Humphrey Coliseum – Mississippi State Bulldogs
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Bulldog Basketball at The Hump
Humphrey Coliseum serves as home court for Mississippi State Bulldogs basketball. Though the Bulldogs have fought through a few down years as of late, the experience still remains one of the best in the SEC. Though fans look back longingly on the 1996 Final Four appearance, fans continue to turn out in large numbers to make the atmosphere at The Hump one of the more intimidating venues across the country for opposing teams.
Constructed in 1975, Humphrey Coliseum has served as home for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams for over 40 years. Throughout that time, the arena has seen several modern upgrades including a hanging video scoreboard, new floor seating, and the adjoining Mize Pavilion.
While college football remains king in the state of Mississippi and the Starkville region, fans bleed Maroon and White during the winter and early spring for Bulldog basketball. If your favorite team is facing a road trip against the Bulldogs or you find yourself in the Starkville area, give the family friendly experience at The Hump a try.
Food & Beverage 3
The food options at The Hump provide the basics without much in terms of signature items.
There are typically two main stands open, one near the student section and the other on the opposite side of the concourse. The bare basics are available with hot dogs and nachos priced $5 and popcorn and candy at $3. You’ll also find a Chick-fil-A and Little Caesars stand. While this adds to the variety available, it’s still rather slim pickings, though there are a few decent deals. You can get a hot dog and drink combo for $7 and/or a popcorn and drink combo for $5.
Coca-Cola products headline drink options. Drinks are served in either a souvenir mug ($10) or medium souvenir cup ($5). Bottled Dasani water is available for $4. Alcoholic beverages are not sold at Humphrey Coliseum.
The atmosphere at The Hump for Bulldogs basketball is simply electric.
Usually, having fans jammed into seats packed closely together with little room to spare wouldn’t seem like a ticket to a great event. But at The Hump, this creates an intimate college basketball environment and really pumps in the crowd noise. Humphrey Coliseum provides a unique experience of old and new school. Originally constructed in the ’70s, you’ll definitely notice some historic elements like a few old Daktronics score panels and an aging exterior. However, renovations over the years including the addition of a state of the art center-hung video scoreboard and the adjoining Mize Pavilion really provides a modern touch. The pregame experience includes an introduction video on the scoreboard and fire as players are introduced
There are two levels of seating which provide cushioned chairbacks. There really isn’t a bad seat in the arena. There are a few sections on the south end reserved for faculty and staff and the entire lower bowl on the north side is reserved for MSU students. Other than that, there’s not necessarily a reserved section for visiting fans. It’s hard to beat seats in the lower bowl at mid-court, but similar seats in the upper bowl provide a great view as well.
While the MSU student section may pale in comparison with some of the elite across major college basketball, they typically overflow their seating area and provide a high level of noise. In an attempt to further cater the experience to students, there’s an in-game DJ located at the bottom of the section. Also, the MSU cheerleaders and pom squad remain on the end line in front of the student section during the game. Bully the Bulldog does a great job of interacting with fans and taking pictures with kids in attendance. The MSU pep band is located next to the student section.
Humphrey Coliseum is located on the campus of Mississippi State University in the city of Starkville. The campus area provides a comfortable and safe backdrop for fans coming into town for a Bulldogs basketball game. Starkville is a classic college town where there’s not a ton of attractions off the campus. However, you’ll find a few quality restaurants and enough to do around town to keep you busy.
For a really tasty pulled pork sandwich in a cozy environment, check out The Little Dooey. Be sure to ask for coleslaw on top. You’ll find plenty more than pulled pork here, from other barbecue plates to fried seafood. Old Venice Pizza Co. provides a more upscale setting than The Little Dooey, but with an affordable menu and friendly atmosphere. Get some fried mozzarella sticks for an appetizer and try their Ranchero style specialty pizza. Starkville Cafe offers a pro-Mississippi State environment and a versatile menu. They are known locally, however, for their breakfast menu, especially during a late morning after a night of touring the local college bars.
There’s only a handful of unique attractions while in town. The Cobb Museum of Archaeology is located on campus and is an interesting stop that includes displays related to cultures in the Southeastern United States, Native Americans, and in the Mediterranean region. If you’re traveling with little ones and looking for a family friendly option, Skate Odyssey is your ticket. They offer a rolling “walker” for kids who are learning to skate plus there’s a small video game room.
There is an adequate amount of lodging options in the region. If you’re looking for a luxury stay in an historic hotel, check out Hotel Chester. The Comfort Suites near the campus was recently constructed and offers large, comfortable rooms for a very affordable price.
Whether it’s the intimate design of the arena or fans that bring the noise, The Hump can get extremely loud during close games and especially after big scores. No wonder the Bulldogs have won over seventy percent of their home games at the Coliseum. When the Bulldogs are winning, expect near capacity crowds. Unfortunately, wins have been in short supply over the last few seasons for a program that has had some success in the late 90s and 2000s. While crowds may be somewhat smaller, they still can generate a ton of noise.
There are a few neat traditions during a Bulldogs basketball game at The Hump. At some point during the game, expect a “White!….Maroon!” chant to break out alternating from west and east sides. Starkville has earned the nickname of “Stark Vegas,” and the student section usually has a sign or two which references this. Also, glow sticks are in ample supply during pregame introductions.
Starkville is situated in the East-Central portion of Mississippi. This puts it about 2 hours northeast of Jackson and about 2 ½ hours southeast of Memphis. While it’s not central to mass transit options, it can be accessed off I-55 from the west and I-20 from the east via Highway 82. Once you’ve arrived, there’s ample parking lots around the arena, though traffic can certainly slow in the area inside an hour to tip off and the majority of these lots are reserved. Be sure to review the parking map ahead of time. You’ll want to avoid the reserved lots and stake out a place to park on campus. Be sure not to park in the grass or you’ll be towed. Typically there’s some available parking near Davis-Wade Stadium.
The walk into the arena is very quick. You can enter on the south side in the foyer area between the Mize Pavilion and Coliseum. The ticket office is located here if you need to purchase or pick up tickets. Lines are usually short. The aisles up to and in between seats are a little tight, but there’s enough room to move around. Restrooms are adequate.
Return on Investment 4
For top level college basketball, tickets are affordable when you consider the quality of play. Some of the high-end programs have single game prices over $100. Comparatively speaking, $25 a ticket for an SEC match-up isn’t expensive, but when it’s compared to other family entertainment options, it is rather on the high side.
Concession options are sparse, but you can find some affordable deals. Depending on where you park, you can find free on-campus parking. Overall, the return on investment is strong at The Hump for Bulldog basketball.
The environment at The Hump comes through with a few “extra” components which helps to improve the overall experience.
The foyer between the Pavilion and Coliseum provides a really nice starting point for MSU basketball. It includes a wall display named “Bulldog Basketball Legends” which serves as a hall of fame stop in the stadium.
Throughout the concourse, there are several great stops to view wall art. These murals include mention of the “Game of Change,” Bully the Bulldog, the Mississippi State Final Four appearance, and a championship counter for men’s and women’s basketball.
Championship banners hang from the rafters above the playing surface. You’ll notice a host of SEC championships memorialized and also their 1996 Final Four appearance which has a spotlight shining on it.
Food and Drink Recommendations
Skate Odyssey Inc
830 Louisville St
Starkville, MS 39759
Cobb Museum of Archaeology
Hardy Road and Lee Blvd
Starkville, MS 39759
101 N Jackson St
Starkville, MS 39759
801 Russell St
Starkville, MS 39759
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