At Hoop Ten Harbor, we spend countless hour grading each team’s performance on the court. But rarely do we discuss the courts that the teams play on. The Atlantic 10, in particular, is home to some very unique venues that are often taken for granted. Below are my top 5 favorite venues in the Atlantic 10 conference.
1. University of Dayton Arena – Capacity: 13,435
What’s not to love about this place? Dayton students are spoiled with what this arena can offer. Not only do they get to watch the Flyers win, but they also get their share of WWE events, Jay-Z concerts, and much more. Oh, and how could I forget the opening round of March Madness. In the rare event that the Flyers miss the tournament, students will still be able to see the action without having to leave campus. With Archie Miller as coach, and this great venue to call home, Dayton’s program is in good hands going forward.
2. VCU’s Siegel Center – Capacity: 7,637
While VCU’s arena might not be the largest, it certainly is one of the best Atlantic 10 venues. Since opening, “the Stu” has only gotten better. With the help of Shaka Smart and several wealthy donors, the Siegel Center has become one of the most exciting places in the A10. The arena has been renovated several times, and now is exclusively home to VCU Men’s and Women’s basketball teams. With VCU’s program on the rise, and plans to increase the capacity to 10,000 people, the future’s looking bright for the Siegel Center.
3. UMass’ Mullins Center – Capacity: 9,493
Similarly to the previously mentioned venue’s, the Mullins Center has multiple uses. When the Minutemen aren’t shooting hoops the arena hosts hockey games, concerts, shows, etc. Along with University of Dayton Arena, the Mullins Center is the closest thing to a professional sports arena that the Atlantic 10 has to offer. In addition, the arena has certainly seen its share of talent including Marcus Camby and John Calipari. Considering the talented athletes that play here, it’s no surprise that the Mullins Center is as highly regarded as it is.
4. St. Bonaventure’s Reilly Center – Capacity: 5,480
Small school. Big heart. If there’s one thing to do in Olean, it’s to catch a game at the RC. There’s no place like the Reilly Center. Literally. Nowhere else in the country (to my knowledge) can fans stand on the same court that their team is playing in. Anyone who has visited this place will tell you that the homecourt advantage is a bigger deal here than almost anywhere else. Well respected basketball folks including Dick Vitale, Jay Bilas, Jim Boeheim, along with others have complimented the atmosphere found here. Despite having nearly 2,000 students, the Reilly Center has no problem filling itself with loyal alumni and Bona faithful. I should also probably mention the history. Newcomers to the Atlantic 10 often forget that this arena was once home to a Final Four team (1970) and an NBA Hall of Famer (Bob Lanier). With the great successes that the program has seen, this is definitely one of the better places to watch a game.
5. Fordham’s Rose Hill Gymnasium – Capacity: 3,470
Considering Fordham is historically one of the worst A10 programs and this is the smallest facility in the whole conference, you’re probably wondering why I listed the historic Rose Hill Gymnasium. This is arguably the most historic site in all of the Atlantic 10. Sure, it may not have seating for upwards of 10,000 people, or skyboxes, or massive video boards, but this gym has character. Being built in 1925, this gym holds the record for the oldest Division I venue still in use. This gym has also hosted its fair share of talent. Many basketball legends have played and coached here at some point during their career. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played in this gym during his high school career. Coaches including Digger Phelps, Stan Van Gundy, P.J. Carlesimo, etc. have all coached in this historic venue. While the Rose Hill Gymnasium has withstood the test of time, it’s a place you want to visit if you consider yourself an Atlantic 10 fan.
Bonus: Hinkle Fieldhouse (Butler) – Capacity: 10,000
Yes, I’m aware that Butler is no longer in the Atlantic 10. However, this is one of the best places to catch a game in all of college basketball let alone the Atlantic 10. If the Bulldogs were still in the A10, this would easily be number one on my list.
Because venue ratings are mostly subjective, I asked our staff to rank each team’s facilities. Below are the Hoop Ten Habor’s combined rankings of each of the 14 venues in the Atlantic 10.
- Dayton’s University of Dayton Arena
- VCU’s Siegel Center
- UMass’ Mullins Center
- URI’s Ryan Center
- Richmond’s Robins Center
- Saint Louis’ Chaifetz Arena
- Davidson’s John M. Belk Arena
- George Washington’s Smith Center
- St. Bonaventure’s Reilly Center
- Fordham’s Rose Hill Gymnasium
- St. Joseph’s Hagan Arena
- Duquesne’s A.J. Palumbo Center
- George Mason’s Patriot Center
- La Salle’s Tom Gola Arena
What Atlantic 10 venue is your favorite? We’d love to hear your thoughts!