As part of its College Basketball Season Preview (hat tip to Anthony Wireman), ESPN has listed the ten loudest arenas in college basketball. The list (which is part of a premium article that you cant read), is below and is actually fairly well done in my view. I have been to four of the top five arenas (never been to The Pit, but definitely want to go) and I would probably rank them exactly as ESPN has done. Allen Fieldhouse was part of our CBS tour last year and is an amazing building that can get CRAZY loud when the fans are worked up. For my money, it is the best place to watch a college game that I have attended. Cameron Indoor is second because of the small size and the close proximity to the court for the students and Rupp comes next because of the sheer number of people who get loud for a game. Rupp should be #1, but so long as the bedazzled sweaters are down low, it wont quite match the intensity of the top two.
Also, major props for including Pitt and Oklahoma State, two arenas often forgotten. I would probably throw in Wake Forest and Michigan State as two arenas I have visited that can burst the eardrums during the right setting. The one missing? North Carolina, which has the worst “noise to fan interest” ratio in the country. For a program with so much history, the games there might as well be played in a library.
1. Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas
2. Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke
3. Rupp Arena, Kentucky
4. UNM Arena (The Pit), New Mexico
5. O’Connel Center, Florida
6. Peterson Event Center, Pittsburgh
7. Bramlage Coliseum, Kansas State
8. Assembly Hall, Illinois
9. Gallagher-Iba Arena, Oklahoma State
10. Matthew Knight Arena, Oregon