My visit to Tudor Fieldhouse occurred as most of my adventures have occurred and that’s at the last minute. After waking up and turning on the TV, I was welcomed by afternoon basketball on ESPN. After watching a thrilling game between TCU and Oklahoma, I quickly Googled basketball games going on in the area.
After conducting my search, I found a local game at a venue that I had not visited before so I was all in. My next steps were to check the game time, purchase my ticket and head to Tudor Fieldhouse to see The Rice Owls and North Texas Mean Green battle it out on the hardwood.
Here are my thoughts on Tudor Fieldhouse.
When arriving on the campus of Rice University, I was amazed with the look of the campus. The buildings on the athletics side of campus had a similar look and made for a grand entrance. Finding parking was not difficult as they had numerous signs and attendants to assist. The price of parking is $5 so you won’t go broke paying to park. Ticket pricing is also very inexpensive as Rice University has tiered pricing. The ticket prices range from $12 to $30 and any seat selected provides a great view of the action.
The crowd participation was also something that caught me off guard but I did like it. The Rice fans were into the action and chanting every second of the game. This helped add to the in-game experience. The retired jerseys and banners were on display inside of Tudor Fieldhouse. There were also wall fixtures honoring the All-American and All-Conference performers from the University. I was unaware of the success that the university has had over the years in various sports.
The first thing I noticed was the lack of entertainment and engagement during times when it was needed. Outside of a half court shot attempt and a dance team performing, there was not much entertainment. The cheerleaders were not as involved as I have seen at other venues. The pep band was playing songs throughout the game but they were not really into the action and hyping the crowd up as they should have. There just seemed to be a disconnect between the crowd, pep band and cheerleaders at Tudor Fieldhouse.
The gym also was not as big as I expected it to be based on Rice being in Conference USA. This is not a knock on the University but it did not achieve my expectations before arrival. It was a very small venue with limited concession locations and options. Although it is a small venue, that does create for a more intimate seating experience so it does add value in the long run.
Overall Game Day Experience
I would give Tudor Fieldhouse an 7 out of 10. It is a small venue that provides great views from any seat and inexpensive pricing. It is a venue that will fit easily into any budget and provide some on court excitement. They need to improve their in-game experience to add value to the overall product of the experience. This can be resolved with the addition of in-game entertainment to keep the crowd fully in to the action and eliminate stadium silence.
If you are a college basketball fan not looking to break the bank and feel close to the action on the court then Tudor Fieldhouse is the perfect venue to fulfill your needs.