Ryan Center – Rhode Island Rams
Rhody Rams at the Ryan Center
The University of Rhode Island Rams men’s and women’s basketball teams make their home at the Thomas M. Ryan Center. The arena replaced Keaney Gymnasium in 2002. There’s a lot to like about the Ryan Center both in terms of the experience it offers and the teams that reside in it. In the last two years the men’s team has made the NCAA tournament twice and won games in each of those appearances. The combination of an attractive arena and on court success make the Ryan Center a go to venue for Rhode Island sports fans.
Food & Beverage 4
The Ryan Center has quite a variety of food options available. You’ll find an abundance of stadium food staples at the Ryan Center. If you want to grab a popcorn, pretzel, bag of peanuts or some nachos you’ll have an easy time finding it. There are also some slightly more upscale options like a build your own burger stand. Sausage sandwiches, chicken and some healthier options are available if you want something heartier.
The Ryan Center also has a wide selection of beverage options. On both ends of the arena you can find bars that can serve up something a little stronger than a Coca-Cola. At these bars you can find cocktails as well as beer and wine.
Those looking for soft drinks will find Coca-Cola products throughout the arena. There is also a Dunkin Donuts (soon to be just Dunkin’) presence in the arena. At those stands you can get coffee as well as donuts.
The atmosphere at a URI basketball game is fairly similar to most college basketball venues. There is a lot of fan engagement and interaction during timeouts. T-shirt tosses, contests, and loud music are all integrated into the game experience. Unlike a majority of arenas, there is no center scoreboard that hangs over the court. Instead the main video board is located in one corner of the arena. The board provides a lot of information on a very clear screen. The staff for URI do a very good job in coordinating the experience and keeping the fans involved at all times.
URI is not traditionally known as a basketball powerhouse. They play in the Atlantic 10 and thus are not on the national stage very often. The last few years though things have improved for the Rams. The team has made and won some games in the NCAA tournament. They have been more successful than their in-state counterpart at Providence College. The fans certainly bring it at the Ryan Center. For a moderately sized crowd they still make a lot of noise. The fans seem involved in the game and know their stuff. The student section does their job and is appropriately distracting towards the opposing players. Opposing fans will have no real trouble at the Ryan Center.
There are pros and cons of the area that URI is situated in. It is in an area that is pretty safe. The campus itself has many emergency phone stations to use in case anything happens. So if you want to walk around campus after the game you’ll be very safe. On the downside is that the campus is in a pretty remote area. If you want to get some good food and stay in a nice hotel you’ll have to travel a bit. It’s a half hour to get to Providence and about 40-50 minutes to get to Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. You can find plenty of excellent restaurants and entertainment in Providence. If you want to work in some gambling you can head over to the casinos or head over to Twin River in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
For a campus that isn’t in an incredibly populated area, it is very easy to get to URI. Right down the road from campus is the Kingston train station. You can also take a bus from Providence if you choose to stay there. If you are traveling by car you can find a large amount of parking for events. Nearly all of the spots are free, which is a great perk. Once inside it is very easy to navigate the Ryan Center. The concourse is fairly wide and doesn’t get too packed even at halftime. The bathrooms are clean and lines aren’t generally a big problem. There are really no bad seats at the Ryan Center. The views are good from wherever you sit in the arena.
Return on Investment 5
Going to a game at the Ryan Center is one of the more affordable sporting events you can attend in the area. Tickets can be had for as low as $15 and won’t generally run you more than $40 for the premium seats. URI offers many ticket deals and packages to suit families and groups as well. When you throw in the free parking and concessions that aren’t crazily expensive, you get an affordable night to see a quality basketball program.
A first star goes to the layout of the Ryan Center. It is very easy to navigate and offers fantastic views of the court. There really isn’t a bad seat in the house. The two bars at the ends of the court are also a nice touch.
The other star goes to the URI Hall of Fame which is located on the concourse and the display case for trophies that the teams have won. It is always nice to see a school honor the history of the teams and players.
The University of Rhode Island may not have the name cache of other big time college programs, but it does have one of the better on-campus arenas. The Ryan Center has affordable prices, great views, and quality basketball. It’s worth a visit if you happen to be in New England during college basketball season.
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Holiday Inn South Kingstown
3009 Tower Hill Rd.
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Latest Crowd Reviews
The Rams play second fiddle in Rhode Island to their upstate rival in Providence, but their on-campus facility takes a back seat to no other school in the area. The mid-sized Ryan Center provides the Rams with a distinct home court advantage and provides URI fans with an excellent, modern venue at which to watch the home team.