 300 to 500 people per game, an FDU game is for the die-hards and alumni only.


Extras 2

The arena’s tent-like shape roof and ceiling add a distinctive look to the building, along with the championship banners. The ticket prices are relatively inexpensive and parking is free for all games.


Final Thoughts

A game at the Rothman Center is accessible if in North Jersey and won’t break your bank when it comes to pricing–even with its unique roof design and other features–might be only for the die-hard fan or alumni.


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Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on Twitter @ballparkhunter and his YouTube channel. Email at marc@stadiumjourney.com

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