There’s Fenway Park in MLB and Lambeau Field in the NFL. In the NBA, there’s the iconic Madison Square Garden, and in college football you’ve got The Big House, the Rose Bowl and a collection of other legendary venues.
Here are five more hoops havens that you must experience in person.
The Carrier Dome gets points for participation. Syracuse’s home court can seat almost 40,000 people for basketball, and when a rival like Georgetown comes to town, there aren’t many better atmospheres in college basketball.
The Carrier Dome opened in 1980 and has played host to several great teams and players. The multi-purpose structure is always near the top of the college basketball hierarchy as far as attendance goes, and more years than not, opponents are greeted by a stifling 2-3 zone and a rowdy bunch of basketball lovers that bleed orange.
Hinkle was mentioned in our first five venues every basketball fan must attend, and its history in both college hoops and pop culture is unparalleled.
The Butler Bulldogs’ home arena played host to the championship game in the movie ‘Hoosiers’ and is located in the heart of a state that is crazy about basketball. And we haven’t even mentioned the Dawg Pound, one of the most rabid student sections in college sports.
ESPN College GameDay was sure glad it trekked to Hinkle a few years ago for a Butler game against Gonzaga, because when it did, this happened:
Otherwise known as ‘The Cathedral of College Basketball,’ this is a must-see for college hoops enthusiasts. Currently home to the Penn Quakers, The Palestra has hosted more games than any other facility in college basketball.
The Palestra was completed all the way back in 1927. The final score of its first game? A 26-15 Penn win over Yale. Talk about a barn-burner.
Originally, the Philadelphia Big 5 (Penn, St. Joseph’s, Temple, La Salle and Villanova) all played their games at The Palestra. That has since changed, but the immaculate history in one of college basketball’s most iconic buildings remains.
Home to the Arizona Wildcats, the McKale Center is one of the best places to watch a college basketball game in the country. It opened in 1973 and has been the Wildcats’ home ever since.
Arizona has won five conference championships and reached four Final Fours since the McKale Center opened.
Dayton’s basketball arena kind of takes after its team’s persona – consistently one of the best in the country, but not always recognized as such.
Since 2001, UD Arena has played a major role in hosting the NCAA tournament. That was the first year it hosted the annual play-in game, and when the tournament expanded in 2011, the venue hosted all of the First Four games.
And its fans sure know how to make some noise. Whether it’s to take in a Flyers or an NCAA tournament game, UD Arena is certainly worth the trip.