School: University of North Carolina
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference
Opened: January 18, 1986
First Men’s Game: 1/18/86 #1 vs #3 Duke (W, 95-92)
Cost: $33.8 Million
Notable Games: UNC-Duke Rivalry, 2/8/92 vs Wake Forest (UNC rallied from 22 points down, the largest comeback in school history), 2/3/94, #2 Carolina beat #1 Duke (89-78), The Tar Heels have been in the top five in the national attendance leaders in 23 of the last 24 seasons.
Positives: Puts on a great show before tip off with shutters on the lights and spots. On the concourse, there are many photos of great players and great teams in UNC’s history. A lot of loud fans that create a hostile environment for any opponent.
Negatives: No scoreboard hanging from the center ceiling, only screens on the corners. Seating is very cramped, feels like a Delta flight. Not many ribbon boards or room for press on the floor. Parking isn’t great, it’s a long walk to the arena.
Final Assessment: The Dean Dome reminds me a lot of Rupp Arena at Kentucky (except the blue is a lot lighter). It’s set up as a box with screens on all four corners. The defining feature of the Dean Dome is the dome on the ceiling that allows in natural lighting. The dozens and dozens of banners hanging from the ceilings are pretty impressive. UNC does a great job of showing off it’s rich history in college basketball with the banners on the ceiling, photographs in the concourse and with well-produced videos prior to tip off.