UD Arena – Dayton Flyers
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Dayton Gets LOWD for College Hoops
There are many who say that it is one of the elite venues and toughest buildings to play in college basketball. The University of Dayton Arena, commonly known as UD Arena, hosted its first game on December 6, 1969, and quickly developed into one of the best places in the nation for college hoops.
The arena is currently undergoing a three-phase renovation project that is scheduled completion by the arena’s 50th anniversary. The $72 million privately-funded effort will include the replacement of all 13,450 seats, a new four-sided video board above center court, installation of air conditioning and new WiFi, a wraparound main concourse around the bowl, new club seating, updated bathrooms, new ticket office location, and new corner terrace suites.
The renovations will improve the fan experience at the game and update the building to modern standards, but one thing is certain, the atmosphere will continue to be among the elite. The Flyer Faithful are known to fill up the arena and create an environment that ranks with the best college programs in the nation, ranking in the top 30 of average attendance figures on an annual basis.
Food & Beverage 4
There is a surprising amount of variety at the UD Arena with prices that are more than reasonable. There are hot dogs, pretzels, nachos, bottled and fountain drinks, and craft and domestic beers. The prices range from $4 for a hot dog to $7.25 for a draft craft beer.
However, there are a few other great choices that include Donatos pizza, Lee’s chicken strips, and City Barbecue pulled brisket and pork. The pulled pork is also topped on nachos for $10. A few other interesting choices include cheddar peppercorn sausage, steak, and shrimp tacos, and grilled chicken sandwiches ranging in price from $4.50 to $8.
The beer choices are varied and fans can enjoy selections from local Warped Wing and Local 27, along with microbreweries from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii. Don’t worry, there are Budweiser, Miller, and Coors selections to choose from as well at the arena.
The current renovations that are currently taking place have transformed the outer concourse of the building in an effort to make it easier for traffic flow during games that are near capacity a majority of the time. Visitors can now walk by walls decorated with the Dayton Flyer logo and photos and information about the team’s history that includes 21 years in the top 30 in average attendance, 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, 7 conference championships, and one Final Four appearance in 1967.
About five minutes before the game the chanting begins and music blares over the arena’s sound system. The student section, dubbed the Red Scare, is one of the most spirited and loud student sections across the nation. The thing that sets Red Scare apart from other student sections are the people who make it up. There are three Blue Men/Women, who paint their bodies every game and embody the Flyer spirit and The Pilot who steers the section throughout the course of the game and leads cheers.
The place gets loud, or should I say LOWD, which is a term that can be described as the highest decibel that can be achieved in a college basketball arena. It definitely helps if you are the home team needing a boost when you are down late in the game and can hinder the performance of any would-be opponent looking to escape with a win in the arena.
The Flight Deck and BOESCH LOUNGE are two premium seating areas that offer a variety of luxury options to entertain family, friends, companies or groups located at the upper ends behind each basket of the UD Arena.
The arena is located about two miles from downtown Dayton. There has been a serious amount of major investments this century that has resulted in residential, commercial, and transportation developments that has brought people back to the city. Seven million people visit the high-tech friendly downtown annually.
There is a collection of breweries that include Warped Wing, Lock 27, and Toxic Brew that all offer their own vibe and craft beer. The Dayton Beer Company is an ideal spot with over 36 different beers on tap that includes their own made on site and a pizzeria on the first floor. Many of the places charge by the 4 and 8 ounces for more options of sampling award-winning beer.
Most of the nightlife is concentrated near the Brown Street district, Oregon District or near Fifth Third Field (Webster Station). A few choices to enjoy a meal is The Pine Club (steaks), The Winds (farm to table), Jay’s Restaurant (seafood), Corner Kitchen (burgers), and El Meson (a vast array of American cuisine south of the border).
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, America’s Packard Museum, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, and the National Aviation Hall of Fame are all popular tourist attractions. The Oregon District has a nice balance of retail, bars, live music, restaurants, and several of the breweries. The architecture of the residential buildings date back to the 19th century and are ideal for photos.
The Flyer Faithful is one of the most loyal fan bases in the country. They are dedicated to the program and create an energy that is unmatched at many college facilities. The Red Scare is filled with a cast of characters who are unique to the building from fans painted in blue to a captain in full uniform steering the ship. The decibel levels are intense and it makes for a very tough place to play for any opponent. The rest of the fans in their seats do their part to create a powerful home court advantage at the UD Arena.
The UD Arena is located west of downtown Dayton and directly off of I-75 near the school’s other sports facilities. There is a large on-site and off-site parking lot available for commuters and current renovations will make access around the outer and inner concourse areas a bit smoother. Due to the number of fans per game and renovation projects, the concourses can become congested before, halftime, and post game.
Return on Investment 5
Single game tickets for Dayton games begin at $20-$25 for 300 to the 400 level seating areas. Lower level seats in the 100 to 200 sections are generally sold out, but there are certain games where student seating is available for $35. The concession prices are reasonable at $4 hot dogs, $7.25 craft beer pints, and $5 nachos.
The parking lots located at the UD Arena (Lots A, B, C, and D) are for season ticket holders only and all parking passes for all lots are sold out at this time. There are on-site lots in the overflow lot (O Lot) that is available for single-game buyers that is $5 and includes a complimentary shuttle bus.
The atmosphere is one of the best in college basketball and decibel levels increase immensely during certain times of the game. The price of a ticket almost guarantees a near capacity crowd in an electric atmosphere.
The UD Arena receives an extra point for is price points from $20 tickets in the 400 level to $4 hot dogs at the concession stand. The prices throughout the building are more than reasonable with one of the best atmospheres in college basketball.
The UD Arena earns a second point for the Red Scare, according to its website, the largest student organization at the university. The Red Scare is the official group of students that facilitate cheers at UD varsity athletic events and is dedicated at doing whatever it takes to give the Flyers a home advantage during games.
The UD Arena earns the third point for its impressive attendance figures that are currently averaging close to 13,000 fans per game and placing them in the top 30 of all NCAA college basketball programs.
The UD Arena earns the fourth point by the copious amounts of terms that are used to describe the atmosphere and fans during the game. The Red Scare, Decibel Dungeon, Flyer Faithful, and the term lowd are all part of the UD lore and perhaps needs an explanation to the common fan making a visit for the first time to the arena.
The final point is for the Flyer Faithful who are a loyal group of supporters who create a challenging atmosphere for opponents and will travel in packs to support their basketball program.
The UD Arena is quite the experience for college basketball and goes somewhat underneath the radar to most fans. However, you will never have to tell a Dayton fan, alumni, or student what an experience is like during a home game. UD Arena is as advertised, it gets LOWD.
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