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  • Richard Smith

A.C. Jordan Arena - Bowie State Bulldogs

Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.71

A.C. Jordan Arena

14000 Jericho Park Rd

Bowie, MD 20715

Year Opened: 1973 Capacity: 2,200


Bulldogs In Bowie

Bowie State University is a public Historically Black College and University (HBCU) located in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Bowie State is Maryland’s oldest historically black university and one of the ten oldest in the country, opening in 1865.

In 1963, Bowie State College was officially named and in 1988 became a university. It is now a member of the University System of Maryland. The school has 22 undergraduate majors, 19 master’s programs, and two doctoral programs.

A few members of the singing family, the Braxtons, have attended Bowie State. Christa McAuliffe, one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, got a Master’s degree at Bowie. The sports team at Bowie is called the Bulldogs. They compete in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, at the NCAA Division II level.

The A.C. Jordan Arena is a part of the larger Leonidas S. James Physical Education Complex and has a stated capacity of 2,200 although not all the seats seem to ever be in use.

Food & Beverage 2

There is a simple food stand but I was fairly impressed. One would have had no problem grabbing a hot dog, nachos, or another snack at this well-stocked stand.

Atmosphere 3

The arena seems like a small version of the Towson Center, the former home of the Towson University athletics program. There are many architectural similarities, with the exterior entrance and other interior features being identical. With both being opened in the 1970s, there must have been some state contracts in play here.

There is an external box office in front of the Leonidas S. James Physical Education Complex to buy tickets.

The venue holds 2,200 but it looks like only one side of seating is being used. Not sure if this has always been the case, or if it is a holdover from Covid. You will enter the arena at court level and proceed to your seats by way of the endlines.

On both sides, there are lower and upper sections of seats, with the upper deck having a slightly obstructed view of the sidelines of the basketball court. The PA announcer was very hard to make out and the sound could often be distorted.

There was a cheer/dance squad to enhance the atmosphere. There is no overhanging scoreboard, but there are video boards on both ends of the arena. They do not display much in terms of info, with both showing the video of active game action rather than stats.

Neighborhood 3

There is nothing too exciting about the residential Bowie neighborhood near the university. Not too far away is a major highway (US Route 301) and is near many shopping centers and fast-food restaurants. Baltimore is 30 miles away, DC 18 miles away, and Annapolis 15 miles away, so you should not be limited by the uninspiring suburban choices right near the school.

Poncho n’ Pepe’s Cantina in Crofton doesn’t have the most exciting food selection, but is a colorful restaurant with many foods and drink specials for pre and post-game gatherings. Rip’s Country Inn is a longtime family restaurant that is very close to the stadium. If you need solid quality good food, this is a great option. Comfort Inn on Crain Highway is a decent hotel option.

Fans 3

Bowie has a decent number of resident students, but there is also a good commuter student base, so the attendance from students may differ from game to game.

The fans who attend seem to do a good job of providing a good atmosphere for the teams.

Access 3

Access is good at Bowie State. Sitting near US Route 301, US Route 50, and State Route 3, one should have no problem getting to the game. Traffic can be a bear at times, as this intersection is right between the triangle of Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington, DC. Plan a little leeway in timing for early evening games.

Parking is close to the complex, although if classes are in session you may have to walk further away.

Return on Investment 3

The ticket prices are not too bad starting at around $20. The Division II caliber of play makes this an okay value.


Extras 2

There are a couple of nice display cases in the lobby displaying past successes of various Bowie State athletic programs.

Many banners are hanging from the roof of the A.C. Jordan Arena that continues the display of athletic success. It is nice to see the many bowing banners, as that is one of Bowie State’s most successful teams.

Final Thoughts

The arena here at Bowie State University is not fancy, but the good level of Division II basketball put on display here at this nice venue is worth the small price of admission.

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