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Big 12 tour: The United Supermarkets Arena

We are taking a tour of every Big 12 basketball venue, starting with the home of the Red Raiders.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

This year I am going to take you all on a tour of every Big 12 venue. I will assess them through various methods, and assign them a rank accordingly. Important to note, these rankings will be as if this was a normal season, not the fanless wasteland we are living in. Here we go, starting with the pride of the South Plains, the United Supermarkets Arena.

Crowd: B+

It was not long ago the USA was a ghost town. I remember watching Tubby coach an early game against some bottom tier mid-major where maybe 200 people showed up. Chris Beard has completely changed that, and the crowd is electric. The students have fully bought into what Beard is selling, and for the big games campouts are starting to become the norm.

The only complaint with regards to fans is that they can be fickle. When the program hits some skids, the attendance does taper off some. But by and large, a minimum of 80% capacity can be expected.

History: D-

The Red Raiders are building history in this venue, but right now there is not much to be found.

Architecture/Facilities: A

The USA is one of the coolest designed basketball arena’s, and one of the nicest. The beautiful architecture aside, the venue boasts top tier facilities including a relatively new video board. While I am personally not a fan of the new floor’s design, I liked the darker colored floor, it shows the investment Tech continues to make in keeping The USA a top tier facility.

Overall Ranking: 3rd.

The USA only really lacks history. It does not yet have the same presence of the Phog or Hilton, but it will get there soon at this rate. The facilities are as nice as they come, and the crowd is raucous enough to cause headaches for any opposing team. Once Beard has won a Natty or two, this arena will start making a move towards the top spot of the rankings.