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Steve Luhm and Lya Wodraska
Steve Luhm and Lya Wodraska cover Utah State athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. Lya Wodraska is on twitter at @LyaWodraska, Steve Luhm is on twitter at @sluhm

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USU’s Spectrum No. 5 in college basketball venue ranking

For years, Utah State fans have shouted it from the rafters, trying to catch the ears of anyone who will listen.

The Dee Glen Smith Spectrum is a great place to watch college basketball. Maybe one of the greatest.

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Those Aggies may consider themselves validated today, as Stadium Journey ranked the Spectrum's gameday atmosphere as No. 5 in the nation ahead of some pretty big contenders.

The rankings, reflecting impressions from the last four years, were culled from such data collection factors as fans, access, amenities and bang for the buck. The Spectrum fared favorably, ranking behind only Kentucky's Rupp Arena, Syracuse's Carrier Dome, Memphis' FedEx Forum and Creighton's Century Link Center among 351 college venues in the country.

Some comments about the Spectrum from the evaluation:

Although the venue is nestled in a location very much out of the way for non-locals, it is well worth the trip. The student section, which constitutes half of the stadium, fills up fast and all the way to the brim. There is a buzz from the moment the doors open and the famous chants and heckling intended for opposing teams, begins much before tipoff. There is also a great community feel during and after the game.

Somewhat surprisingly, the Spectrum is ahead of some of the nation's heralded venues. Phog Allen Fieldhouse is at No. 6, The Pit of New Mexico is at No. 8, and Cameron Indoor, home to the Duke Blue Devils, checks in at No. 31(!).

Detractors of the rankings will say the Spectrum has dropped off in recent years. The listed attendance this season of 9,829 per game is boosted by the venue's seating for students, who didn't exactly pack it in for most games this year.

But the Spectrum did have some high points during the season, most notably a whiteout against San Diego State on national TV that showcased the peak of what the Aggies home atmosphere can be. Utah State pushed the No. 7-ranked team in the nation to overtime before falling in front of a sellout crowd.

Utah State's homecourt advantage compares well to many of the top venues in the nation. Stew Morrill has won more than 89 percent of home games in Logan. The Aggies are also well known for their "I Believe" chant which has spread to other fan bases around the country.

It's worth some discussion: Do you believe that the Spectrum is a top-5 venue for college basketball? Top 20? Has the atmosphere dropped off?

Chime in with a comment below.

Kyle Goon

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon



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