GW Hoops

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

2/27/2022 11:38 pm  #101

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

We may have split the season series with GMU this year, but after being at the game today I was reminded of one area we dominate: home arena and game atmosphere. 

I even brought my daughter today who gained massive appreciation for the Smith Center today. 

Here are some of my observations:

1) Eagle Bank Arena is a dump and very dark, while the Smith Center is nice, light, and inviting.

2) even when attendance is bad, the smith center doesn’t feel as empty and depressing as EBA. 

3) There is no character at all to the non-description area where EBA seats: The Smith Center is in one of the best locations for any arena in America.

4) The “Masonettes” pale in comparison to the First Ladies.  If you haven’t appreciate how hard the First Ladies work, how much energy, and how much quality they being, a road game at George Mason will cure that quickly. 

5) Their band, for all its plaudits, is annoying.  They have a singer on most songs accompanying the marching band.  The singers weren’t very good - the band is good, but the singers bring it down 3 notches.

6) there was no student section, at least not thst I could tell.  Even when we only have 100 there, the concentration of students front and center in seats that are right on top of the court give our games an energy that the soulless EBA doesn’t have. 

7) At halftime, I saw a massive line - probably 30 people long, or more.  When I followed it to see what it was, it was people line up for Dippin Dots.  Dippin Dots?!?  The worst treat known to man.  The ice cream of the future?   Yeah, if the future is a miserable place with no ice cream. 

8) popcorn costs $9 there.  At The Smith Center it’s now FREE.   Not sure if that’s even been mentioned on this board, but huge kudos to whoever decided to add free popcorn this year.

9) The chairs at EBA are not terribly comfortable.  Smith Center Sears (at least the blue seats) are pretty nice.

10) Generally, Eagles Bank Arena has no character at all all - it’s just a big, dark, soul-sucking generic arena.  The Smith Center is just a warm, awesome place to see a game.  Can’t wait until we are good again and start getting packed houses once more.

At any rate, I’m proud to be a Colonial, and thankful that dump isn’t my home arena.


2/27/2022 11:51 pm  #102

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

Could not agree more. 

The Smith center is a great venue for a game, and was a great initial design and improved upon with the 2010ish renovations.  

Also the dance team etc, cheer, band etc.

Hard to imagine for a city, a better campus or location than GW has.

Ride or die with GW, and The Smith Center is a sizeable part of that.  



2/28/2022 7:27 am  #103

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

All time series now 33-10 I think. There is no Revolutionary RIVALRY. We own them. 


2/28/2022 8:54 am  #104

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

But there are more four-way stoplights in the proximity of the PatCenter. And more "casual dining" chain restaurants. And it is in Youngkinstan so you are free to masklessly spread a deadly virus. And the next time you will see any of the proud Mason grads that were there, they will be behind the counter handing out shoes and assigning lanes at a bowling alley.
The Smith Center is NOT the Palestra or The Pit or Hinkle, but it is not a dank, sterile tribute to suburban tedium either.


2/28/2022 10:21 am  #105

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

I've always felt that when schools within the same metro markets play one another, the visiting team's cheerleaders and band ought to be invited to perform.  No hotel expenses, just a quick bus ride.  I believe that would play a small role in generating a rivalry.


2/28/2022 2:56 pm  #106

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

Yesterday was my first time at Mason, and I echo most of what FQ said.  The arena was so dark, and the loudest thing was the band's stomping.  The lighting kind of reminded me of Barclay's center during Nets games, which is one of the things that kills the atmosphere there.  It had the look and feel of an arena that opened in 1985, which was not exactly an era known for beautiful arena architecture.  I did appreciate the bobblehead giveaway, which is something I'd love to see GW do.  And don't hate on Dippin' Dots!


2/28/2022 3:09 pm  #107

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

Eagle Bank Arena wins when it comes to uses outside of athletics. 
I've seen some great shows there through the years. It is a great room for a concert

The fact they don't use the Smith Center for concerts more often then 1x a year always baffled me


2/28/2022 6:08 pm  #108

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

The Ross-Man! wrote:

And don't hate on Dippin' Dots!

Disappointed in you, Ross-Man.  Dippin’ Dots are terrible.   It’s the Necco wafers of ice cream.


2/28/2022 7:20 pm  #109

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

I suspect the acoustics in the Smith Center are not good for a lot of events.   Pretty boomy (is that a word)? if I recall correctly.


2/28/2022 8:55 pm  #110

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

GW Alum Abroad,

Why do you find it necessary to say nasty things about George Mason grads? What does that accomplish? Everyone who graduated from GMU or lives in the suburbs is inferior?


3/01/2022 6:37 am  #111

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

BC wrote:

I suspect the acoustics in the Smith Center are not good for a lot of events.   Pretty boomy (is that a word)? if I recall correctly.

REM in 1986 was pretty damn decent as I recall.


3/01/2022 9:25 am  #112

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

I agree with most of the critical comments about the Eagle Bank arena, although I do like their band. One criticism that was omitted was the Smith Center has a superior scoreboard, although I do not find the seats at the Smitty to be particularly comfortable, especially in terms of leg room.   I have always been a big fan of the Smith Center, for numerous reasons.  Notwithstanding, the Eagle Bank Arena has a big time feel about that is lacking at the Smith Center, in my opinion.   And the Eagle Bank has greater food selections, although I agree on Dippin Dots.  On the other hand, there was a soft icecream option at the Eagle Bank Arena.


3/01/2022 11:34 am  #113

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

The final 4 banner in Mason's arena is also a nice touch.  We should consider one for the Smith Center.


9/08/2023 11:37 am  #114

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

New floor design has big GW over District map with the Capitol, White House, and a tall Washington Monument followed by small flags in the middle starting from end line facing season ticket sections and stretching from  each of the FT lines. New seats are padded though the last rows have significantly less leg room. Not sure how much room there is for taller people in the lower rows though it’s fine for me at 5’9” vertical. Huge difference is railing preventing access to floor similar to railing that already existed on student side.


9/08/2023 1:10 pm  #115

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

Sounds like some great updates! I know firsthand that the railing was an issue for those seated in the endzones.

Here are a series of tweets that showcase some of the updates:


9/08/2023 1:41 pm  #116

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

The Blue Seats crew is going to have to go up and around to get to the Club now instead of walking directly onto the floor!


9/08/2023 2:33 pm  #117

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

It would be nice if they could someday spring for cupholders.   I understand that they are going to have to widen the lane in order to fit "Revolutionaries".  


9/10/2023 5:29 pm  #118

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

GWU do us all a favor and go Local!!!!


9/22/2023 1:31 pm  #119

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

I feel like we already heard of this plan back in the JC days but glad to see it's progressing.

GW Hatchet with the story: Officials present plan to remodel Smith Center to ANC – The GW Hatchet

Director of Athletics Tonya Vogel, Community Relations Director Kevin Days, Assistant Vice President of Construction Management and Campus Planning Adam Aaronson and attorney Lee Templin presented a plan to fill the pool at the Smith Center to add an additional basketball court and cardio and weight stations for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Vogel said the construction of the new space will open up the main arena floor for the University’s other athletic programs.

Vogel said the Smith Center’s main arena is currently occupied between about 6 a.m. and 10 to 11:30 p.m. each day. She said the shallow end of the Smith Center pool poses challenges for the water polo team’s practices.

Aaronson said University officials plan to file a zoning application increasing the size of the Smith Center by 10 feet into G Street and making the addition 36 feet tall. Templin said the University will file its zoning application in mid-October.

The 2022 Mount Vernon Campus Plan outlines a plan to enclose the outdoor pool on that campus.

Last edited by GW0509 (9/22/2023 1:32 pm)


9/22/2023 3:58 pm  #120

Re: Smith Center Discussion + Renovations

Yes, this was started (actually promised by GW) when JC was hired. But GW put the thing on indefinite pause when COVID struck and then dragged their feet on a restart (above the athletic department). Kudos for CC for continuing to push and in my opinion not let GW do its usual "we will get to it one day" routine. This practice facility is 100% needed for two reasons ... first, so that GW can keep up with its fellow A-10 members and others as far as facilities and, second, so that GW has a dedicated practice space which has been a problem when the Smith Center is used for other events or HW is limited.


Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum