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  • Jon Hart

Walsh Gymnasium - Seton Hall Pirates


Photos by Jon Hart, Stadium Journey


Walsh Gymnasium FANFARE Score: 4.29

Walsh Gymnasium 400 S Orange Ave South Orange, NJ 07079

Seton Hall Pirates website Walsh Gymnasium website

Year Opened: 1939 Capacity: 1,655

 

Seton Hall’s Walsh Gymnasium

Note: Seton Hall plays the majority of their games at the Prudential Center. To see Stadium Journey's review of that venue, click here.


There’s a palpable buzz around the Seton Hall men’s basketball team. With the return of their star Myles Powell, Pirate fans are shooting for a deep March-April run. The Hall plays the vast majority of its games at the Prudential Center in nearby Newark. Every season though, The Hall plays a select few games at its on-campus facility, the historic Walsh Gymnasium, which opened in 1941. Walsh is very small, extremely loud and just a magnificent place to watch a college basketball game. It’s big time basketball in a very small place, a wonderful combination. Think Cameron Indoor or Allen Fieldhouse, except much smaller.


Food & Beverage 3

Walsh has a small, quaint concessions stand, which offers the standards: hot dogs, popcorn, pretzels and candy. No item costs more than $3.


Atmosphere 5

You’re on top of the court, as close as Spike Lee got to Reggie Miller. Seton Hall has a great dance team, cheerleading squad and band. If you’re looking for a quiet night, this isn’t the spot.


Neighborhood 4

Walsh is about a mile away from South Orange’s main drag and train station. South Orange is a 40-minute train ride from New York’s Penn Station. South Orange has no shortage of dining options. Jackie & Son, is a hip lunch/brunch spot with plenty of healthy choices. Toro Loco, does fine Mexican. Right next door, The Fox & Falcon is an attractive, upscale option. For something quick and sweet, there’s a Carvel.


Fans 5

Pirate fans will sell out Walsh, which is not difficult. When the Pirates are rolling, they’ll sell out the Prudential, which is very difficult. The Hall has a loyal fan base of students, alums and basketball aficionados. They’ll vociferously cheer on their team but don’t count on them singing along to “Sweet Caroline.” Perhaps The Hall’s band might get a better response from “Born To Run.”


Access 4

Props to Seton Hall for making this small venue work. Remarkably, congestion is scarce. Seton Hall's campus and Walsh are easily accessible by car and parking is free. South Orange’s train station is just a 20-minute walk away.


Return on Investment 5

It’s a trifecta: Cheap concessions, free parking and reasonably priced tickets. Most importantly, the venue is absolutely amazing. You’re practically in the game.


Extras 4

Restrooms are modern and well kept. Ushers and security people are friendly and professional. Seton Hall’s coach Kevin Willard is a sight. Even when he appears to be still, he’s in constant motion, either chewing or swigging water. Lastly, The Hall’s women’s team plays its home games at Walsh. Walsh was built in 1941 but has a modern feel thanks to great upkeep.


Final Thoughts

Walsh Gym is a welcome, Hoosiers-style throwback. In the age of humongous, often half-empty arenas, it’s refreshing to catch big-time college game at this small, beautiful gem.


Jon Hart is @ManVersusBall.

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