Photos by Dave Cottenie, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57
Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena 2900 Stadium Dr Fort Worth, TX 76109
Year Opened: 1961 Capacity: 8,500
Riff, Ram, Bah, Zoo … Give ‘Em Hell, TCU!
There is no denying that Texas Christian University is a football school. With the 2022 season finding the TCU Horned Frogs in the National Championship game, as of this writing, Fort Worth and the Metroplex are going a little Frog Wild. However, one should not sleep on TCU hoops! Favorite son of TCU and former basketball letterman Jamie Dixon has returned to TCU after a number of successful seasons guiding the Pitt Panthers and the product on the court is getting better and better. Home for the Horned Frogs is Walsh Family Court @ Ed & Rae Schollmaier Arena right on the Texas Christian University campus. The Frogs have played basketball since 1908 and have played in Schollmaier Arena since 1961.
Texas Christian University is a private university affiliated with the Disciples of Christ church which was established in 1873. There are approximately 12,000 students at TCU. In 2012, the Horned Frogs made a big step up by joining the Big 12 Conference. As for basketball, a massive renovation to the former Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in 2015 gave TCU the current Schollmaier Arena. The arena is named after the lead donors, Ed & Rae Schollmaier and the court is named after the family of oilman and philanthropist, Howard Walsh
Food & Beverage 3
The concession options at Schollmaier Arena are fairly routine. Pizza, wings, hot dogs, nachos, pretzels and popcorn are all available. Different concession stands have different specialty items including cheeseburgers, chopped beef sandwiches and brisket nachos. Pepsi products are the soft drink of choice in Schollmaier Arena and there are some alcoholic options. The beer selection includes Miller Lite, Coors Light, Shiner and 817 Blonde.
The campus of Texas Christian University is gorgeous and Schollmaier Arena is no exception. Located adjacent to Amon Carter Stadium, Schollmaier Arena has the same light brick that can be found around campus. The building fits right in with all of the others. The main entrance to the arena is on the east side of the building and has a long open plaza for fans to wait at before the doors open. There are bronze statues off to the right of key members of the TCU athletic family. Some bronze statues of interest for basketball fans include former player James Cash and former football coach, basketball coach and athletic director Dutch Meyer. The Horned Frog statue immediately in front of the arena is the perfect photo op for all fans visiting TCU.
Upon entering the main gate at the northeast side of the building, fans are immediately struck with the attention to detail found in Schollmaier Arena. Everything is bright and clean and beyond professional looking. The use of purple is a theme throughout the concourses and simple details like finished floors and walls make Schollmaier Arena top notch. There is no exposed concrete at all. On the immediate left is a spot no fan should miss, the June and John Justin Hall of Fame. With large mannequins upon the entry displaying the uniforms for each varsity team to cases filled with trophies and national championships to the enshrined members, this is a spot even fans unaware of TCU’s athletic history will want to spend some time at. Other spots of notice in the circular concourse include the various murals and the framed jerseys of the six retired basketball numbers. Continuing to go the extra mile, TCU gives a brief explanation for the honoured players rather than just hanging their number. Darrell Browder, Dick O’Neal, James Cash, Kurt Thomas and Sandora Irvin and Janice Dziuk are all honored both in the concourse and in the main seating bowl. The main seating bowl is where it is clear that the venue was built long before the entry and concourses. The circular bowl design is common and cozy, yet not the design of choice when new venues are built. It is just as clean inside the seating bowl as out in the concourses. The color scheme remains purple as the dominant accent with purple seats and light colors throughout. The cable supported ceiling gives vibes of Madison Square Garden. The seats are essentially one main level with conference championships and retired numbers enshrined on the back walls. The court runs from southeast to northwest and sitting on the northeast side will give fans the perfect center court picture. The Walsh Family Court features an interesting, reptile skin design and the four-sided videoboard with LED ring is effective and hangs above center court.
The gameday production is what one would expect from a college facility. The band sits behind the southeast goal and the cheerleaders have a place as well as flagbearers and the mascot, Superfrog and the TCU Showgirls. Overall, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of improvement on the atmosphere that TCU could possibly do.
The campus of Texas Christian University is located in the southwest portion of the city, also southwest of Downtown Fort Worth. There are a number of establishments in the immediate area that cater to the college crowd that fans may be interested in stopping at for a pre or post game meal or drink. The Purple Frog, Buffalo Bros, and Fat Shack are all worth considering. For other sporting options, Amon Carter Stadium, home of the TCU Horned Frogs football team is right next door to Schollmaier Arena and the baseball team out of Lupton Stadium are quite popular and accomplished. Panther City Lacrosse of the NLL play out of Dickies Arena as well. There are a host of rodeo spots in Fort Worth and even for the novice rodeo attendee, it is worth a trip. The most historic and most consistent is found in the Fort Worth Stockyards area at Cowtown Coliseum. Rodeo runs every Friday and Saturday night, all year round and are worth checking out. The Fort Worth Stockyards is an essential tourist destination and a must for all fans. Outside Fort Worth, keep in mind that Dallas, Arlington and Frisco are nearby and all have plenty of sporting and tourist options. Fans who wish to stay near TCU can find a room at the nearby Hyatt Place Fort Worth.
TCU is definitely a football school and years of basketball taking a back seat have taken its toll on the fanbase. The Horned Frogs generally attract less than 6,000 fans per game, which ranks last in the Big 12 Conference. Keep in mind that the venue is one of the smallest for a Power 5 school. TCU fans are generally reserved. The student section, Frog Army, sits near the court near the band on the southeast end. It will be interesting to see what changes to fandom at TCU happen as a result of the expected increase in basketball success to accompany Coach Jamie Dixon. For now, the fan score remains at a strong three with an expectation of an increase in the near future.
Texas Christian University campus is located in the southwest portion of Fort Worth. It is surrounded by the Chisholm Trail Parkway to the north and west, Interstate 20 to the south and I-35W to the east. Each of these major arteries are a fair distance from campus and some traversing through Fort Worth will be necessary to get to campus. There are a number of parking garages on campus near Schollmaier Arena. The most economic option is the garage on the opposite side of Amon Carter Stadium, which is free. For fans wishing to access public transit, there are buses that traverse University Drive and Berry Street and will require a brief walk through campus to get to the arena. Fans should check out the Trinity Metro website for fares, schedules and maps. Getting around the arena is not too difficult and the washroom facilities are adequate for the number of people in attendance. With security policies in constant flux throughout College Basketball, Stadium Journey highly recommends that before heading to the game, fans consult the TCU Horned Frogs website for the most up to date security and prohibited items information.
Return on Investment 3
Tickets for the TCU Horned Frogs can be costly. All conference games start at $50 per ticket and $40 for youth. Tickets can be found for less for non-conference games, as with most college basketball experiences. Parking can be found for for free and concession prices are about what one would expect for a college basketball game. Although Schollmaier Arena is gorgeous, the fans don’t quite bring enough to the table to make this a top tier college basketball experience. Perhaps with more success and excitement, the full experience will warrant the ticket prices.
An extra mark for the June and John Justin Hall of Fame. It is truly unique and a must see for TCU and college athletics fans.
An extra mark for the Horned Frogs hand signal, which although is not seen as much at basketball as football, it is still a unique bonding item for Frog fans.
An extra mark for the TCU branding with one of the most unique team names there is and a purple scheme that is embraced throughout athletics.
The Ed & Rae Schollmaier Arena on the campus of Texas Christian University is one of the nicest college basketball facilities there is. The attention to detail is second to none and fans will enjoy the experience of a Horned Frogs game. With the addition of Coach Jamie Dixon and more success on the horizon, Fort Worth will hear a lot more “Riff, Ram, Bah, Zoo … Give ‘Em Hell, TCU!” to go along with the squeak and swish of College Basketball.