Of the 10 biggest arenas used for college basketball in the nation, only six are on-campus arenas: The Carrier Dome in Syracuse, Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Marriott Center in Provo, PNC Arena in Raleigh and Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
The arenas in New York (Madison Square Garden) and Washington D.C. (Verizon Center) are both used by NBA teams as well as their college basketball teams: St. John’s and Georgetown respectively.
10th – Bud Walton Arena (Arkansas): 19,368
Home of the Arkansas basketball teams since 1993, things used to be a lot rowdier and fuller inside the Bud Walton arena. When it opened, Arkansas were one of the best in the nation, averaging more than 20,000 fans per game in 1994 and 1995. Since then, there’s been a huge drop off, averaging just over 14,000 per game, which is an improvement compared to the lows of 2011.
9th – PNC Arena (North Carolina State): 19,722
The home of North Carolina State and hockey’s Carolina Hurricanes, the PNC Arena has been around since 1999. It’s biggest moment up to this point has been hosting game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Series, as the Hurricanes beat Edmonton for the first professional title for a North Carolina team.
8th – Madison Square Garden (St. John’s): 19,812
One of the most famous basketball arenas in the world, the MSG is mostly known for being the home of the New York Knicks (NBA), New York Rangers (NHL) and concerts in general. The Red Storm have been playing there since 1969, a year after officially opening at its current location.
7th – Verizon Center (Georgetown): 20,308
Georgetown are the basketball team that plays at the Verizon Center, but it’s also the home of the Washington Wizards (NBA), Washington Capitals (NHL) and the Mystics (WNBA). The Hoyas played at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland, from 1980 to 1997.
6th – Marriott Center (BYU): 20,951
Home to both BYU basketball teams, the Marriott Center has been around since 1971. Until 2012, it had a capacity of 22,700.
5th – Thompson-Boling Arena (Tennessee): 21,678
It is named after B. Ray Thompson and former university president Dr. Edward J. Boling. The basketball court is named “The Summitt” after Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt. It broke ground in 1983 and opened in 1987. Until its 2007 renovation that included reducing its capacity, the largest facility ever built specifically for basketball in the in the USA with a capacity of 24,535.
4th – Dean Smith Center (North Carolina): 21,750
Opened in 1986 and has since gone two expansions (1992, 2000), the largest crowd seen at the Dean Smith Arena was in 2005, when 22,125 fans saw the Tar Heels (who went on to win the NCAA tournament) beat Duke 75-73.
3rd – KFC Yum! Center (Louisville): 22,090
Opened in 2010, it’s the fourth largest basketball arena in the United States, with a record attendance of 22,815 showing up for the 2013 game against Notre Dame, a game the Louisville team that eventually won the NCAA Tournament also came away from as the victors.
2nd – Rupp Arena (Kentucky): 23,500
Home of the Wildcats since 1976, the Rupp Arena is the largest arena designed specifically for basketball in the United States. It has surpassed its current capacity 19 times, including going past 24,000 14 times. In 2010, Louisville showing up for the annual regular season showdown brought a record 24,480 to the game.
1st – Carrier Dome (Syracuse): 33,000
The Carrier Dome is the home to not just the Syracuse basketball team, but also its football and lacrosse teams. It is the largest domed stadium of any college campus, and the largest domed stadium in the Northeastern United States. Its record attendance for a basketball game is 35,446 in a win over Duke in 2014.