Sports are a staple of any college experience, and that is no different here at Rutgers.
From a crisp fall Saturday afternoon at SHI Stadium on Busch campus to a cold winter Wednesday night at Jersey Mike’s Arena on Livingston campus to a spring day at Bainton Field also on Livingston campus, Rutgers has tons to offer in terms of sporting experiences.
Looking for some guidance on your favorite Rutgers sporting venue? Don't worry, we've got you covered. As the sports editors of The Daily Targum, we're here to give you the best things about each sporting venue at Rutgers before you begin your college career.
Jersey Mike’s Arena: The student section
Due in large part to the recent success of the Rutgers men’s basketball team, Jersey Mike’s Arena has turned into the place to be on campus once winter comes around.
Opened in 1977, the arena is built in the shape of a trapezoid, which helps make it one of the loudest venues in college basketball. Due to this environment, Jersey Mike’s Arena has promptly been given many nicknames, one of which being “the trapezoid of terror.”
As a new student on the Banks, it's a great idea to catch a basketball game in the arena’s student section. Here, you can meet new people, bounce around pool floats at halftime, cheer on the Scarlet Knights and be introduced to one of the most unique environments in college basketball.
If one thing is certain, it's that if you go to enough games at Jersey Mike’s Arena, you are bound to witness several great finishes.
The number of great moments that I have witnessed at Jersey Mike’s Arena cannot be counted on two hands, with some moments being Ron Harper Jr.’s game-winner against then-No. 1 Purdue, Rutgers’ come-from-behind win over then-No. 16 Ohio State and the Knights’ domination of Seton Hall in the 2019-20 season.
To make sure you are able to experience these moments, you will have to claim your student tickets. Pay attention to your Rutgers email this fall for the release of the student tickets for home games. They are gone in a flash!
Bainton Field: New features on the horizon
Just across the street from Jersey Mike’s Arena is Bainton Field, home of the Rutgers baseball team. Named after the late Ron Bainton, a 1962 graduate of Rutgers, Bainton Field became home to one of the hottest teams in college baseball last season.
From March 26 to April 19, the Scarlet Knights embarked on a program-best 16-game winning streak, with 12 of those wins coming at Bainton Field. Amid Rutgers’ historic season, the University announced significant upgrades, including a brand-new video board and lights, to Bainton Field coming this spring.
This is what I think the best part of Bainton Field is. For the first time ever, the Knights will be able to play home games at night, and fans will have a completely different new atmosphere. If you have free time in the spring, certainly take a trip to Livingston to catch a rising baseball program.
"We are extremely excited to be adding lights and a video board to enhance our baseball playing facilities," said head coach Steve Owens. "This will allow us tremendous flexibility for practice and games year-round as well as providing our growing fan base a much better experience to watch Big Ten baseball."
The College Avenue Gymnasium: It's got everything
Once the home of the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the College Avenue Gymnasium, commonly called the Barn, is now both a place where students can play pickup basketball and the home to the Rutgers volleyball team. Once you enter the old gym located at the heart of the College Avenue campus, you feel the history of the building.
My favorite part of the Barn is that it's a great place to blow off some steam. A basketball player myself, I have gone there plenty of times to work up a sweat and play some pickup basketball and play intramural games.
The Barn is also not just a place to play basketball. In addition, volleyball is set up from time to time, and students also take advantage of the space for other miscellaneous activities. It truly is an all-in-one place to meet people.
If you find yourself on College Avenue a lot, it's my recommendation to check out the Barn and take advantage of its perks!