As football season winds down, basketball season is just starting to tip off across the country. From coast to coast, Pac-12 to ACC, fans and students alike are starting to flock to arenas on college campuses to take in a game in one of college’s most unpredictable sports. From week to week, game to game, you never know when a spark might hit a team and start a fiery streak to cause an upset. Athlon Sports selected the top places in the nation to cheer on a team from half court, the student section or anywhere inside. We’ve helped you out by picking some of the do-not-miss arenas to visit this basketball season.
If you travel a lot from Dallas in the heart of Big 12 country, you can’t start a list of the greatest college basketball venues without starting with Allen Fieldhouse at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. If you’ve never been to a game at what Jayhawk fans lovingly refer to as “The Phog,” you haven’t experienced true basketball fandom. Inside, there isn’t a seat high or low that doesn’t seem like it’s directly on the court, and when fans start the Jayhawk chant of “Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU,” it’s almost eerie. If you’re lucky enough to score a ticket to Allen Fieldhouse, you’re in for a treat. But don’t expect for the tickets to come cheap. Die hard fans can’t even get a ticket to an exhibition game without shelling out a few hundred dollars. Kansas is one of the winningest basketball programs in the NCAA, and with a Big 12 championship streak of 10 years in a row, it’s easy to see why fans go all out inside The Phog.
Or if you’re in Atlanta and like to see ACC games in action, you can’t have a list of great basketball venues without mentioning NCAA powerhouse Duke. Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina has long been considered one of the toughest places to play a game - and it has also been the home of several huge ACC showdown games between Duke and North Carolina, NC State, Syracuse or any other ACC foe. If it tells you anything about how a home crowd can sway the results of a game: in the history of games at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke has won 800 and only lost 153. That’s an 84% winning percentage. Plus, Cameron Indoor doesn’t hold as many fans as other large venues, so 9,000 fans are in close quarters to cheer on the Blue Devils and legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Or maybe you’re a Mountain West fan in San Diego and travel a lot to cheer on the Aztecs. Outside of the big conferences and places you might expect to see listed, The Pit at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque also reigns as one of the best college basketball arenas in the country. The Pit is called that because the court sits 37 feet below street level. So when you enter the building, you enter on the upper tiers and have to walk down stairs to get to seats close to the court. Since The Pit opened, it has consistently piled in the fans with one of the best sell-out percentages in college basketball. It’s also noted as one of the loudest places to play as Lobo fans create echoes and a highly distracting environment for teams not used to playing there. New Mexico is also an intimidating place to play due to its altitude, as players not used to the over mile-high elevation complaining of light headedness and inability to play their best.
These are just a few of the great spots to catch a basketball game this season, and we are sure you have your favorite arena we didn’t mention. To help get you to your favorite venue this season, we’ve created the Starting Lineup Special. Check out the special online or give us a call at 1-800-272-0633. Don’t forget to use or mention promo code SPORTS to receive up to 10% off your charter bus or limo rental to your favorite sporting event.