Civic Center of Anderson – Upstate Dragons
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Coming Home to Anderson
The southeastern United States has seen a resurgence of indoor football of late, with several new teams being created in the past couple of years in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The Upstate Dragons are one such team, formed in 2017 and now part of the newly created American Arena League (AAL), which was founded in 2018 out of a merger between two other indoor football leagues. After spending their first season as a travel-only team, the Upstate Dragons now play their home games at the Civic Center of Anderson, part of a larger complex known as the Anderson Sports and Entertainment Complex. Located in Anderson, South Carolina, the complex includes a host of other venues besides the civic center, such as baseball and soccer fields, tennis courts, and even a conference center.
Food & Beverage 3
While there are not a lot of concessions options offered at the Civic Center of Anderson, you definitely will not starve here. Main dishes include hot dogs and pizza ($3 each) or chicken sandwiches and burgers ($5 each), while snack items include boiled peanuts, nachos, and soft pretzels ($5 each) or popcorn ($4) and candy ($2). Being in the south, beverages include sweet tea (of course) and fountain soda for $3 to $5, as well as Gatorade ($3) or coffee and bottled water ($2 each). They also serve beer, wine, and mixed drinks starting at $7. Note that they have tables set up in the concourse if you want to sit out there while you eat (why risk someone bumping your elbow while you enjoy your hot dog?), but you will be charged $1 per transaction if you use a credit card.
If you love football like I do, being able to see a game in the summer during the pro and college off-season is a real plus. However, the Civic Center of Anderson won’t give you a ton of crowd noise – the center only holds 5,100, but may only draw 500 at a typical game. Still, the Upstate Dragons have two great mascots who interact with the fans and have dance contests against each other, and the music played at the venue is fairly lively, although it was disappointing that the DJ started repeating songs about 2 hours in – for a 3-hour event; it seems like there should be enough songs to not repeat.
During Upstate Dragons game, the Civic Center of Anderson has seating on three sides around the quasi-temporary football field (along both sidelines and behind one end zone), and the seats consist of padded folding metal chairs set up in tiers.
There is not a lot in the immediate vicinity of the Civic Center of Anderson besides the rest of the Anderson Sports and Entertainment Complex, but there are several restaurants about 2-3 miles away along Main Street, such as the Pompous Pig and Mama Penn’s Restaurant. The closest hotel is the Red Roof Inn & Suites (also on Main), but there are nice choices available as well, such as a Holiday Inn Anderson – in this relatively low cost of living area, prices run under $100 a night even for the name brand choices.
If you plan to be in town for the day or weekend, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Anderson is the Palmetto Distillery, or you might instead choose to check out Lake Hartwell.
There are very few fans in attendance at a typical Upstate Dragons game, which isn’t too surprising, as they only began playing at home in 2018. But if you want to show your Dragons spirit, they do sell team gear inside the Civic Center of Anderson.
The only downside to taking in an Upstate Dragons game is that the Civic Center of Anderson is a little bit in the middle of nowhere, being several miles away from any major freeways. But once you arrive at the arena, getting in and out literally could not be any easier – there is free parking right outside the main entrance, plenty of nice bathrooms, and absolutely no lines at the ticket tables or concessions.
Return on Investment 5
Tickets to Upstate Dragons games at the Civic Center of Anderson are $10 each, which is a perfectly reasonable price for a venue and event of this type. Given the free parking and low-cost concessions, seeing an Upstate Dragons game here is a really great value for your sports dollar.
Having two mascots is really a plus, and the concourse is actually rather nice, with plush carpet and lots of natural light.
If you have never taken in an arena football game, I would strongly recommend you give it a try – seeing the Upstate Dragons at the Civic Center of Anderson would be a great place to begin your arena football stadium journey. Games are generally high scoring, and the few fans in attendance really get into it. Also, in the American Arena League they let you keep balls that end up in the stands on errant throws or kicks, so this would be a great way to get a really cool souvenir.
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Red Roof Inn & Suites
3025 N Main St
Anderson, SC 29621
Holiday Inn Anderson
3509 Clemson Blvd
Anderson, SC 29621
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