Penn Quakers Overview

Fast facts

League: Division I (NCAA)

Head Coach: Steve Donahue

Team Mascot: Quaker

Year Opened: 1927

Capacity: 8725

City / State: Philadelphia / Pennsylvania

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

Penn Quakers Basketball vs Princeton Tigers

Rival Team: Princeton Tigers

Penn and Princeton are the two most successful basketball programs in the Ivy League and as a result, have developed a fierce rivalry over the years. The rivalry is particularly intense since the Ivy League typically only receives one NCAA Tournament bid each year giving each and every matchup extra importance. There is always a lot at stake when the Quakers and Tigers square-off, so make sure to be in attendance when Princeton comes to the Palestra.

Philadelphia Big 5

Rival Team: Villanova Wildcats, Temple Owls, Saint Joseph's Hawks, La Salle Explorers

Philadelphia’s Big 5 consists of the Villanova, Temple, St. Joseph’s, Penn, and La Salle and is one of the best multi-team rivalries in college sports. The Big 5 dates back to 1955 and originally was created to showcase Philadelphia’s basketball talent and raise money for the Palestra. The proximity of the schools means there is a lot of bragging rights on the line whenever these teams meet, so don’t miss the matchups between these schools.

Battle of 33rd Street

Rival Team: Drexel Dragons

The Battle of 33rd Street between Penn and Drexel is the closest geographical rivalry in college sports. Not only are the team’s arena only a couple of blocks away, but the university’s campuses actually border each other. The two teams have met every year since the 1996-97 season, and each matchup is a must-see for Penn basketball fans.

Penn Quakers Stadium Guide

In Game

The historic Palestra should be on the bucket list of any college hoops fan and is home to the best game day experience in the Ivy League. The Palestra itself is worth the trip to see a Penn basketball game as the place oozes with history. The venue is one of the oldest college basketball arenas in the nation and has hosted more college basketball games than any other venue. At the Palestra, you’ll find tons of displays honoring the long and incredible history of the facility. There are exhibits all around the concourse celebrating the history of the Palestra and Penn basketball, so arrive early and check them all out.

The history of the Palestra isn’t the only thing that makes attending a Penn basketball game an excellent experience. The Quakers fan support is also among the best around as well. The student section known as The Red and Blue Crew pulls out all the stops to support the Quakers and their rollouts are a must-see for anyone in attendance.

The University City neighborhood where the Palestra is located offers lots of food and drink options. Take some time before or after the game to stop by and grab a drink from one of the local favorites including the New Deck Tavern.

You can’t beat a Penn game at the Palestra as the arena is one of the oldest and most famous in college basketball making it a must-see for any college hoops fan.

Things to check out

Big 5 Hall of Fame

The Palestra has served as the home of Philadelphia Big 5 matchups since 1955, so make sure to check out the Big 5 Hall of Fame during your visit to the Palestra. The Hall of Fame honors the best players in Penn, Villanova, Temple, St. Joseph’s, and La Salle history making it a must-see for any college hoops fan.

play Watch video

All-Time Record Against Princeton

If you’re a Penn basketball fan, make sure to check out the sign that displays the Quakers all-time record against Princeton. Penn-Princeton is one of the best rivalries in the Ivy League, so take some time to see the display when attending a game at the Palestra.

Penn and Palestra History on the Concourse

The Palestra concourse is a full-fledged museum dedicated to the history of the Palestra and Penn basketball. Arrive early and explore the concourse before the game to get the most out of your trip to the historic Palestra.


The Palestra is home to tons of banners celebrating the rich history of Penn basketball and college basketball in the city of Philadelphia. Take in all of the banners hanging from the rafters to see all the history that has taken place here over the years.

play Watch video

Penn Pep Band

Enjoy the musical stylings of the Penn Pep Band when attending a Quakers basketball game. The band is a big part of what makes attending a Penn basketball game such a special experience, so enjoy the show during your visit to the Palestra.

play Watch video

Red and Blue Crew

The rabid Penn student section known as the Red and Blue Crew is arguably the best in the Ivy League. These diehard go all out to support their team with cheers, costumes, and all kinds of other antics. Keep an eye out for the Red and Blue Crew as you never know what they’ll come up with next.


Before each game the Red and Blue Crew rolls out a sign displaying a disparaging message towards the opposition. The Red and Blue Crew has a new rollout for each game meaning you’ll never see the same one twice when attending a Penn game.


The Penn students used to throw streamers on the court following the first Quakers basketball. Unfortunately, the tradition was banned, but you can still see them throw streamers after a Quakers victory, so look for the streamers if Penn takes home the W.

Fight Songs

  1. “Fight on Pennsylvania”

    Fight on,
    put the ball
    across the line.
    Fight, you
    there it goes,
    across this time.
    Red and Blue
    we’re with you,
    and we’re cheering
    for your men.
    Then fight, fight, fight,
    fight for Penn.

    Cheer Pennsylvania
    Cheer Pennsylvania,
    cheer evermore!
    We’re here to see
    the Red and Blue
    score and score
    And when we give
    a resounding hoorah!
    Ever loyal to
    old Pennsylvania.

  2. “The Red and Blue”

    Come all ye loyal classmen now,
    in hall and campus through,
    Lift up your hearts and voices for
    the royal Red and Blue.
    Fair Harvard has her crimson,
    Old Yale her colors too
    But for dear Pennsylvania
    We wear the Red and Blue.
    Hurrah! Hurrah! Pennsylvani-I-ah!
    Hurrah for the Red and Blue!
    Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!
    Hurrah for the Red and Blue!

  3. “Hail! Pennsylvania"

    Hail! Pennsylvania, noble and strong;
    To thee loyal hearts we raise our song.
    Swelling to Heaven loud, our praises ring;
    Hail! Pennsylvania, of thee we sing!
    Majesty as a crown rests on thy brow;
    Pride, Honor, Glory, Love before thee bow.
    Ne’er can thy spirit die, thy walls decay;
    Hail! Pennsylvania, for thee we pray!
    Hail! Pennsylvania! guide of our youth;
    Lead thee thy children on to light and truth;
    Thee, when death summons us, others shall praise,
    Hail! Pennsylvania, thro’ endless days.

  4. “Drink a Highball”

    Drink a highball
    at nightfall,
    be good fellows
    while you may.
    For tomorrow
    may bring sorrow,
    so tonight
    let’s all be gay.
    Tell the story
    of glory of
    Drink a highball
    and be jolly;
    here’s a toast
    to dear old Penn.

  5. “The Field Cry of Penn”

    Hang Jeff Davis on a sour apple tree,
    Down went McGinty to the bottom of the sea,
    She’s my Annie and I’m her Joe,
    So listen to my tale of –
    WHOA! Any ice today, lady? No?
    Gitty up.

    Penn-syl, Penn-syl, Penn-syl-va-nia,
    Penn-syl, Penn-syl, Penn-syl-va-nia,
    Penn-syl, Penn-syl, Penn-syl-va-nia,
    Oh, Pennsylvania.

  6. Let’s Go Quakers!

    Let’s Go Quakers!

Penn Quakers Bars & Restaurants

  1. The Sidecar Bar & Grille

    The Sidecar Bar Grille

    We offer dozens of craft beers, plenty of good food and a friendly atmosphere that warms the soul.

    2201 Christian St, Philadelphia, PA 19146, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  2. Grace Tavern

    Graces Tavern

    Southern-leaning New American fare in a restored space with original 1930s pressed-tin ceilings.

    2229 Grays Ferry Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19146, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  3. Local 44


    20 rotating craft beers on tap accompany burgers & pub grub with vegan options in a low-key hangout.

    4333 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  4. The New Deck Tavern

    Alcohol Bottles

    A lot of draft beers, quiz nights & pub grub draw a strong student crowd to this old-school pub.

    3408 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  5. Landmark Americana

    Landmark Americana

    Collegians down beer & bar fare in a busy space with sports on TV & daily specials.

    3333 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  6. Blarney Stone


    Local hangout for a mostly college crowd offering burgers & brews along with karaoke & pool.

    Literacy Research Centers, 3929 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  7. Millcreek Tavern

    Beer glass

    This easygoing 2-story watering hole hosts live music on the main floor & offers billiards upstairs.

    4200 Chester Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  8. Smokey Joe’s


    A standby for UPenn students since 1933, this old-school tavern focuses on beer, drinks & pizza.

    210 S 40th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  9. Copabanana


    Busy bar & sidewalk cafe that pairs flavored margaritas with Mexican-American plates.

    4000 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  10. White Dog Cafe

    White Dog Cafe

    Boisterous doggy-themed restaurant serving eclectic fare made with local & organic ingredients.

    3420 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA

    Bar website

    cafe - $$

  11. Baby Blues BBQ

    Baby Blues

    BBQ joint serving ribs & other meat-centric fares in a quirky space within a repurposed brownstone.

    3432 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

    Bar website

    bbq - $$

  12. Cavanaugh’s Restaurant & Sports Bar


    Neighborhood saloon offering draft beer, weekend brunch, classic pub grub & college sports on TV.

    119 S 39th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

    Bar website

    sportsbar - $$

  13. City Tap House

    City tap house

    City Tap House is the Premier Dining Destination in University City. Offering New American Pub Fare & 60 taps, the Gastropub leaves nothing to be desired.

    The Radian, 3925 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$