Stadium Journey's Top 25 College Basketball Arenas of 2023
The 2022-23 NCAA basketball tournament will go down in history as one of the most unpredictable in the event's history. Top seeds went down at an amazing rate, creating an incredible buzz for the championship weekend. Stadium Journey wanted to get in on this buzz, too. Since the two things we do best are traveling to different sporting venues and ranking things, we are presenting our top 25 rankings of college gymnasiums to coincide with the Final Four.
Stadium Journey endeavors to visit each college basketball gymnasium at least once every four years to keep our reviews current for those of us who love to travel the country visiting these cathedrals to the sport. Over the 2022-23 season we were able to visit 60 of the 363 Division One basketball gymnasiums nationwide. Unfortunately, there are 21 D-1 teams still missing from our database. We're working hard to fill these gaps in our coverage. We currently have over 94% of all the D-1 gyms reviewed on our site.
Here we are ranking the top 25 college basketball gymnasiums according to our patented FANFARE rating scale. This scale takes into consideration a facility's concessions, game day atmosphere, neighborhood, fan support, access, value, and more. It's a bit of a different way to evaluate a facility, and historically our rankings have created much debate. That's OK, we can take it. Plus, isn't healthy debate the reason why we make lists like this? Besides, everyone loves a Cinderella story this time of year, right Florida Atlantic?
The fact that 65 venues scored over 4.00 on our FANFARE score is a testament to the number of incredible venues all across the country. To see the full review of each gym, just click the link underneath the photo.
You'll notice that there have been some changes in our rankings as we move to our newly-redesigned site. There is no longer a place for readers to contribute their scores. After much consideration, the decision was made to discontinue crowd reviews, as the vast majority of them came from previous Stadium Journey reviews and simply were not being utilized as designed.
Our rankings are now based solely on the reviewer's FANFARE score. Where two or more venues are tied, a counsel of Stadium Journey elders is consulted to break any ties. We encourage our readers to share your input on our social media channels. Stadium Journey can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
We hope you are enjoying our new site. Without further ado, we present our top 25 college basketball arenas of the 2022-23 season.
Marc Viquez - There are college basketball arenas and then there are its cathedrals. The Hinkle Fieldhouse is the latter and entering its eleventh decade the atmosphere gets only better. The Bulldog program continues to rank high on AP Top 25 and provides its fans with winning basketball and an atmosphere that is loud, energetic, and exciting. Hinkle is what college basketball is meant to be and how wonderful is it that near the end of this current decade, the building will be celebrating its 100th anniversary?
Richard Smith - Finneran Pavilion is one of the most unique looking arenas around. It offers a great place to see some very high-quality basketball in a fun environment. In a world when some basketball arenas are getting larger and more corporate, it is good to know there is a building in Philadelphia that is a true classic hoops hall.
Michael Davis - Overall I want to say Moody Center is the best new basketball arena in the country, and it just might be a true statement. It is a venue that any sports fan should visit, whether it is for a University of Texas event or a non-UT event. Texas Basketball has an amazing new home, a venue that will bring in recruits, and fans, and give a home-court advantage like no other. Moody Center has already shown that the price was worth the investment for the city of Austin; now it is only time to see if the new culture of Texas Basketball will bring in championships.
Brian O'Sullivan - Even though Notre Dame is not located near a major city, heading to campus on a non-football weekend is a great way to catch a basketball or hockey game and see the campus with far fewer people. In short, attending a game at the Joyce Center is well worth the cost of admission.
Tyler Huskinson - Attending a game at the Spectrum is something that should be on the bucket list of every sports fan. Although the venue is nestled in a location very much out of the way for non-locals, it is well worth the trip.
Jared Goodman - While a half-empty seating bowl would usually be a detractor at other venues, it is actually a benefit at Madison Square Garden. The more relaxed ambience during St. John’s games, for the most part, provide fans with a chance to enjoy and appreciate the architecture and the history of The World’s Most Famous Arena.
Cory Sims - Simply put, nothing matches the atmosphere of the Fieldhouse. In 2017, the arena set a new Guinness World Record for loudest indoor stadium at more than 116 decibels, louder than a jet or chainsaw. And, that's not with piped in crowd noise or speakers blaring music, that is pure fan jubilation.
Marc Viquez - The UD Arena is quite the experience for college basketball and goes somewhat underneath the radar to most fans. However, you will never have to tell a Dayton fan, alumni, or student what an experience is like during a home game. UD Arena is as advertised, it gets LOWD.
David Welch - Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gymnasium is definitely an arena that is a must-stop for stadium enthusiasts. Beyond the rarity of the raised court and the quirks of the building itself, the whole experience of a basketball game at Vanderbilt is extremely fan friendly and a great college basketball atmosphere.
Sean MacDonald - Overall, this is an impressively designed venue that looks much younger than its 20 years and it was rocking for the game I attended, making it one of the best college basketball experiences that I have enjoyed.
Michael Davis - Gallagher-Iba Arena is one of the best basketball facilities in the nation. Every sports fan should make a visit to Stillwater, and visit the arena once known as “The Madison Square Garden of the Plains.” Oklahoma State University does a great job with the venue, as Gallagher-Iba Arena continues to make history, while staying connected to its past.
Paul Donaldson - When you think of Ole Miss athletics, the first thoughts which come to mind are probably the Manning Family, Rebel football, Hotty Toddy, and the entertaining tailgate atmosphere at the Grove. Ole Miss Hoops, however, has the opportunity to earn a place among these popular experiences with their brand new, state-of-the-art basketball arena, The Pavilion at Ole Miss.
Lloyd Brown - The Wofford Terriers have the best home court advantage in the Southern Conference thanks to the opening of the Richardson Indoor Stadium. It's close to the court seating, state of the art electronic graphics package and luxury seating far exceeds what you would expect from a school in one of the smaller conferences. Wofford has also done a terrific job in ensuring that the exterior design of the venue is very much in keeping with the architecture of the surrounding campus.
Lloyd Brown - Jon Huntsman often serves as the site for regional tournaments due to its large city capacity and the large inventory of hotel rooms in downtown Salt Lake City. The Utes play a crowd-pleasing up-tempo game that has brought them success since the championship days of the late Rick Majerus, a time when the Utes were regulars in the NCAA tournaments.
Steve Ohnsmann - This is one of the holy grails for college basketball fans. If you are lucky enough to attend a Big 10 game vs one of MSU’s traditional rivals such as Michigan, Indiana, Purdue or Wisconsin, you will have a memorable experience.
James Hilchen - CHI Health Center Omaha has great food, a fabulous atmosphere, and the fans are tremendous. It is rarely thought of among the elite arenas in college basketball, but the arena combined with a fabulous downtown Omaha makes any effort to attend a game here well worth the trip.
Jason Bartel - The 1966 Texas Western College men’s basketball team is arguably the most important college basketball team in the history of the sport. That Texas Western team took down Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky Wildcats to win the NCAA National Championship, and became the first team to start five black players. Though they didn’t play at Don Haskins Center (opened 10 years later), the presence of that team is felt throughout the arena.
Chuck Utech - A trip to Cedar Falls to see a Missouri Valley Conference basketball game can be rewarding. With the 2018 trip to the Final Four by Loyola of Chicago, “Hoosiers” images were conjured for folks dreaming of the smaller school defeating large universities. The McLeod Center houses those dreams and passionately puts them on display.
Daryn Skjefte - The Betty Engelstad Sioux Center is truly a work of art that deserves to be recognized. College basketball is often a tradition for families and friends and this location does not disappoint. The ticket prices are hard to beat, the parking is easy and priced appropriately, and the in-game experience is second to none. I would definitely recommend checking out The Betty Engelstad Sioux Center if you find yourself in Grand Forks.
Joseph Oakes - Even though Cameron Indoor Stadium is old, small, and cramped, the experience of attending a Duke game is like one you won’t experience anywhere else. From the sellout crowds to the Cameron Crazies to the product on the floor (which is always good) a trip to Cameron is a must for any college basketball fan.
Libby Kamrowski - Gonzaga University’s McCarthey Athletic Center is a state of the art 6,000-seat arena that is home to the Kennel and the Gonzaga Bulldogs in Spokane, Washington. The $25 million McCarthey Center came as the much-needed upgrade from the former Charlotte Y. Martin Center in 2004. The Bulldogs, known frequently as the Zags, are part of the West Coast Conference and made school history by competing in the NCAA National Championship in 2017.
Andrej Ojeda - The recent facelift to Pauley Pavilion has vastly improved the game day experience beyond expectations. With much wider concourses, improved sight lines, enhancements to the scoreboard, and the various additions that pay tribute to many a great UCLA basketball moment, including the statue of John Wooden, a trip to a UCLA game at Pauley should be on every collegiate hoop fans bucket list (no pun intended).
Paul Hilchen - A trip to an Oregon basketball game should be on any fan's bucket list. Matthew Knight Arena is modern with fantastic sightlines throughout the facility.
Richard Smith - Jersey Mike's Arena is outdated and borderline dilapidated, but it's still an amazingly vibrant arena to watch a very high level of basketball action. Should Rutgers have a better, newer, and bigger arena? Probably, but the basketball-watching experience is pretty amazing here.
Lloyd Brown - The Virginia Commonwealth University basketball team has proven that their trip to the Final Four in 2011 was no fluke, as the Rams are perennial champions in each of the conferences they have played in over the past decade. The VCU student body and the fans in Richmond know a good thing when they see it and have packed the Seigel Center for every game over the last 10 years.