- Adam Reiter
MVP Arena – Siena Saints
Photos Courtesy of Siena College
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00
MVP Arena 51 Pearl Street Albany, NY 12207
Year Opened: 1990
Siena has been recognized as one of the elite programs in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) since the start of the 21st century. Former head coach Fran McCaffery, now at Iowa, led the Saints to a 77-26 record, including 46-8 in conference play, and three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament between 2008-2010.
The Saints currently play in one of college basketball’s most overlooked rivalries with the Great Danes from the University at Albany. Each season, the two teams battle it out for the Albany Cup before 10,000+ fans at the Times Union Center.
Note: The arena name changed from Times Union Center to MVP Arena in Jan 2022.
Food & Beverage 3
The options are never limited as locations to buy refreshments surround the area in-between the first and second levels.
The typical arena favorites like pizza, chicken fingers, cheeseburgers, and hot dogs are all available. However, like cross-town rival UAlbany’s SEFCU Arena, the Saints suffer from a major problem.
There are a number of both fast food and sit-down restaurants nearby, but food and drink does not come cheap, such as $4.50 for a Gatorade or $5.50 for a box of cracker jacks.
The options are in your favor; the prices are not.
By far the largest arena in the capital region, The Times Union Center is a great place to watch a basketball game. There is a major college basketball game experience at every game, complete with an enthusiastic student section and multiple tv cameras. The TU is great entertainment whenever the Saints are in town.
The Times Union Center is on South Pearl Street in downtown Albany. Surrounded by a handful of bars that are home to ever increasingly rowdy patrons, downtown Albany can be a dangerous place to visit. There is constant police presence on the weekends and bar owners are sometimes also called upon to take action.
In the competition for bragging rights with cross-town rival Albany, Siena can check off a win in the fans department. More residents, and especially more students come out to Siena home games.
The fact that capacity at the Times Union Center is more than twice what the capacity is at SEFCU Arena might play a factor, but the fact remains that the fans still make the effort to come out and support their Saints.
A parking garage is attached to the west end of the building, but it costs $8 to park there for the day.
Street parking is typically available on nights and weekends, but the spots are almost always filled up with a far greater demand than there is supply, leaving those attending an event to park far from the building.
Return on Investment 4
The Saints have made four NCAA Tournament appearances since 2002, and have upset national powerhouses Ohio State and Vanderbilt in two of those appearances. You can expect to see a good team, which is an important element. Tickets range from $10-$35, and the price is well worth it to see the Saints of Siena.
The Saints do a decent job of keeping fans entertained during media timeouts, with games revolving around the “Minute to Win It” concept and the ever-famous kiss cam.