It’s home to the most successful college basketball program of all-time along with 23,500 of their closest friends. The University of Kentucky Wildcats are 482-61 at Rupp Arena. It is talked about as one of the most famous arenas in all of basketball.
But, Rupp Arena is overrated when it comes to being an intense and scary place to play.
Sure, there is history and an impressive winning percentage. But there is also more of an NBA feel to Rupp Arena than a college atmosphere. The eRUPPtion Zone – Kentucky’s student fan base – is limited to seats behind one of the baskets and then relegated to the upper deck and a slim portion of the side behind UK’s bench.
Instead of an atmosphere like that at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Allen Fieldhouse or (my personal favorite and most underrated) Utah State’s Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, the lower level at Rupp Arena is filled with elder, rich season-ticket holders as opposed to crazy college students.
Due the seating arrangement at Rupp Arena, games are often quiet for the most part sans clapping for a big run or close late-game scenarios. There are no constant chants or heckling of opposing players with the exception of Matt Walsh at Florida back in the early 2000s.
The other thing lacking from Rupp Arena compared to many other courts across the country is there is nothing special to it besides the large structure and history, which is more UK’s success than the actual stadium. There is no Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk chant. There is no fans standing until the first basket is made.
There is the C-A-T-S chant right at tipoff, but that’s also the most used chant in all of sports. Everyone has heard of it. Any team with four letters in their name chants out one at a time followed by yelling the team name three times in a row.
This isn’t a knock on Kentucky fans. They are the most rabid fan base and live and die with their team. I’m just asking for them to make Rupp Arena more loud and hostile. Make it truly a scary place to play.
Let your voices be heard across the Commonwealth Big Blue Nation.