- Joseph Oakes
Cassell Coliseum – Virginia Tech Hokies
Photos by Joseph Oakes, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14
Cassell Coliseum 675 Washington Street, SW Blacksburg, VA 24061
Year Opened: 1962
The Hokies “Cassell”
Virginia Tech first started playing basketball at Cassell Coliseum in 1962. It is not only the home of the men’s basketball team, but also women’s basketball, volleyball, and wrestling. Virginia Tech has bounced around conferences over the past 30+ years, playing in the Metro Conference, Atlantic 10, and Big East. Since 2004, Virginia Tech has found a home in the ACC. This move gradually brought new life into the program, and the Hokies even won the ACC in 2022 With Tech’s recent basketball success, the argument can be made that Cassell Coliseum is now one of the toughest places to play in the ACC.
Food & Beverage 3
Cassell Coliseum offers standard concession fare, just enough to get you by, but nothing special. The following are offered at the concession stands Hot Dogs ($2.50), Nachos ($2.50), Soft Pretzel ($2.50), popcorn ($2.50), candy ($4), peanuts ($4), and chips ($2.30). Fountain Coca-Cola beverages are offered for $6 for a large and $2.50 for a regular size. Dasani bottled water is also available for $2.50. Cassell Coliseum is a cashless venue so only credit and debit cards are accepted at concession stands.
Upon entering Cassell Coliseum, you are immediately greeted by Hokie Stone which is so predominant on campus. The seating bowl is a single level and you enter about halfway up. All seats are fold-down cushioned seats. One unique factor of the seating bowl is the steepness of the seats. Therefore, all seats are essentially right on top of the court. Be aware though that it is a steep climb up the steps, especially if you are sitting near the top. Since there is only a single seating bowl, there are no suites or premium seating areas. This does not take away from the atmosphere, however; as the fans are right on the court, and all the noise and energy create a loud environment.
There are two 18 feet x 29 feet video boards above each goal. These do a great job of providing video replays and updating the score. All students plus the band sit behind one of the goals. They are known as the Cassell Guard and are constantly jumping and chanting, which provides a great home-court advantage for the Hokies.
Due to the design of Cassell Coliseum, there is not a bad seat in the house. However, if you are scared of heights, we recommend sitting in the lower half of the coliseum due to the steepness of the seating bowl.
Since it is in the middle of campus there is not much to do within walking distance of the ballpark before or after a game. However, Virginia Tech’s campus is gorgeous with its rolling hills, sidewalks, and Hokie stone. Lane Stadium is right next door to Cassell Coliseum, and it is worth a walk around if you have never been. If it is your first time on campus, try to spend some time walking around campus. Be sure to stop by the April 16th Memorial near the Drillfield dedicated to the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting.
If you take a stroll down Main Street Blacksburg, you will find several food options including local eateries as well as chain restaurants such as the Maroon Door, Mellow Mushroom, Five Guys, and Jimmy Johns. If you like the outdoors, this is the place for you as there are many activities in the surrounding mountains like hiking and canoeing.
Home2Suites is less than a mile from campus and is a great place to stay if you are in town overnight. There are also several other hotels around Blacksburg and Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech fans are known for their passion for football, but their passion for basketball is no less. For ACC games expect close to a capacity crowd each game. Every ACC game was sold out in 2022-23. And did we mention that Cassell can get loud? The steepness of the seating bowl and the close confines of the building make it loud when the fans get into the game. Expect to hear one side of the crowd to chant “LET’S GO” and the other side “HOKIES” at several points throughout the game.
Virginia Tech’s campus is easily accessible from I-81, about 10 miles away on US 460. Take the Southgate Dr. exit off of US 460, then turn left onto Beamer Way. Cassell Coliseum will be on your right just past Lane Stadium. Parking is available adjacent to Lane Stadium just across Southgate Dr. Be sure to use the app indicated on the signs to pay for parking, which is $6. It is about a 5-minute walk to the Coliseum. Be aware that a clear bag policy is in place, and it is well enforced. If you do not have one, they are available for sale at the CVS Pharmacy next to campus and at the Walmart in Christiansburg.
Once inside, there is a single concourse that wraps underneath the seating bowl. One thing to keep in mind as you look for your seats, odd-numbered seats are located on one side of the aisle, and even-numbered are on the other side. The restroom and concession areas are all very clean, and easily accessible on the concourse. Handicapped accessible seating is located in several seating sections as you enter the seating bowl.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets for non-conference games are $20. For higher-profile ACC games, tickets are $50; while for lower-profile games they are $30. This may seem a little steep, but compared to their ACC peers, this is quite a deal. Often tickets for many games can be found at lower prices on the secondary market. Concessions at Cassell are also more affordable compared to their peers.
At many sporting events, it is often difficult to get pictures with or even get close to the mascot. But credit to Virginia Tech for having the Hokie Bird mascot walk around and take pictures with young fans on the concourse before the game.
A second extra point for the fun in-game promotions. One of these is free Smithfield Bacon: if the opponent misses two straight free throws in the second half, everyone in attendance receives a coupon for free Smithfield Bacon.
A third extra point to the free popcorn that is available once the gates are opened. Arrive early and you will get free popcorn.
A fourth extra is for the family restrooms which is helpful for those with small kids.
Cassell Coliseum is old, cramped, and probably not on anybody’s list of ACC basketball meccas; however, the intimateness adds to the charm. When attending a game at Virginia Tech, you will find a passionate fan base, a loud arena, and some of the top basketball in the country.