Lundholm Gymnasium – New Hampshire Wildcats
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The Home of New Hampshire Hoops
Lundholm Gymnasium is named for Carl Lundholm, University of New Hampshire graduate and athletic director from 1939 to 1963. The gym is located inside the Field House, adjacent to Cowell Stadium and serves as home to both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the volleyball team and the gymnastics team.
The court at Lundholm Gymnasium is dedicated to Gerry Friel, who served as head coach for the men’s basketball team from 1969-1989. The New England Basketball Hall of Famer is currently the school’s all-time leader in victories with 188.
Basketball has been played at the University of New Hampshire since 1903. Members of the America East conference, the team has never qualified for the NCAA tournament.
Food & Beverage 1
There is a small snack bar located in the Lundholm Gymnasium lobby, which features a basic menu. Hungry Wildcat fans can purchase hot dogs, nachos or pizza. Snacks are the main focus here, like pretzels, popcorn, cotton candy, and assorted candy bars are sold. Fans looking for healthier items can choose from a variety of fruit. Bottles of Coca-Cola products are available for purchase. Alcohol is not sold on this on-campus facility.
While the selection of food may not wow you, no item here is over five dollars.
If you like going to a game and being able to hear the squeak of sneakers on the court or to be able to hear coaches shouting instructions to their squads, you are going to absolutely love Lundholm Gymnasium. If you come looking for an elaborate game day presentation, you will certainly be disappointed. The experience at Lundholm gym is decidedly laid back and old school.
The school’s pep band performs throughout the game, and the cheerleading squad is on hand to provide entertainment during play stoppages, but they have little effect on the noise level in the building. Fans who have attended UNH football or hockey games may be surprised at how quiet the gym is in comparison to those sports, and how sparse the turnout by the student body is here, but basketball is simply not supported on the same level as those sports.
The University of New Hampshire dominates the small town of Durham, New Hampshire. The university is located just west of downtown on Main Street. The downtown area is well within walking distance of the stadium and is filled with small shops and eateries. Durham has a nice, traditional small-town college feel to it, and there are several places worth checking out for a bite to eat if you are visiting here from out of town. Students regularly pack Libby’s Bar and Grill or Durham House of Pizza for a pre or postgame meal.
Fans visiting UNH from out of town will often head east to Portsmouth, located just 11 miles from campus. Portsmouth is quickly cultivating a reputation as one of the top small cities on the east coast for visitors, and as an outstanding destination for foodies. Downtown Portsmouth is filled with eclectic shops, museums, and historic locations.
The White Mountains are located just a ninety-minute drive north of Durham and feature spectacular foliage in the fall and many outstanding ski resorts in the winter.
In recent years UNH has averaged around 600-700 fans per game, but with the team’s recent success, fans have turned out to Lundholm Gymnasium in greater numbers. Even with the increased support, you will have no problem finding a seat at a Wildcat game.
Basketball is far from the top of the school’s sporting food chain, and the lack of a large student section represents this fact. Those students who do show up at Lundholm Gymnasium, while into the game, seem to be there to watch the game rather than try to be a part of it.
The small town of Durham, New Hampshire is located in southern New Hampshire, just over an hour’s drive from Boston. Just under 15,000 people call this townhome, and there are actually more students enrolled in the university than there are residents of Durham.
Durham is easy to get to by either car or train. The Amtrak train station is located across the street from Lundholm Gymnasium, and trains depart from here to Portsmouth, Boston, and the rest of the eastern corridor. Manchester, New Hampshire’s largest city, is located 45 minutes to the west. Many national and international airlines serve the airport there as well as Logan Airport in Boston.
Fans driving to Durham will travel on Interstate 95 to Portsmouth, where they will exit the highway at Exit 4 (Spaulding Highway/Route 4). Durham is located 11 miles from Portsmouth, and signs will direct you easily to the UNH campus. Lundholm Gymnasium is located on the western edge of the campus, easily found from either direction on Main Street.
With the small crowds that attend Wildcat basketball games, parking is no problem. Free parking is available in Lot A, located right across the street from the Field House. Fans get to the Field House via a tunnel that runs underneath Main Street.
Fans enter the Field House into a small lobby, with Lundholm Gymnasium located directly ahead. The small snack bar is located on the right, and the UNH Athletic Gallery fills the hallways of the Field House in both directions. Restrooms are just off the main lobby and are more than adequate for a typical Wildcat crowd.
All seating at Lundholm Gymnasium consists of molded bleachers without backs. Bleachers run down both sides of the gym, and there is no seating on either end of the court. Fans arriving early will be able to make out the “UNH” painted into the bleachers on both sides. Moving about the facility on a typical night is not an issue.
Return on Investment 3
Gameday tickets at UNH cost $15, with youth and seniors admitted for five dollars. Parking is free, and concessions are inexpensive. Overall, UNH basketball offers southern New Hampshire sports fans an affordable option for their entertainment dollars.
When visiting Lundholm Gymnasium, be sure to take a walk around the Field House and check out the photos of every single varsity program to ever represent the university. Not just championship teams, but every single team. Every sport, every year. It’s an impressive gallery. Hidden amongst these pictures of thousands of young men and women are numerous National Hockey League players, Olympians, a baseball Hall of Famer (Carlton Fisk, class of ’63) and a hockey player who is best known as an actor who played a hockey player (Michael Ontkean, class of ’70, a.k.a. Ned Braden from the cult classic Slap Shot).
Basketball is not the marquee sport at the University of New Hampshire. The atmosphere here is much more sedate than during Wildcat football or hockey games. Still, the cozy gyms like Lundholm Gymnasium that dot the college basketball landscape throughout New England offer hoop fans an intimate, inexpensive alternative compared to big-time programs elsewhere in the country. Durham’s location close to both the big city of Boston and the White Mountains makes it an excellent destination for visitors.
Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter @PuckmanRI.
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