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Kentucky’s Rupp Arena named the best of all 351 Division I arenas

Apr 3, 2014, 9:13 PM EDT

Kentucky enters the the Final Four as the lowest seed remaining. While the Wildcats are two wins away from the program’s ninth National Title — the second in three years under head coach John Calipari — Big Blue Nation has already secured a top spot this April.

On Thursday, Rupp Arena, named after Kentucky’s legendary coach, was called the best arena in college basketball, according to a complete list of all 351 Division I teams from Rounding out the list at No. 351 is Reitz Arena, home to Loyola (MD).

According to the site, constructing this list was a four-year process, using the following criteria:

Our reviews are based on several categories including: food & beverage in the arena, the overall atmosphere, the neighborhood in which the arena resides, the fans, the access (including traffic, parking, restrooms, and ability to move around in the arena), overall return on investment, and a catchall category for any extras.

The site’s top 10 went accordingly:

1. Rupp Arena, Kentucky

2. Carrier Dome, Syracuse

3. FedEx Forum, Memphis

4. CenturyLink Center, Creighton

5. Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, Utah State

6. Phog Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas

7. Crisler Center, Michigan

8. The Pit, New Mexico

9. Dean E. Smith Center, North Carolina

10. Frank Erwin Special Events Center, Texas

It’s hard to argue with the history and tradition of Rupp Arena and the University of Kentucky. The list is very interesting, though. G.B. Hodge Center, home to USC Upstate, which is an arena smaller than some high school gymnasiums, was high in the rankingsĀ No. 15. The home court for Rutgers, Penn State and DePaul fell in order at 335, 336, and 337 on the list. Those three arenas were the lowest on the list for power conferences.

  1. djshnooks - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    Over the Carrier Dome?

    Haha that is hilarious…the dome can fit 2-3 times as many people…rotate the court and they could fit something like 40,000!

    Kentucky’s 18,000 is cute and all, but sorry, it can’t compare. This is bias at its finest.

    • ukcatsfan - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:33 AM

      Rupp Arena hold 24,000 not 18,000, can we please start with actual facts? The Carrier Dome holds a lot of empty seats night in and night out. The only time they come close to filling them is when it’s big rival game or just a big name school.

    • shakau2 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      Idiot! At least try to know a little something of what you’re talking about. I could care less about UK & have never been inside Rupp Arena. However, I’ve been in University of Tennessee’s 24,000 seat arena, and the Dean Dome. Unlike your football building Carrier Dome, these basketball mansions are amazing. I’m sure Rupp is awesome, too.

    • bbn4life00 - May 25, 2014 at 7:36 PM

      Jealous as always! Facts don’t lie son, deal with it!

    • bbn4life00 - May 25, 2014 at 7:43 PM

      Carrier Dome? Are you on crack!!! That dump shouldn’t even be top 50!

  2. adoughty88 - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    This is pathetic. Utah St has tons of open seats every night. Memphis is a crappy atmosphere with fans sitting on their hands. Allen Fieldhouse is clearly the best. Idiots

  3. anythingbutyanks - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    Well, hey! How ’bout that! Maybe Rupp doesn’t need a $250M publicly funded face lift after all! Someone needs to make sure that Mayor Gray is aware of this list. Yes, the outside of the building looks like a cardboard box, but that isn’t really creating any other kind of substantial problems- especially not $250M worth.

  4. cgooch11 - Apr 4, 2014 at 12:58 AM

    Rupp Arena holds 24,000 dufus. 18,000? Do some research bro.

  5. lawson1974 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:16 AM

    Atmosphere must be the overwhelming criteria. The place is special for its history and how it feels with 23,000 screaming fans, but the actual arena is a deteriorating dump.

  6. bballnut50 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:39 AM

    Really, the Barn was not in the top 10? Please can we respect history just a little for once?

  7. jjpt4540 - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:15 AM

    Rupp’s bleacher seats suck. Sitting through the tourney there for 2 days were terrible.

  8. maxximus02 - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:34 AM

    No Duke or Indiana? Pretty useless rankings

  9. vols84 - Apr 4, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Why is Missouri State’s John Q Hammons arena not on this list? Not sure how official these rankings really are.

  10. tmdill18 - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    I could do better with a dart board. Is this a joke? And they are claiming 4 yrs of research? lMFAO.

  11. shakau2 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    If it’s just about atmosphere, VCU’s Siegel Center wins hands down.

  12. metalarmdad - May 15, 2014 at 5:49 AM

    Rupp is old, But I would like to see it get the overhaul…….instead of building a new place. It is named after Coach Rupp who is one of the Greatest coaches ever. He may not have the NCAA Championships that Wooden has bought by Poppa Sam Gilbert, but he is my and Ky’s legend.

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