North Charleston Coliseum – South Carolina Stingrays

by | Nov 8, 2015 | ECHL Hockey, Harrison Huntley | 0 comments

Fanfare Score

Total Score
3.57

 

Crowd Score

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Hockey Night in Charleston

In the 1990s, hockey was coming alive in the south and people were beginning to take notice. This led to the founding of many teams in unlikely, non-traditional locations. While locations like Fort Lauderdale, Tampa Bay, and Raleigh got most of the attention, the minor leagues were busy placing their teams in the south. The South Carolina Stingrays were the first hockey team in the state, and are one of only two teams to continue operating today. Since the team’s founding in 1993, they have played in the North Charleston Coliseum, a multi-purpose venue located about 20 minutes outside the city. Though the arena itself may feel a little stale, the action and the people who watch it make the Coliseum an entertaining hockey experience.

Food & Beverage 2

If you need a meal, the food is there. Otherwise, I would suggest eating elsewhere. There isn’t anything special, and the prices are standard stadium prices (which aren’t cheap). Everything is just traditional stadium food, like hot dogs and chicken fingers. When you factor in the surrounding area (and the city you are near), eating at the stadium becomes less appealing. The one bright side is that beer is relatively cheap. A large beer is $7, and there is a rather expansive selection, including some local brews.

Atmosphere 3

You will notice as you walk to your seats that it’s a rather vanilla arena. Red plastic seats sit atop a grey concourse that’s filled with ads. The ice itself is filled with ads, too. Even the clock behind the net is a basketball shot clock. Like many minor league arenas, the upper level end zone seats are tarped off, in the hopes of making the arena feel a little more intimate. Overall, there’s nothing really unique found inside the arena.

The fun part of the atmosphere is not what is in the arena, but the events that fill it. This is a minor league game, and that’s not easy to forget. The day I attended was Star Wars Day, and with that came many Star Wars-themed games, promotions, and giveaways. While some may see this as a negative, I think the opposite. This is a minor league game, and it should feel like it.

Neighborhood 5

The Coliseum is located in an outlet mall with tons of shopping, lodging, and dining. The offerings are mostly of the chain variety, but there is a good selection. The full list is too long for this review, but you are sure to find something to fit your taste here.

Of course, if you’re looking for something a little more unique, you can always take the 20-minute drive to downtown Charleston. If you’ve never been, it is an absolute must. Once you get downtown, you will understand why it is such a highly-rated tourist destination.

Fans 3

With it being minor league hockey in the south, you may not expect much from the fans here. In terms of numbers, you would be right. The Stingrays usually rank near the bottom of the ECHL attendance lists. However, the fans that do come try their hardest to be heard. They get loud for tense moments and at times, the noise levels mimic those of your average NHL game. While they may not be the most in number, Stingrays fans know how to get loud.

Access 5

There’s a lot to like here in the access category. The arena is located at the intersection of Charleston’s main interstate highway, I-26, and its beltway, I-526. You should have no problem entering or exiting the stadium. Parking is only $5, and you can park almost anywhere in the lot. Getting to the Coliseum was one of the easiest experiences I’ve ever had.

Tickets are available in print or on your phone through Ticketmaster. Either way, they can scan your ticket fast and get you into the game easily.

Return on Investment 4

Tickets start at $12 for the upper level, which is a good seat for most people. The seats are not that high up, and offer a great view of the ice. If you’d rather sit on the lower level, those start at $20. Don’t let the face value turn you away. The Stingrays run a number of promotions that make tickets cheap. Some nights are BOGO nights, some are $7 college and military, and some are family four-pack nights (4 tickets, drinks, hot dogs, and popcorns for $55). While some prices might seem high, check to see if there is a promotion to take advantage of.

Extras 3

I was overwhelmed by the Stingrays’ military salute. It was during a break in the action that they began playing “Born in the USA.” They had a special section for the military and they called out each of their names and titles to the applause of not just the fans, but the players and referees too. Take note, other teams — this is how you honor the troops.

The Stingrays’ mascot is Cool Ray, the giant stingray. You can find Cool Ray making his rounds in the stands and leading games during intermission.

A local trucking company Liquid Box built the Fan Zam, a zamboni built with TVs, speakers, and much more that gives fans a ride around the ice during intermission.

Final Thoughts

Hockey in Charleston is still an oddity. It isn’t the most popular thing to do on the weekends, but don’t let that discourage you. A night at the North Charleston Coliseum may not be equivalent to something up north, but hockey is hockey, and for a small price, you can have the unique experience that is southern hockey.

Food and Drink Recommendations

Thai Palm Restaurant

4958 Centre Pointe Dr #103

North Charleston, SC 29418

(843) 744-8333

https://www.thaipalmrestaurant.com/


Sports Book of Charleston

4950 Centre Pointe Dr #166

North Charleston, SC 29418

(843) 745-9555

http://lucky17restaurants.com/sports-book-of-charleston-sports-bar/


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Entertainment Recommendations

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

3550 Ashley River Rd

Charleston, SC 29414

(843) 571-1266

http://www.magnoliaplantation.com/


Historic Charleston City Market

188 Meeting St

Charleston, SC 29401

http://www.thecharlestoncitymarket.com/


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Lodging Recommendations

 

Embassy Suites Charleston Airport Hotel & Convention Center

5055 International Blvd

North Charleston, SC 29418

(843) 747-1882

http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/south-carolina/embassy-suites-by-hilton-charleston-airport-hotel-and-convention-center-CHSEMES/index.html


 

Hyatt Place Charleston Airport/Convention Center

3234 W Montague Ave

North Charleston, SC 29418

(843) 302-8600

https://charlestonairport.place.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html


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Stadium Info

North Charleston Coliseum
5001 Coliseum Dr
North Charleston, SC 29418

South Carolina Stingrays website

North Charleston Coliseum website

Year Opened: 1993

Capacity: 13,000

 

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