Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: Bank of Oklahoma Center, Honda Center

The NCAA Tournament is chock-full of excitement from the first tip off. That’s why, sometimes, one of the more important items of the madness is overlooked: the stadiums. Well, not here at TicketCity – we cherish the stadiums that hold the games we love.

Throughout the week, we will be giving an overview of all the stadiums that will be (kinda) featured in the NCAA tournament. Because without them, all of our brackets would be busted from the go. Today, we’re featuring the Bank of Oklahoma Center and Honda Center.

[Are you ready to go see some NCAA Tournament basketball? Then click here and get great seats to one of America’s premier events!]

Bank of Oklahoma Center
Commonly known as the BOK Center, this 19,100-seat venue is one of the newest in the country. Since it’s opening in 2008, the arena has played host to a number of high-profile events including several games by the Oklahoma City Thunder, and as of 2010 it is the home court of the Tulsa Shock of the WNBA. Though it has been the site of many professional games, it has been tapped to host first and second round games of the NCAA Tournament this year on March 18 and 20.

It’s not surprising that the NCAA chose this arena as a tournament site. Though it has only been open for less than three years, industry experts consider it to be one of the best venues in the United States. 

This is the first year the location has been picked for NCAA Tournament games, but it is no stranger to hosting important collegiate contests. In 2010, it was the site of the Conference USA Men’s Basketball Tournament – which saw one of the biggest upsets of the season. In the championship game, 23rd ranked and top-seeded UTEP was shocked by seventh-seeded Houston 81-73.

Honda Center
Affectionately called The Pond, the Honda Center has been home to the NHL’s Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for more than 15 years. Though its primary tenant is a hockey team, the arena has also hosted its fair share of basketball games. It has been the location of the West Regional for the NCAA Tournament three times in the past, and is slated for a fourth in 2011 when it hosts games on March 24 and 26.

The first time the arena was the site of a regional was 1998, and its final was quite a memorable one. Third-seeded Utah reached the Final Four after dominating the top-seeded and defending champion Arizona Wildcats with a 76-51.  The next time was in 2001 when the region was won by Maryland, who upset Stanford in the final.

The last time the West Regional was at the venue was 2003, a year that was not kind to Arizona again. Similar to 1998, the Wildcats were the No. 1 seed, and just like that year, they were ousted in the Elite Eight – this time by Kansas – who went on to lose in the National Championship to Syracuse.

Previously:
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: Dayton Arena, Verizon Center
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: McKale Center, Pepsi Center, St. Pete Times Forum 
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: Quicken Loans Arena, Time Warner Cable Arena, United Center
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: New Orleans Arena, Alamodome, Prudential Center

Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: New Orleans Arena, Alamodome, Prudential Center

The NCAA Tournament is chock-full of excitement from the first tip off. That’s why, sometimes, one of the more important items of the madness is overlooked: the stadiums. Well, not here at TicketCity – we cherish the stadiums that hold the games we love.

Throughout the week, we will be giving an overview of all the stadiums that will be (kinda) featured in the NCAA tournament. Because without them, all of our brackets would be busted from the go. In this post, we’re featuring the New Orleans Arena, Alamodome and Prudential Center.

[Are you ready to go see some NCAA Tournament basketball? Then click here and get great seats to one of America’s premier events!]

New Orleans Arena 
Primarily the home of the New Orleans Hornets, the New Orleans Arena has played host to a wide variety of events since its opening in 1999. In addition to being the home field of AFL teams and a perfect venue for concerts, the site has also been the location of first and second round games of the NCAA Tournament. This year, however, it has been tapped as the site of the Southeast Regional games on March 24 and 26.

The first time the arena hosted NCAA Tournament games was in 2007. Though there were no monumental upsets at the site that year, it was where eventual champion Florida played its first two games – with wins over Jackson State and Purdue. 

Most recently, the venue hosted first and second round games in 2010, and was the location of two of the best games of the early rounds. Eleven seed Old Dominion edged No. 6 seed Notre Dame 51-50 to claim one of the bigger upsets of the round, and Wake Forest’s Ishmael Smith hit a jumper with 1.3 seconds left to give his team a one point win over Texas. 

Alamodome
The San Antiono Spurs have not called the Alamodome home for more than eight years, but the 18-year-old arena has certainly not gone unused. As the host of everything from college football bowl games to concerts, the venue has also been a frequent site for NCAA Tournament games, including the Final Four in 1998, 2004 and 2008. This year, it’s the site of the Southwest Regional, with games on March 25 and 27.

In ’98, the site was lucky enough to play host to one of the most memorable games of recent Final Four history, as eventual champion Kentucky won a thrilling 86-85 contest over Stanford. 

Six years later in ’04, the Alamodome was the site of another great match up between UConn and Duke. Down by eight points with 3:15 remaining, the Huskies scored 12 straight points to shock the Blue Devils and enter the National Championship - a game which they handily won over Georgia Tech.

Most recently, the Alamodome was the site of the 2008 Final Four. In the championship game, Kansas guard Mario Chalmers hit the game tying three with 2.1 second to send the game to overtime. The Jayhawks ended up besting Memphis in the extra period.

Prudential Center
Though it has been open for less than four years, the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, has a number of well-known tenants. In addition to the New Jersey Devils and the New Jersey Nets, it is also home to the Seton Hall men’s basketball team. 2011 also marks a first for the arena as it was selected to be the East Regional site for the NCAA Tournament with games on March 25 and 27.

 Since it was opened in 2007, the Prudential Center has been the location of many noteworthy events. Along with an appearance by Barack Obama in 2009 and various pro wrestling and UFC events, the venue has also seen a wealth of regular and postseason action in both the NBA and NHL. In 2008, it hosted its first Stanley Cup Playoff game, when the Devils played the New York Rangers.

While it may be one of the newest and most up-to-date facilities in the Eastern U.S., up until now it has not hosted any significant college basketball games. Luckily, that will change this year - although host school Seton Hall did not make the tournament, some of the school’s Big East counterparts will most likely be playing on the floor.

Previously:
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: Dayton Arena, Verizon Center
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: McKale Center, Pepsi Center, St. Pete Times Forum 
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: Quicken Loans Arena, Time Warner Cable Arena, United Center
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: Bank of Oklahoma Center, Honda Center

Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: Quicken Loans Arena, Time Warner Cable Arena, United Center

The NCAA Tournament is chock-full of excitement from the first tip off. That’s why, sometimes, one of the more important items of the madness is overlooked: the stadiums. Well, not here at TicketCity – we cherish the stadiums that hold the games we love.

Throughout the week, we will be giving an overview of all the stadiums that will be (kinda) featured in the NCAA tournament. Because without them, all of our brackets would be busted from the go. Today, we’re featuring the Quicken Loans Arena, Time Warner Cable Arena, United Center.

[Are you ready to go see some NCAA Tournament basketball? Then click here and get great seats to one of America’s premier events!]

Quicken Loans Arena
Since it was opened in 1994, the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, has played host to a wide variety of events. Though it is primarily known as the home court of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the venue was also the site of numerous AHL hockey games and AFL football games. It has been tapped as the location of the first two rounds of the 2011 NCAA Tournament on March 18 and 20.

The arena has seen a lot of crucial NBA games in recent memory, and has even hosted two games in the 2007 NBA Finals. However, it has also been the location of some memorable college games as well, hosting the MAC men’s basketball tournament since 2000, when it was previous known as Gund Arena. The 2010 MAC tournament was one of the most dramatic, as it saw ninth seeded Ohio snatch the tournament crown.

In addition to hosting a pair of games of the 2007 NBA Finals, Quicken Loans Arena was also the site of the women’s Final Four that year. Tennessee beat Rutgers 59-46 to win the national title that year. 

Time Warner Cable Arena
As the home of the Charlotte Bobcats and the prospective site for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the Time Warner Cable Arena is one of the newest venues in the United States. Opened just six years ago, the arena holds more than 19,000 spectators and has housed everything from concerts to pro-wrestling. It has been selected to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament on March 18 and 20. 

Though it was built in 2005, the Time Warner Cable Arena has hosted NCAA Tournament games once before, in 2008, when it was selected as one of the regional sites. In fact, that year the eventual national champion - North Carolina - came out of that region by beating Louisville 83-73 in their regional final. Surprisingly, there were no upsets, as every game in the region went to the higher seeded team. 

It has also been the site of several conference tournaments, including the 2008 ACC Tournament, won by the Tar Heels, as well as the 2010 Southern Conference Tournament, which went to Wofford. 

United Center
Few arenas have seen as much basketball action as the United Center in Chicago.  As the home of both the Chicago Bulls and the NHL’s Blackhawks, this venue has been one of the most widely used in all of sports since it was built in the early 1990s. It has also hosted NCAA Tournament games an impressive seven times, with one more on tap for 2011, as it is as the site of first and second round action.

Perhaps the most well known event to take place at the United Center was the Bull’s championship run of the mid ’90s. However, it has also seen its fair share of legendary college tournament games over the year as well. 

The most recent occasion it was tapped as a location for the tournament was in 2007. That year, perhaps the most memorable game was a surprising upset of the second seeded Wisconsin Badgers by UNLV - the Runnin’ Rebels were able to edge Wisconsin 74-68 before falling to Oregon in the Sweet 16.

Previously:
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: Dayton Arena, Verizon Center
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: McKale Center, Pepsi Center, St. Pete Times Forum 
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: New Orleans Arena, Alamodome, Prudential Center
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: Bank of Oklahoma Center, Honda Center



Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: McKale Center, Pepsi Center, St. Pete Times Forum

The NCAA Tournament is chock-full of excitement from the first tip off. That’s why, sometimes, one of the more important items of the madness is overlooked: the stadiums. Well, not here at TicketCity – we cherish the stadiums that hold the games we love.

Throughout the week, we will be giving an overview of all the stadiums that will be (kinda) featured in the NCAA tournament. Because without them, all of our brackets would be busted from the go. Today, we’re featuring the McKale Center, Pepsi Center, St. Pete Times Forum.

[Are you ready to go see some NCAA Tournament basketball? Then click here and get great seats to one of America’s premier events!]

McKale Center
The McKale Center in Tuscon, Arizona, has been the home of the Arizona Wildcats for more than 38 years, but it was not until this year that it hosted an NCAA Tournament game. The venue has been tapped as the location for first and second round games March 17 and 19. 

Named after the former athletic director of the university, J.F. McKale, the center opened in 1973, and has been hosting Arizona home games ever since. As the home court of such a storied school, it’s not surprising that it has also played host to some legendary games over the years. Throughout the mid-90s, Arizona had one of the best programs in the country, and captured the 1997 National Title to prove it.

With an intimate setting that holds just over 14,500 spectators sitting right on top of Lute Olson Court, the McKale Center will certainly provide a unique experience for those in attendance. The arena has only hosted one other post-season event before – the 1988 Pac-10 Tournament. Arizona went on to win the conference tournament, beating Oregon State 93-67 in the finals.

Pepsi Center
Ever since its doors opened in 1999, the Pepsi Center has been one of the premier sports venues in the country. As the home arena of the Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets, the site has played host to everything from the Democratic National Convention to Frozen Four. The site has also been tapped to host first and second round action of the NCAA Tournament this year – the third time in its history.

Though it holds just under 20,000 people, the venue is not overwhelming, making it perfect for early round action. Previously, the arena was the site of first and second round games in 2004 and 2008. In ’04, the Pepsi Center hosted two of the most exciting games of the tournament, capped off by a thriller between fifth-seeded Syracuse and No. 4 seed Maryland.

The Orange won the game 72-70 behind 26 points from Hakim Warrick. Syracuse almost blew a 16-point second half lead and allowed Maryland to trim the score to 71-70, but the Orange held on.  That game followed the first round match up between Maryland  and UTEP, when the Terrapins barely held on to win 86-83.

St. Pete Times Forum
Few arenas are as versatile as the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa Bay, Florida. This 15-year-old venue has hosted everything from Arena Football games to NHL games to concerts, and is slated to host first and second round games on March 17 and 19. 

However, it certainly is not a stranger to hosting tournament games. The St. Pete Times Forum was the location of first and second round games of the NCAA Tournament in 2003 and 2008. Additionally, it pulled double duty in ’08 as host of the women’s Final Four – a tournament won by Stanford.

It was in 2003 that the St. Pete Times Forum was the location of one of the biggest upsets of the tournament. After barely sneaking by No. 15 seed East Tennessee State in the opening round, second seeded Wake Forest fell victim to tenth seeded Auburn in the second round.

In 2008, upsets abounded again as both first round games in Tampa saw the higher seeds win – No. 13 Sienna downed No. 4 Vanderbilt and No. 12 Villanova upended No. 5 Clemson. 

Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: Dayton Arena, Verizon Center
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: New Orleans Arena, Alamodome, Prudential Center
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: Quicken Loans Arena, Time Warner Cable Arena, United Center
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: Bank of Oklahoma Center, Honda Center

Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: Dayton Arena, Verizon Center

The NCAA Tournament is chock-full of excitement from the first tip off. That’s why, sometimes, one of the more important items of the madness is overlooked: the stadiums. Well, not here at TicketCity – we cherish the stadiums that hold the games we love.

So, starting today, we are giving an overview of all the stadiums that will be (kinda) featured in the NCAA tournament. Because without them, all of our brackets would be busted from the go.

[Are you ready to go see some NCAA Tournament basketball? Then click here and get great seats to one of America’s premier events!]

University of Dayton Arena
For more than 40 years, the University of Dayton Arena has been one of the most consistently full venues in college basketball, so it’s no surprise that the building has been the home of all the opening round games of the NCAA Tournament since the change in format 10 years ago. Now, as the format expands once again to include four play-in games, the arena will once again play host to opening round games on March 15 and 16. 

The arena opened in 1969 and has since been considered one of the best places to watch a college game. With an intimate setting that still manages to hold 13,455, the location gives the University of Dayton a distinct home court advantage. Though it has remained largely unchanged since its inception, the facility underwent some renovation in 2002 to include nicer amenities and improved disabled access. 

The site has been the location of many historic events including the 2003 and 2004 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament and the first ever HDTV broadcast for ESPN in 2002.  It has hosted 83 games in the NCAA Tournament – tying it with the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri, for the most ever.

Verizon Center
Affectionately nicknamed the “Phone Booth,” the Verizon Center is a staple of downtown Washington, D.C. As the home of a number of professional and college teams including the Washington Wizards and Georgetown men’s basketball team, the venue can accommodate more than 20,000 spectators and will play host to the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament on March 17 and 19.

This marks the fifth time the Verizon Center has hosted NCAA Tournament games. In addition to first and second round games this year and in 1998, 2002 and 2008, it was the site of its own regional final in 2006, and it was there that one of the largest upsets in the tournament’s history took place. 

In the 2006 regional final played at the arena, the 11th-seeded George Mason Patriots knocked off the juggernaut top-seeded UConn Huskies to complete their improbable run to the Final Four. 

George Mason won 86-84 in an overtime thriller in front of a mostly pro-Patriot crowd that will live in the annals of college basketball history forever, along with the stunned face of UConn coach Jim Calhoun as Rashad Anderson’s game-winning three clanked off the rim at the buzzer.

More:
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: McKale Center, Pepsi Center, St. Pete Times Forum 
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: Quicken Loans Arena, Time Warner Cable Arena, United Center
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: New Orleans Arena, Alamodome, Prudential Center
Know Your NCAA Tourney Stadium: Bank of Oklahoma Center, Honda Center