There are a few things that immediately come to mind when you think about Syracuse basketball. Some think of the 2003 National Championship. Others think of the legendary careers of Jim Boeheim, Pearl Washington or Dave Bing. However, one single thing has to come to represent the team and university more than just about anything else. That thing is the Carrier Dome.
The Loud House has come to symbolize the team and has long been regarded as one of the premier venues in all of college basketball. But just how high does it rank among some of the top and toughest places to play in the country? Well, Travel Channel seems to have an opinion about that.
It recently released its Sweet 16 of college basketball venues and SU fans should be pretty pleased with where the Dome ended up.
- Rupp Arena – Kentucky
- Allen Fieldhouse – Kansas
- Bud Walton Arena – Arkansas
- Carrier Dome – Syracuse
- University Arena – New Mexico
- Gallagher-Iba Arena – Oklahoma State
- Memorial Gym – Vanderbilt
- Pauley Pavilion – UCLA
- Cameron Indoor Stadium – Duke
- Maples Pavilion – Stanford
- Matthew Knight Arena – Oregon
- The Palestra – Penn
- The Dean Dome – UNC
- Hinkle Fieldhouse – Butler
- Assembly Hall – Indiana
- Dee Glen Smith Spectrum – Utah State
Being considered the fourth-best college basketball venue in the country is no small feat and there’s an argument to be made that it should be even higher than that. Both Rupp Arena and Allen Fieldhouse are pretty well-cemented as the top two arenas in the country (Rupp is the largest strictly basketball arena in the US and Allen is probably the loudest and the court is named after James Naismith).
However, you could definitely say that the Dome should be ahead of Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville. First of all, the Dome has way more history than the “Basketball Palace of Mid-America”. Walton was built in 1993, while the Dome was built in 1980. So between the time the Loud House opened its air-locked doors and the time that Walton went up, moments like the Pearl buzzer beater and three techs for Thompson had already happened. Not only that, but the Carrier Dome also has about 10,000 more sits available for basketball games than Walton does. That kind of seating capacity can make the Dome that much louder than Walton and, thus, a better environment to enjoy a game in and a tougher place to play for opponents.
On the other hand, Walton is newer and probably has a few more updated features than the Carrier Dome. But, as we all know, major improvements are on the way for the Loud House, so those updated features could certainly become more even in the near future and that would almost certainly move the Dome up the list.
Where do you think the Carrier Dome should fall on the list of the top college basketball venues in the country? Let us know on Twitter @OrangeFizz where you’ll always find the most up-to-date SU basketball, football and recruiting news.