Will 25% Capacity at Texas Tech Still be a Homecourt Advantage
The rise of the Raider Riot student section and overall season ticket holders for Texas Tech basketball games at the United Supermarkets Arena has been almost as remarkable as the team's performance on the court. Of course, you can point to Chris Beard's impressive record inside the friendly confines of the USA as pure basketball acumen, recruiting and performance. He'd be the first one to tell you you're wrong though.
Beard has worked hard to build an involved and active crowd. I don't think I've ever seen a head coach turn around and will the crowd into a frenzy as often as he does. The Red Raiders head coach will assume the lead cheerleader role if need be to egg on the crowd into a raucous chaotic fever pitch.
This year things will certainly be different. Not because of Chris Beard and his ability to wave his arms in a full range of motion, but because "in an effort to ensure adequate levels of safety, Texas Tech will implement a reduced capacity to approximately 25% at The United Supermarkets Arena this basketball season." according to the university.
“Our staff has worked diligently to ensure we accommodate as many of our fans as possible at our home basketball games,” Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said in a statement. “We also want to ensure we offer a safe and enjoyable experience while being socially responsible.”
In addition, fans will be further from the action and wearing face coverings while in their seats and not in the motion of eating or drinking.
Now, that 25% capacity obviously hurts the overall impact of the fans. I can't argue that, but since the USA is the third largest arena in the Big 12, Texas Tech fans can still make a big impact. The Red Raiders sit just behind Texas' Frank Irwin Center and Kansas' Allen Fieldhouse as the largest.
In comparison, Texas Tech will have more than 1,500 more fans than TCU's tiny arena. "BuT ThE AcOuStIcs wiLL AlLow..." Stop right there. If you give me nearly 4,000 Red Raiders in space they'd be louder than 2,000 TCU fans. Can you call them that? The split still might be 50/50 Red Raider fans to TCU fans when Texas Tech comes to town.
All that being said, I do still think that the United Supermarkets Arena will be a dangerous place to play with Chris Beard and his team starting a new non-conference winning streak after Kentucky came in last year and broke it.
That starts with Northwestern State coming into town on November 25th.
Here are your 2020-21 Texas Tech Red Raiders:
Chris Beard’s 8 Biggest Wins in the United Supermarkets Arena