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ESPN Experts Favorite Arenas


The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St
Staff member
Tech Admin
  • <table cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1" border="0" width="430" id="inlinetable"><th colspan="1" style="background-color:#000000; color:#ffffff;">Fran Fraschilla</th><tr valign="top" style="background-color:#ececec;"><td width="426"><b>FIVE FAVORITES:</b><br><b>The Palestra (Penn)</b><br>Nothing better than eating a pretzel with mustard and watching a Big 5 game here.<p></p><p></p><p><b>Allen Fieldhouse (Kansas)</b><br>It doesn't matter if they are playing UMKC or Oklahoma State, the fans feel like they are breathing down your neck.<p></p><p></p><p><b><div style="background-color:#ffff00;">St. John Arena (Ohio State)</b><br>The home of Lucas, Havlicek, Kellogg and (Jim) Jackson, this place had atmosphere. The balcony seemed to overhang the court.</div><p></p><p></p><p><b>The Pit (New Mexico)</b><br>I had a couple big wins here, but not as many as Bob King and Norm Ellenberger. You had to be in great condition to walk up the ramp from the floor.<p></p><p></p><p><b>Gallagher-Iba Arena (Oklahoma State)</b><br>Once a great old building, the renovation and expansion has made this place twice as great (and less old).<p><br></p><p></p><p><b>FIVE STILL TO SEE:</b><br><b>Hinkle Fieldhouse (Butler)</b><br>The place where Jimmy Chitwood made his clutch shot in Hoosiers and the home of a good mid-major.<p></p><p></p><p><b>Mac Court (Oregon)</b><br>I hope my travels take me there some day.<p></p><p></p><p><b>Breslin Center (Michigan State)</b><br>The Izzone is a classy and enthusiastic student section.<p></p><p></p><p><b>Kohl Center (Wisconsin)</b><br>Any place with 38 wins in a row must be special. Will it continue?<p></p><p></p><p><b>Dahlberg Arena (Montana)</b><br>The place where Jud Heathcote and Mike Montgomery made their reputations. I love Montana and Grizz fans love their basketball.</td></tr></table>
    It's a shame they built the Schott, really. St. John (and Rec Hall at Penn State too) were smaller venues where the crowd was right on top of it, the noise was huge, and visiting teams had trouble. I wish we still played all our games there.
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    I'm a season ticket holder for several years, but I don't think I've been to a game yet where I didn't wish I was back in St John arena. When an opposing coach like UT Chattanooga's says things like this, you know it's not just due to memories of past glory.
    "What an unbelievable place," Shulman said. "We’ve very fortunate to have an opportunity to play in an unbelievable setting like this. I was an assistant at Tennessee Tech and we . . . played in the (Schottenstein) Center when we first got to Tech, and we got Scoonie’d that night by about 30. So I played in that place and also in here, and I’ll take this place. "I mean, this is an amazing place. The crowd’s right on top of you, it’s hot, it’s nasty, it’s loud. It’s what college basketball is supposed to be about, except they’re not supposed to make 16 threes."
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    id say the 00 msu game as the exception. the place was electric, it was maybe the most rabid theOSU sporting event i have ever been to.

    the other thing that is 'suprising' to most people is where theOSU actually ranks in attendance. look at the schott era...not bad.

    NCAA Attendance in VCA Era
    Division I Home Attendance Leaders

    Year Gms. Total Avg. NCAA Rk
    1999 15 258,348 17,223 7
    2000 17 317,936 18,702 5
    2001 17 298,172 17,540 4
    2002 17 282,250 16,603 5
    2003 16 256,914 16,057 10
    2004 15 217,817 14,521 18
    Totals 97 1,631,437 16,819
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    It's a shame they built the Schott, really. St. John (and Rec Hall at Penn State too) were smaller venues where the crowd was right on top of it, the noise was huge, and visiting teams had trouble. I wish we still played all our games there.

    Us Oklahoma State fans have been very lucky. The old Gallagher-Iba Arena was one of those old-school bandboxes. In fact, Cameron Indoor Stadium looks EXACTLY like it as far as the seating configuration (and it's two years younger as well).

    In the mid-90s, the success of Eddie Sutton returning had many at Oklahoma State thinking about upgrading the basketball venue. The intial plan called for an entirely new arena to be built on the western edge of Stillwater, off campus. But luckily, an OSU alum by the name of Gary Sparks came up with an interesting design: build AROUND the old GIA. So what ended up happening was that the old roof was taken off, new walls built around the old and connecting the two pieces.

    It worked out wonderfully, as GIA went from 6,381 seats to 13,611 and the new design called for a metal roof to be exposed above so that the sound from up high bounces down low.

    The result is an arena that is jsut as loud as it used to be but twice the size. It incorporated the old football coaches building and weight training building under one roof.

    Here's some good pics of what it looks like from inside:






    Here's a good link with more info: http://www.okstate.com/fls/200/MBB/GallagherIbaArena.htm

    I'll take this place over Allen Fieldhouse, CIS or whatever. It's the BDAITL! (Best Damn Arena In The Land!)

    PS: That white maple floor covers the entire gym floor and has been in use since 1938. They're projecting it'll last another 50 years, which would mean that in 2055, almost 120 years of basketball would have been played on it.
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    I'm still not sure what the Schott is good for anymore. Hockey? I loved St. Johns, and with the exception of the times we played MSU and Illinois from '98 to 2001, I've never seen the Schott as electric as St. John's would be every night. They can't even attract the music acts to the Schott now, because of Nationwide. That expensive arena supposedly loses money every year, and in hindsight, was pretty needless.
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    Is Schott the former Value City Arena or whatever? I thought there was naming rights on your bball joint.

    "And just because I like to point it out, more than half the Izzone members are stuck in nosebleed seats. It frightens me to consider that arena if they ALL had courtside seats..."

    Watch Bedlam Big Monday on ESPN next Monday. You'll see that OSU students have like 90 percent of the floor seats and then another 3,500 seats on the higher levels... but they're ALL behind the goals, except for on the court level, where they go all around except for the middle sections.

    Here's a link to GIA seating chart: http://www.okstate.com/pdf1/2209.pd...D=162&DB_OEM_ID=200&ATCLID=5849&DB_OEM_ID=200

    The green sections are OSU student seats. Not that we use them. :wink:

    Oh yeah, GIA has like a 45-degree angle to the seats, so even the last row isn't very far from the court.
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    The official name is Value City Arena at The Jerome Schottenstein Center. They are essentially the same thing. I think if you really want to differentiate the two, the court/theatre area is Value City Arena while the whole complex is the Schottenstein Center. It's also referred to as VCA or the Schott. When it was first built most of the public thought the Value City name to be somewhat embarrassing so most refer to it as the Schott.
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    I was a season ticket holder for the last 21 years St. John was used and I have been ticked off ever since the move.

    I have given up the fight, however, after comments from OSU players following the Chat game that it was nice to play in St John, but they wanted to get back to the Schott.

    The Schott can rock if it is packed - and maybe Matta will bring that about - but it will never match St John. If you have never been there it is something you simply can't explain. I had to take my son to the first aid station to get cotton in his ears during our first game together. You would find yourself on your feet without even thinking about it. It was hot and crowded and uncomfortable. But when they turned the lights down you knew why you were there. And it was loud. I was at the OSU-IU game in 1991 - the double OT classic. I still don't have my voice back from that one.

    In fairness to Geiger they had to do something. If we were still in St John recruiting would be a problem. And it does work well for Hockey - which is packing the in pretty well this season. They could have brought the seats closer to the court, dimmed the lights, and improved the accoustics. But I don't think they could have replicated St John.
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