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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Xfinity Center Pavilion – Maryland Terrapins


Photos by Gregory Koch Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57

Xfinity Center Pavilion 2001 Paint Branch Dr College Park, MD 20740


Year Opened: 2002

Capacity: 1,500

 

Fear The Turtle

Most people know the Xfinity Center for being the home of Maryland Terrapins basketball. However, there is another part of the Xfinity Center many people either don't know about or only know from glancing at the entrance on their way into a basketball game. The Xfinity Center Pavilion is a smaller arena within the Xfinity Center proper, located off the ground floor lobby. Seating 1,500 fans, a small fraction of what the main arena sits, the Pavilion is home to Terrapins volleyball and wrestling. This review will focus on the former.

Food & Beverage 2

There is one concession at the Xfinity Center Pavilion, located right by the entrance. The concession stands in the Xfinity Center proper that is open for basketball are not accessible from the Pavilion, so this is your only option. The menu is quite limited here, with hot dogs and nachos being the only main course options, although the menu board claims popcorn and soft pretzels are also entrees. Regardless of this dubious claim, other options include peanuts, Cracker Jacks, and chips. To drink, fans can get fountain soda, bottled water, or Gatorade. Prices are reasonable with nothing being more than $6.


Atmosphere 5

As mentioned above, the Xfinity Center Pavilion is located off the ground floor lobby of the Xfinity Center proper. If you have entered through the lower level doors for a Terrapins basketball game, you have probably walked by the entrance at some point on your way upstairs. That same lobby is full of Terrapins merchandise and murals, although little of it is dedicated to the volleyball team.

Once you get inside the Pavilion, there are bleachers on each side of the court as well as a smaller set along one of the baselines that is used by the band. That band plays music during breaks in the action such as between sets. Although they are not permitted to play their instruments during the game action, they instead get involved in other ways.

While a visiting player is preparing to serve, the band will attempt to be as loud as possible, either by shouting or by chanting "Bounce!" every time the player bounces the ball. Although they are quiet while a Terrapins player is preparing to serve, they will shout "Woosh! Let's go Terps!" after the ball is put in play.

The Terrapins Cheerleaders also show up and will perform on the court in between sets. Other in-game promotions include a t-shirt toss. The Terrapins put a lot of effort into the matchday experience and it shows.

The Pavilion has very low ceilings compared to most arenas, which can prove a problem as balls struck it multiple times during the game we were at. However, this helps trap the noise from the band and the crowd inside and creates an incredibly loud atmosphere. The noise from the crowd is so loud it often drowns out the PA system and makes the announcements either difficult or impossible to hear. While this is a good problem to have, it can get somewhat annoying at times.



Neighborhood 3

College Park is a small college town with enough in the immediate area to get by but is nothing special. There is a bowling alley a couple of miles away, and a bunch of chain restaurants within walking distance. If you’re looking for some local color, College Park Diner is a favorite with residents and students alike and serves up comfort food 24 hours a day. Looney’s Pub on Route 1 is a sports bar with dozens of big-screen TVs for your viewing pleasure. A couple of hotels are located nearby, including a Marriott just off campus, and The Hotel on campus. (Yes, the on-campus hotel is called The Hotel. Not a very creative name).


That being said, if you’re looking to do more than eat and sleep, your best bet is to head down to the Metro station and take the Green Line into D.C. It’s about a 30-minute ride to downtown. Once you’re there, there’s so much to do and most of it is free.


Whether it’s visiting one of the historic monuments and memorials, visiting one of the numerous museums, or simply walking outside on the National Mall, there’s something for everyone. All government-run attractions are free to the public, though some privately-run ones are not. Just keep in mind if you want to tour the Capitol or White House, you will need to reserve that ahead of time.


Fans 4

Although the Xfinity Center Pavilion only seats 1,500 fans, the Terps routinely draw near, at, or even over capacity for volleyball games. The fans and the band are incredibly loud, with the low ceiling making it seem even louder. While they may not be the size of the crowds at some Big 10 rivals like Nebraska and Penn State, attendance has grown in recent years and the team may soon outgrow the Pavilion. The crowd includes everyone from longtime Terps fans to children checking out their first game. At every set point for the Terps, the crowd rises to its feet and claps their hands to urge the Terps to finish the job and take the set.

Access 3

The University of Maryland campus is located just a few miles off of I-495 (Capital Beltway) and Maryland Route 295 (Baltimore-Washington Parkway). However, given this is one of the most congested traffic areas in the country, there is a good chance you will sit in traffic getting to the arena. Give yourself extra time, especially if coming to a weeknight game at rush hour, and use Waze or another GPS app to take the optimal route around traffic. Fans can also take Metro's Green Line to the College Park-UMD station, which is about three-quarters of a mile away.


Once on campus, there is ample parking in lots surrounding the arena, including lots 9b and 4b on either side. You will enter through the doors on the lower level rather than walk up the steps to the larger entrance on the upper level like some people do for basketball. There is one set of restrooms in the Pavilion by the entrance, which can get crowded at times, especially between sets. The other restrooms in the main portion of the Xfinity Center are not accessible during volleyball games.


Return on Investment 5

Tickets for adults are between $10 and $15 depending on the opponent. Parking is free and concessions are affordable if limited. Considering the excellent atmosphere here, a Terps volleyball game is of great value.


Extras 3

One star for all the murals and displays dedicated to Terrapins athletics in the lobby and in the Pavilion itself.

Look for the marketing table by the entrance with giveaways and free roster cards.

A third and final star for the banners in the Pavilion dedicated to Terp's volleyball accomplishments such as tournament appearances.



Final Thoughts

College volleyball is rapidly growing in interest, and the Maryland Terrapins are no exception. While most only know of the Xfinity Center Pavilion from walking by the entrance on the way into a basketball game, a Terps volleyball game here is well worth checking out. The Pavilion is full of raucous energy during games, and the matchday experience is top-notch.

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