William H. Detrick Gymnasium – Central Connecticut State Blue Devils

by | Feb 14, 2018 | Basketball, NCAA Basketball, Paul Baker

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The Devil Went Down to…Connecticut?

Central Connecticut State University, also known as CCSU, is the state of Connecticut’s oldest publicly funded university. Made up of four schools, CCSU has an enrollment of over 12,000 students. More than half of CCSU’s student body lives off campus, and close to 90 percent of the students are from Connecticut.

Basketball has been played at Central Connecticut since 1934. For the team’s first 50 years, the Blue Devils competed at the NAIA or Division Two level, upgrading to Division One status in 1986. The team competes in the Northeast Conference, made up of ten small northeastern schools located from Maryland to Rhode Island.

The Blue Devils’ home gym, Detrick Gymnamsium, is named for William H. Detrick, who coached at Central Connecticut for 29 years, compiling a school-record 468 wins. The Blue Devils have qualified for the NCAA tournament on three occasions (2000, 2002, 2007), losing in the first round each time. One Central Connecticut alumnus, Corsley Edwards, has played in the NBA.

Food & Beverage 1

There is a small concession stand in the main lobby that sells a limited menu of items. Hot dogs, pizza slices, Pepsi products, pretzels, assorted chips and candy make up the entire menu. On the plus side, no item costs more than three dollars, and the pizza is actually pretty tasty.

Atmosphere 2

The game day atmosphere at Detrick Gymnasium is pretty typical of what you would expect to find in a small gym in the northeast. All the elements are here, including a pep band, cheerleading squad and dance team. What is lacking is a cohesive student section. Without that unifying presence, a real home-court advantage never really materializes.

Detrick Gymnasium does not utilize their PA system for any piped-in music during the game. The pep band plays during all play stoppages, which is a refreshing departure from the norm.

Play stoppages are filled with contests for the younger fans in attendance, and t-shirts and towels are tossed into the stands with regularity. At the beginning of the game, the cheerleaders venture up into the stands, encouraging the fans to stand and clap until the Blue Devils’ first basket.

Neighborhood 3

Central Connecticut State University is located in a residential neighborhood on the northeastern edge of New Britain, a suburban city of 73,000 people located 12 miles from Hartford, Connecticut. Detrick Gymnasium is located at the center of campus. All of Central Connecticut’s athletic facilities, including Arute Field and Balf-Savin Field are located nearby.

There are not many choices for dining or lodging immediately adjacent to the CCSU campus, but there is great diversity within a few miles of campus.

Fans wanting a unique experience before or after a CCSU game should check out the East Side Restaurant, a German-themed pub complete with staff in traditional Bavarian gear and all the bratwurst you could possibly desire.

For a twist on a traditional American dish, visit Ted’s Steamed Hamburgers in nearby Cromwell. Their method of cooking hamburgers in steam trays is unique to central Connecticut, and Ted’s has been featured on several travel shows such as Man vs. Food and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Lodging options are plentiful in nearby Farmington. Connecticut’s capital city, Hartford, is a short fifteen minute drive from Central Connecticut’s campus, and offers additional dining, lodging and entertainment options.

Fans 2

Central Connecticut averages just over 1,400 fans per game, which is more than the average for the Northeast Conference, but pales in comparison to neighboring UConn. With the overpowering presence of the Huskies in the greater Hartford area, it’s hard for the Blue Devils to get any serious attention from local fans.

There is a solid turnout by the student body at Detrick Gymnasium, but the students add little energy to the atmosphere. They are generally well behaved and talk amongst themselves rather than act in any concerted fashion to intimidate the opposition.

Access 3

New Britain is located (naturally) in Central Connecticut, a 15 minute drive from Hartford. Route 9 passes directly by the campus, and connects with nearby interstates 84 and 91. With its suburban location, the great majority of fans drive to the Central Connecticut State campus.

There is a decent sized parking lot adjacent to Arute Field, about a five minute walk to Detrick Gymnasium. Fans will enter Kaiser Hall, which houses both the gym and the Jack Suydam Natatorium. Detrick Gym is located to the right as you enter the lobby. The concession stand, souvenir stand, restrooms, trophy cases and sponsor tables are all located in this small lobby. It can be a busy place during halftime.

Most seats at Detrick Gym are molded plastic bleachers, with some chair back seats located on one side of the facility. In this intimate setting, all seats provide excellent views of the action on the court.

Return on Investment 5

Tickets to Central Connecticut basketball games are reasonably priced at twelve dollars for reserved chair back seats and eight dollars for general admission bleacher seating. Seniors and children are admitted for five dollars.

With free parking and inexpensive concessions, a Central Connecticut basketball game is a most affordable entertainment option for local sports fans.

Extras 2

The Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Central Connecticut Alumni Athletics Hall of Fame are located in the lobby of Kaiser Hall.  CCSU fans should also take note of the display honoring Coach Detrick, and the many trophies accumulated over the years by the various Blue Devil squads.

An extra point is awarded for “The Voice of the Blue Devils,” longtime Central Connecticut PA legend Joe Arnone. Arnone has handled PA duties at the school for basketball and football for 55 years.

Final Thoughts

Detrick Gymnasium is typical of many of the cozy facilities that are found in the northeast. For the most part, college sports are just not the big deal in this part of the country that they are in other parts of the nation. Detrick Gymnasium is a solid, if not spectacular, home for the Blue Devils.

Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter @PuckmanRI.


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Food and Drink Recommendations

East Side Restaurant

131 Dwight St

New Britain, CT 06051

(860) 223-1188


Ted’s Restaurant

4 Berlin Rd

Cromwell, CT 06416

(860) 635-8337


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Entertainment Recommendations

La Quinta Inn and Suites New Britain/Farmington

65 Columbus Blvd

New Britain, CT 06051

(860) 348-1463


Extended Stay America-Hartford-Farmington

1 Batterson Park Rd

Farmington, CT 06032

(860) 676-2790


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Lodging Recommendations


New Britain Museum of American Art

56 Lexington St

New Britain, CT 06052

(860) 229-0257



New Britain Industrial Museum

185 W. Main St

New Britain, CT 06052

(860) 832-8654


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Stadium Info

William H. Detrick Gymnasium

1615 Stanley St

New Britain, CT 06053

Central Connecticut State Blue Devils website

William H. Detrick Gymnasium website

Year Opened: 1965

Capacity: 2,654

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