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Start of UConn - JSU Round One Game
Start of UConn - JSU Round One Game
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Life > Experiences

Camping Out In The Basketball Capital Of The World

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

As a University of Connecticut student, it is hard not to get involved in sporting events and activities since there are many amazing athletic teams here in Storrs. Watching both UConn women’s and men’s basketball games at Gampel Pavilion is lighting in a bottle. Now as UConn students, we have a unique opportunity to see top-tier talent grace the courts for free in the coveted student section. Many other Division I schools charge students to watch the game in their courts, but not UConn. While claiming a student ticket is tricky, once you have it, there’s no better feeling. The fan favorite for students is sitting in the lower bowl of the student section because it’s where we get the newspapers to troll the opposition, roll out the UConn flag, and have a closer viewing of the game. The lower bowl is difficult to sit in because everyone is aiming for that section. Therefore my article reflects on my experience camping outside Gampel Pavilion five hours before the game to secure lower bowl seats for the NCAA Tournament Second Round UConn vs. Syracuse on March 25, 2024.


I’ve seen plenty of students camping outside Gampel Pavilion during my four years, ranging between hours before or the night before the game. While I did not camp out in the traditional sense in a tent, I did bring blankets to sit on and keep warm. I brought a bag with some snacks and my computer to pass the time. I was inspired by these fellow camping students because this game was my last time seeing a UConn basketball game as a student. To be able to watch an NCAA tournament game in the special lower bowl section was my ultimate goal.


Now, I will discuss key takeaways from this experience. First, notably, I joined the few students who were there before me. At this point around 12:30 pm, there were no clear lines and everyone was scattered around trying to stay in the sun to avoid being cold. Several news crews were parked outside and would film a B-roll of us students as we camped outside. Oftentimes they would interview students asking them about their excitement and hopes for the game. In addition to news crews, creative athletic interns filmed content to show UConn loyalty and hype. As time passed, CSC rolled out tables and metal detectors which organized students to sit in a line behind these items. A common theme was that students take shifts sitting in line for friends. I noticed several students changing positions once they checked in with their friends which is funny and resourceful.

In Sum

Now the biggest annoyance was the giant groups of people who claimed to join friends at the beginning of the line, adding chaos to the structure. This made it very frustrating. There is a big difference between crowds cutting the line and having a few friends join you in line. Despite this, I was still able, with a little anxiety, to claim seats in the lower bowl with my friends to enjoy the UConn win against Syracuse. I would highly recommend this experience at least once in your time as a student because it’s so unique to wait with other motivated Huskies to have a great viewing of the game. Roll Skies! 

Emily Clifford is a writer for Her Campus UConn. She enjoys writing about her unique experiences at college and other topics such as career, culture, and lifestyle. Emily is also the Marketing Vice Chair of SUBOG's Digital Entertainment and Films Committee and Vice President of Media for UConn CHAARG. Emily is working at the UConn Center for Career Development as a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Ambassador this school year. During her free time, Emily loves to read contemporary romance and fantasy novels, taking spin and barre classes, and baking. She is a huge fan of the NY Islanders and of sailing. One of favorite podcasts is Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend.