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  • Aaron S. Terry

Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum – East Carolina Pirates

Photos by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86

Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum 200 Ficklen Dr Greenville, NC 27858

East Carolina Pirates website

Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum website

Year Opened: 1967

Capacity: 8,000


Pirates of the Coliseum

Minges Coliseum is located in Greenville, North Carolina, and has served as the home court for East Carolina men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball since 1967. The arena has a capacity of 8,000, and is connected to the Murphy Center by an indoor walkway; the Murphy Center houses the strength and conditioning facilities for ECU athletics programs, including a 6,000-square foot weight room, and also contains banquet rooms, sports memorabilia, and an academic enhancement center. Minges Coliseum is also right next door to ECU’s football stadium; a statue of the ECU pirate overlooks both.

Food & Beverage 3

Minges Coliseum has a limited selection at its concessions stands, which on the lower level are located near Gates 1, 2, and 3; Gate 4 is the only entrance without concessions, as few people enter that way. However, there are also concession stands on the upper level, and all stands offer the same items.

Food selections include nachos, Papa John’s pizza, and Bright Leaf Red Classic hot dogs, as well as Deep River chips, popcorn, and packaged candy, at prices ranging from $1 for chips to $5 for a large popcorn. Drink choices include Coke products from the fountain, Powerade, bottled water, and hot cocoa (in season); prices start at $3.50 for hot cocoa and go up to $6 for the large water.

The Bright Leaf Red Classic hot dogs are the tastiest option by far; these are sold at other sports venues in the area as well, and you should grab one whenever you have the chance.

Atmosphere 3

Minges Coliseum has some great architectural features, with a stepped design and large panes of glass that give fans some nice views of the surrounding area. The concourse is very spacious, with plenty of room to move around, and there are a couple of small lobby areas inside that fans can use to make a quick phone call or get away from the noise for a minute. In addition, the seating area feels very open, with high ceilings and great acoustics.

The seating area has several different types of seats, including hard plastic chairbacks in the upper section, padded chairbacks about halfway up, and bleacher-style seating (without chairbacks) at floor level. The pirate mascot is awesome, complete with earrings and an eye patch, and the cheer squad does a great job trying to keep the fans engaged. There is also lots of school décor spread around, including lots of East Carolina purple, and of course, the ubiquitous championship banners hanging from the ceiling above the court. The only downsides are the arena doesn’t get very full, and the band is a lot smaller than you will see at other venues.

Neighborhood 3

There are plenty of restaurants in Greenville, and a couple of shopping malls, but not much else to keep you occupied if you are going to be in town for the weekend. On the north side of Minges Coliseum, closer to campus, you will find some of the typical eateries that cater to college students, for example, Sup Dogs and Wings over Greenville, which offer basic fare and cheap beer.

Or, you can travel about a mile south to Greenville Mall, where you will find many of the chain-type, more upscale restaurants that you might be more familiar with, such as Mellow Mushroom, Carolina Ale House, Longhorn Steakhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings. Depending on which type of scene you dig, either area would be a good place to hang out before or after the game at Minges Coliseum. If you are traveling in from outside of North Carolina, Mellow Mushroom and Carolina Ale House are both local chains and would be a great way to experience some local flavors.

Fans 2

Though Minges Coliseum is a nice facility, it, unfortunately, does not often fill up. The official attendance is around 4,500 per game, but in actuality, it will be a lot emptier, and there usually won’t be a ton of energy (except maybe during rivalry games). Even the student section is very small, and does not generate a lot of noise during the game; see the layout at Minges Coliseum here:

Access 4

Getting to and around Minges Coliseum for an East Carolina basketball game is fairly easy; there is not a lot of traffic in the area, since the arena is halfway between campus and the mall, and since the crowd size is small there aren’t any lines. Free parking is available in the lot right next to the venue, only a short walk from Minges Coliseum, and there are plenty of bathrooms inside. The only oddity is that because of the stepped design, it feels like there are a lot of corners, so the stairs to the upper level seem a bit out of the way and hard to find.

Return on Investment 3

Tickets to ECU basketball games at Minges Coliseum are $15 for adults and $10 for youth, which seems a bit on the steep side for the experience offered. However, parking is free and concessions are cheap, so may not be bad if you only have one or two people. If you want to attend a game at East Carolina, you may want to check out their football stadium instead. Or, if you are really into college basketball, nearby NC State would be a good bet; Duke and UNC are of course much more well-known, but basketball tickets for either of those are almost impossible to come by.

Extras 2

The pirate mascot is awesome, and the statue outside of Minges Coliseum is a great one to snap a picture of. Also, Bright Leaf Red Classic hot dogs should never be turned down.

Final Thoughts

As you probably know, North Carolina is home to a couple of basketball powerhouses, which is a tough act for ECU to follow, so it may not surprise you that Minges Coliseum doesn’t usually draw large crowds. Nevertheless, it is a very nice facility, so feel free to stop by if you are in the area.

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