Mar 2, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; A general view of Stegeman Coliseum during the second half between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers. Georgia won 78-68. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

UGA Basketball: Rating Georgia's Stegeman Coliseum

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UGA’s Stegeman Coliseum has always been a topic of Bulldog water cooler conversation. Lately most complaints revolve around the scaffolding erected around the exterior. But for decades, Georgia fans have argued over possible changes and renovations, or even if the Coliseum should be abandoned all together and a new arena built closer to downtown.

Over its half-century history, the Coliseum arena has undergone many changes and renovations. In 2010 concourses were enlarged and the exterior enhanced with the addition of paneled glass walls and bold graphics as part of the structures most significant renovation.

As a basketball arena, the biggest problem with the Coliseum has been the quality of the men’s basketball team; there is no larger monument to Georgia Bulldog basketball frustrations than the Stegeman Coliseum. Recently,’s Paul Swaney evaluated and ranked the arena experience of each of the 351 Division 1 basketball teams. Concessions, overall atmosphere, neighborhood, fans, and access were all considered in the evaluation and rankings.

The Stegeman Coliseum received a respectable overall ranking of 120. Brian Jones conducted the Official Review of the Stegeman Coliseum for and noted the new exterior and concourses as well as the dated arena.

Concession offerings were rated 2 out of 5. Not a surprise to regular attendees of Georgia sporting events.

Atmosphere was rated 4 out of 5. This may be a generous rating, but the evaluation gives credit to the work of Georgia officials at creating a fun and exciting atmosphere. The music – both recorded and of the Basketball Band – were recognized as effective in pumping up the crowd. The free printed programs and the Dance Dawgs were credited as excellent extras which enhance the experience.

The neighborhood was rated 5 out of 5. “The arena is in the heart of campus, which is in the middle of Athens. So there is never a dull moment in one of the best college cities in America.”

Fans were rated 3 out of 5. The students and fans that attend Georgia Basketball games were commended for their energy and support, but noted no seating sections are ever full.

Access – including parking, entry, concourse, and restrooms – was rated 4 out of 5.

Return on investment was rated 3 out of 5. Considering the quality of play and competition the last few years, this is probably a fair rating. Ticket price for lower level tickets were quoted as $30. If the face value price of $15 is considered perhaps the rating is a little low. However, Jones does recommend taking in a Bulldog basketball game, saying, “While the Bulldogs are not an elite team, they have a solid group of players that are easy to root for. So it would be a smart decision to go see some college basketball in a great college town for a reasonable price.”

The bottom line is not provocative or insightful, but probably accurate. “Stegeman Coliseum is not the best place to watch a college basketball game, but it is a good experience for anyone who is a fan of Georgia or college basketball in general.”

What do you think it will take to make the Stegeman Coliseum one of the elite college basketball venues in the country?

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