“…they splurged and went big. Walking into College Park Center I had the feel of walking into a Big XII or SEC type facility.”
–Matthew Irby, StadiumJourney.com (read his full review)
Couldn’t have said it better myself. Welcome to my basic fan guide to College Park Center, UTA’s home for basketball and volleyball since 2012.
College Park Center is also home to the WNBA’s Dallas Wings and has hosted numerous graduations, concerts, speakers, boxing/wrestling matches and more. College Park Center seats about 7,000 for sporting events.
Not to sound like too much of a homer fan, but the designers got pretty much everything right in this facility. The sightlines are excellent from pretty much any seat in the building. There are lots of TVs on the concourse so you can keep an eye on the game while heading to the restroom or concessions stand. Good signage makes it easy you find your seat. A 4-sided video board displays a very bright, crisp, clear picture. Another board at the end of the arena shows each team’s box score stats (player points and fouls, team field goal percentage, free throw percentage, etc.). The arena also has two practice gyms for teams to work out in. Concessions are very reasonably priced and parking is adjacent in 3 garages next to the arena. It’s the perfect size for basketball at a successful mid-major program like UTA in the Sun Belt.
Parking: There are three big garages directly north of the arena and I’ve never had a problem finding a place to park in them, even on nights with very big crowds. You can approach the garages from the south, going north on Spaniolo Drive and the garages will be on your right. Coming from the north (such as I-30), you can go south on Center St. and the garages will be on your right. From the west, take UTA Blvd. East and you can enter the North garage (it will be on your right) or take UTA Blvd. and turn right (south) onto Center Street and access all three garages (they will be on your right). Regardless of which garage you park in, it’s just a short walk to the arena. Box office and main entrance is located on the northwest corner of the arena. Parking costs $10.
Note that on Homecoming game day, Spaniolo St. (on the west side of the arena) and some other streets around the arena entrance may be closed for school celebration events…so you may wish to approach the garages from the north on Center St. or consider another lot (such as the one just south of the business building two blocks southwest of the arena).
Seating: Ticket office and main entrance are on the northwest side of the arena. Lower level seats wrap around the entire court and offer a very close view of the action. The lower 10 or so rows of seating behind the basket nearest the visitor’s bench are retractable bleachers, and this is the student section. The upper level has seats on 3 sides of the court. The end of the arena closest to the visitor’s bench does not have have upper-level seats. This is where a big video board is located. It’s also the end of the arena where stages and lights are placed for graduation and concerts. The upper-level seats have a similar sightline as the American Airlines Center–looking down right on top of the court. It’s a great view.
Lower concourse features several concession stands (I recommend the hot dogs. I’m also glad they serve Dr Pepper) and several sets of restrooms. You’ll also find a souvenir stand near the entrance as well. Upper concourse has restrooms but no concession stands, so be sure and get your snacks before going upstairs.
There’s a ton of signage to help you find your way around the building, and the arena’s staff is helpful as well. One of the neat features of College Park Center is that it features two full-size practice courts for teams to use when events are going on in the arena…and you can see those courts from the concourse behind section 113-114.