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  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

Cotterell Court – Colgate Raiders

Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Cotterell Court 201 Broad St. Hamilton, NY 13346

Year Opened: 1959

Capacity: 1,750


Guardians of the Gate

Cotterell Court is home to the Colgate University men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams. It is part of the larger Reid Athletic Center, which contains both the basketball gym and the former J. Howard Starr Rink, which housed the Raiders hockey teams until 2016. The two facilities, built as twin Quonset Huts, are joined by a common lobby. Cotterell Court was dedicated in 1966 in honor of Wesley M. Cotterell, class of 1919, who was a two-time letterman and university trustee.

Colgate competes in the Patriot League alongside nine other northeastern schools with high academic standards. The Raiders have qualified for four NCAA tournaments, losing in the first round each time. Four Colgate alumni have played in the NBA, including Ernie Vandeweghe and Adonal Foyle.

Food & Beverage 2

There is a small concession stand in the main lobby which serves a limited menu. Hot dogs, nachos, pretzels, popcorn, cookie dough, and assorted candy comprise the entire menu. Prices are what you would expect to see in a venue of this size, and the quality is decent enough. Coca-Cola products are featured at Cotterell Court, served in both cans and fountain versions. Alcohol is not served in this on-campus facility.

Atmosphere 3

When you step into this small, cozy gym without a ton of modern amenities, you shouldn’t expect an over-the-top game day experience. What you are going to get is an old-school presentation that gets energy from the fans and the action on the court. Anything else just wouldn’t feel right here.

When Cotterell Court is filled, it’s a rowdy, electric place to be. Unfortunately, since the place is generally less than half-full, there’s usually a laid-back vibe here. There’s no video board to distract, so all the focus is on the court. Colgate’s cheerleading squad performs throughout the game, throwing t-shirts into the stands after every Colgate three-pointer.

The student section is located under the west basket and can get pretty rowdy when it’s filled with undergrads. For the most part, the students are scattered throughout the facility. Cotterell Court isn’t the loudest gym you’ll ever visit, and the lousy PA system doesn’t help matters.

Neighborhood 3

Hamilton is a small town (well, technically a village) of only 4,000, so don’t expect a bustling downtown area, even on game night. What the area lacks in size, it more than makes up for in quaintness and small-town feel. There is a small downtown about a mile from the gym with a historic feel that’s a great place to stroll on a nice fall day.

If looking for dining options, the Colgate Inn is located in a 200-year-old building and has been serving up great food for almost 90 years. You can also stay there. It is an inn, after all. Sports fans will want to visit Rusch’s Bar and Grill, where 20 beers on tap highlight a menu full of burgers, sandwiches, and pub fare.

Do yourself a favor while visiting Colgate and tour the incredible campus. It’s consistently rated as one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with a picturesque hillside location and singular architectural language.

Fans 2

Colgate averages about 700 fans per game, less than half the capacity of Cotterell Court. This figure is also less than half the Patriot League average. While the fans do turn up for the big games, there’s usually plenty of room to spread out here at Colgate.

The fans who visit Cotterell Court are made up of locals and alumni with a decent turnout by the student body. It is said that the majority of the faculty of Colgate University lives within ten miles of campus, and it feels that the same can be said about the crowd at a basketball game. Since the Raiders are the only game in town, the fans who show up are dedicated and knowledgeable about the team down on the court.

The student section is located on the north end of the gym, where a few rows of bleachers are located right under the basket. Stadium Journey visited Colgate for the semifinals of the Patriot League tournament, so the section was packed with rowdy students. Much of the student body chose to spread out throughout the gym, creating a festive environment. The crowd is much sparser throughout the regular season.

Access 4

Colgate University is located in rural Hamilton, New York, a village of just over 4,000 residents located in the Leatherstocking region of New York state. It is almost equidistant to the cities of Syracuse, Utica, and Binghamton. Hamilton is not a place you will stumble across accidentally. No highways serve the area directly, with Interstate 90 passing by about 30 minutes to the north and Interstate 88 about 40 minutes to the south.

Cotterell Court is part of the Reid Athletic Center, a pair of Quonset Huts connected by a shared lobby. The Reid Center is located on the western edge of campus, adjacent to the school’s other athletic facilities, including the Class of 1965 Arena and Andy Kerr Stadium.

Fans will enter the facility on the east (Broad Street) side into the main lobby. This small lobby is full of activity, with the concession stand, ticket booths, souvenir stand, and restrooms all scattered around. A giant Colgate “C” will be located directly in front of you, filled with Raider memorabilia. You will also see photos of all Colgate seniors posted around the lobby. There is plenty to see here before entering the gym, which is located to the right as you enter.

Fans will enter Cotterell Court on the south side of the gym. You will enter just a few feet from the court, so you may have to dodge errant basketballs or players upon entry. Reserved seating will be located on your right and general admission on your left. All seats have excellent views of the court, if not a whole lot of legroom.

Return on Investment 5

Tickets to Colgate basketball games are very affordable, with reserved seating priced at $20 for adults and $10 for seniors and children. A General Admission ticket will cost $10, with seniors and children admitted for only $5. Group pricing starts at only $4 per ticket.

Parking is free in the lots adjacent to the Reid Athletic Center. With inexpensive concessions, a trip to a Colgate basketball game is a very affordable entertainment option for central New York sports fans.

Extras 3

Extra points are awarded for the sense of history at Cotterell Court and the Reid Athletic Center. From the time you step foot inside the facility, you are bombarded with Colgate athletic history. You could get lost checking out all the displays in the lobby, from the giant C-shaped trophy case located front and center to the smaller cases scattered throughout the lobby. Don’t get so distracted you forget to watch the game. Inside Cotterell Court, banners hang honoring the many championship teams to call the gym home.

A final extra point is awarded for the beautiful Colgate campus. Do yourself a favor and get to Hamilton early and check out the campus’ architecture in this incredible setting.

Final Thoughts

A visit to the village of Hamilton may feel like a trip back in time, and that’s precisely part of the appeal of a visit to central New York. Classic architecture, an old-school barn, and a laid-back gameday presentation combine to make Colgate one of those Stadium Journeys that make traveling the D-1 landscape so worthwhile.


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