Home Sweet Home

Reed Arena has been transformed from one of the worst basketball atmospheres in the country to one of the rowdiest over the past four seasons. The Aggies now have a true home-court advantage that continues to reach new levels each and every year. Aggie Websider takes a look at the records that continue to be set and what it's meant on the court.

The first six years of basketball history in Reed Arena is not something that A&M fans can be very proud of. Empty seats, a sterile environment and miserable basketball were regulars in the new special events center on West Campus.

During that time span, the Aggies compiled an overall record of 41-41, including losses to powerhouse programs like North Carolina A&T, Centenary, Birmingham Southern, Long Beach State, St. Louis, Loyola Marymount, Miami (FL), UT-San Antonio and A&M-Corpus Christi.

Okay, so miserable basketball was an understatement.

Fans could regularly arrive five minutes before tip off, grab a coke, and take up four seats per person—one to sit in, one for each arm to rest on and one to prop your feet up on in front of you—in section 105, row EE. That's mid-court, five rows from the court.

But those seats are filled now—with a $1,000 donation per seat—and the sterile environment has been replaced by one of the top basketball environments in the Big 12.

Ribbon boards flash 360 degrees around the arena and a state-of-the-art center-hung video board has replaced the old score board that was famous for the "dancing spoon men" during the Aggie War Hymn.

Yep, things are different now.

Over the last four years, A&M is 58-6 (.906) at home and an incredible 41-3 (.932) since the start of the 2005-2006 season.

By comparison, perennial powerhouse Kansas is 37-4 (.902) in that same time span inside the famed Allen Field House, including a loss to Texas A&M at home last February.

The Aggies have won 41 straight non-conference games at home dating back to 2003 when A&M-Corpus Christi upset the Aggies at Reed Arena.

Those new winning ways have equaled record attendance for the Aggies over the last four year as well, producing all 11 of the Top-11 crowds in A&M basketball history. And those attendance figures have continued to rise in 2007-2008, despite an increase in ticket prices.

Through the first eight home games last year, the Aggies averaged 7,344 fans per game, including five games with less than 7,000 fans.

Through the first eight games at home this year, attendance is up 21 percent, with an average crowd of 8,912. Seven of the eight games have boasted crowds of at least 8,000 and the only other game was just short, with 7,789 fans.

By the end of the year, several individual attendance records will be broken as Reed Arena adds a few hundred seats on the west end for more student seating.

Four future games have already sold out (LSU, Texas, OU, Kansas), one has single tickets only (OSU) and when searching for the best available ticket for the other three games, the only seats remaining are in top four rows of the corner sections of the upper deck.

Every game in 2008 will be a sell out for the Aggies, and for those of us who used to sprall out across row EE in section 105 for a Big 12 conference game, it's a welcome sight.

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