Seats. Walls. A ceiling that may or may not also be a roof. We’ve come to expect a lot from our shootyhoop venues, but even in this the year 2 A.P. (After Prince) we can examine any facility and come up with an idea or fifty on how to make it better. We here at OTE pride ourselves in finding the darkness in any light, and today we focus our admirable talents on some of our beloved B1G arenas as we ask the question, “What would we change about this place?”
The nerds are playing 4D chess out here; they anticipated our scorn and proactively started renovating their arena last year, as detailed here. Chair-back seats, more concessions, locker room upgrades, you name it, Northwestern probably installed it.
MNWildcat: “Basically they’re doing what we asked: Chair backs instead of bleachers because it’s not 1978 anymore, wider concourses with larger concessions that aren’t in the space underneath the stairs, better practice courts, etc.
This is where I say that if Northwestern can keep sustaining real success, Welsh-Ryan can be a real advantage. You’re never going to do much beyond packing a few hundred students behind both baskets, but barring any real changes, those students are riiiight behind the baskets and mere feet from the players. The place is still built in the style of Cameron Indoor — if you can pack it with purple, it gets loud. We’ll see if these renovations are successful.”
Renovations are scheduled to wrap up in Fall of 2018.
We’re getting all the hyphenated buildings out of the way up top. Iowa athletes have been disappointing fans in this building for 35 years now, so there’s been plenty of time to daze away at anything but the court and ponder the surroundings.
StewMonkey13: “Give the students better tickets. Make sure they can easily get to and from the arena. Have a blue hair section, specifically for the olds who don’t want to cheer and will leave early every game. Have better food options than Aramark.”
Creighton M: “What Stew said. Find a way to get more students, fewer olds. I’ve been to games where CHA had an incredible atmosphere. I want that feeling back.
I actually love CHA the building. It’s not the nicest, prettiest or the most modern, but I have a lot of nostalgia from when I was a kid. It used to be a lot of fun.”
Once the definition of home court mystique, Wisconsin has fallen on hard times this season and lost to everyone and their matriarchal parent figure.
MC: I’d merge the seats into two tiers. The difference between the gameday experience on the lowest tier and the highest tier is absurd. The student seat allocation needs to be improved as well. I get that old people pay good money for lower level seats, but there’s no reason to have a significant number of students sitting in the third tier. Wrap the students around the court, it’s one of the few things dook does right.
Also, I’d like to see first-come, first-serve for student tickets on a game-by-game basis again. I want the most dedicated students by the floor and yelling upbeat words of encouragement.
Louis Brown Athletic Center (The RAC)
This is a Rutgers facility. What could need fixing?
Zuzu: “I can’t hate the RAC because I don’t hate anything RU, but perhaps because I lack the nostalgia of experiencing the RAC when RU was good, it’s just a giant ugly concrete stadium to me.”
Ray Ransom: “Hmm...I think the RAC is the RAC. A quick touch up and it’s modern. Training facilities and infrastructure are what’s needed in my opinion. Then again, I’m not the most knowledgeable on such things.”
Zuzu: “It really needs to be GUTTED to make it modern. Might as well build a new facility.”
Candy: “Give the students their own side, if they’re capable of filling it. I’m not unreasonable, I understand that you can’t give the entire lower bowl to the students, but spreading them out like we currently do just seems crazy.”
It’s got a team that wins games, it’s got a veteran Hall of Fame coach, it’s got an engaged student section with a punny name, so what needs fixing in the Breslin Center?
Graham: ”Breslin Center parking is horrendous....they finally put a ramp next to the Breslin but it’s a continual mess.”
Andrew Kqwertymoobski: “My fellow Spartan hoops fan is correct about parking but who gives a shit, just park in the stadium and walk the extra 5 minutes.
Breslin is a relatively new facility that’s just undergone considerable renovation, so the building is fine. I would enjoy designated sections where graduates who don’t want to sit quietly can reprise their student days without dirty looks from the ‘welp time to leave, gotta beat traffic’ crowd.”
Pinnacle Bank Arena
Basketball and banking, that’s what Nebraska does in the winter. Pinnacle Bank Arena just opened 5 years ago, so what already needs to change?
Dead Read: “With a few exceptions, like this year, my principal problem with Pinnacle Bank Arena is that Nebraska endeavors to play basketball in it. Nebrasketball, traditionally, isn’t very easy on the eyes. The arena is great, though.”
BigRedTwice: “Fewer people leaving early. Those people suck. I’d like the corridors to have recorded messages shouting for the last five minutrs of a game things like: “Booooooooooo! You suck! You have small hands! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!” Just a variety of things so those people remember how awful they are.”
Bryce Jordan Center
This facility is home to Penn State and named after the father of legendary hip hop/R&B singer Montell Jordan maybe.
Aaron Yorke: “BJC might be nice if they found a way to fill it with people. Also, more local food options would be great instead of generic stadium food.”
The oldest arena in the B1G, probably, and the only venue in the country that willingly makes the playing surface itself a safety hazard, there are certain to be some wholesale renovation ideas here.
WhiteSpeedReceiver: “Raise the court even higher! More beams! More longer troughs!”
Was your school’s arena too awful or boring to be mentioned here? Are you the respective Frank Lloyd Wright of your parents’ basement? Lay out your blueprints in the comments.