BWA vs Barnhill

When I attended games from 87-91, Barnhill was known as one of the loudest and most difficult places for opponents to play. I am hearing a lot of people talk about BWA and how noisy and difficult it also is. I have only attended two games in BWA since I live out of state. I would appreciate some perspective from some of those who have been to both in their glory days. How do the two compare? Of course, BWA has one disadvantage in Jim Robken is not there.

Having attend both places as a student. I think Bud Walton is louder. That being said, I have never seen dust falling from the rafters in Bud Walton like I did in Barnhill, although that just may be a factor of the age difference in the buildings. Also there is nothing to compare to Robkin and his running around the Arena.


I had season tickets from 1983 to 2018, 35 years. Isle 102 Row F Seats 101 & 102-- 5 Rows from the court. You can ask Clay how good my seats are. Or even DD might can answer how good Mikes seats were.

Now I’m sure everyone will clam that BWA was the winner. IMO Barnhill wins with the Robkin advantage…

1 Like

There was more spontaneity in the crowds at Barnhill and even early BWA days. Now, it doesn’t seem as much so. Robkin running around, the pep band, the sound meter, and all of those things really pushed the crowd to another level. With that said, twenty thousand yelling people is really loud. In terms of just decibels, BWA is probably louder. I’ve been in there a few times where you couldn’t even think and it hurt.

1 Like

I was in Barnhill as a student, now BWA as an adult. I like/love both. I think Barnhill was louder, more intimidating. But, I would never have tickets if we were still in Barnhill.

The more I think about it, I would say BWA is just as loud on big games. With Barnhill having only, what, 9000 seats it was louder on your run of the mill games.

1 Like

This from “Miracle Ear”:

“The louder the noise level, the less time it takes for the damage to take place. In fact, for every 10 decibels of noise exposure, the intensity of the sound goes up 10 times. At 85 decibels, the maximum recommended exposure time is 8 hours. By 100 decibels, the noise exposure limit drops to 15 minutes, and at 10 decibels more (110 dB), the risk exposure time plummets to just one minute. Exposure to sound levels for longer than that could result in permanent hearing loss.”

Yesterday, in the last 2 minutes of the game, the decibel meter displayed on the big screen, hit 97.9 decibels. Now, I have no idea how accurate that meter is. But, I can tell you, my ears were noticeably ringing all the way back to Little Rock from Fayetteville yesterday.

I even hear a slight ringing (I wouldn’t have noticed it if I weren’t thinking about it) as I’m typing this. It was really, really loud, but only for a few seconds after a made basket and for 10-15 seconds when KY had the ball. All this was just in the last 2-3 minutes of the game.

Like Greg I was a student there when we played at Barnhill and later attended many games at Bud. My student days were 1974-1979, a freshman in Eddie’s first year. And Barnhill was pretty loud during those days. After graduation I lived in Tulsa. When they opened BWA in 1993 I had season tickets for perhaps 10 years in Nolan’s great runs. I attended lots of home games despite moving to Dallas in Spring 1994. And in those days the Bud was rocking of course. I got season tix again this season and have been up for 7-8 games including Auburn and Kentucky, both of which were really loud. But the loudest/wildest game I have attended was a NIT pre-seaon game against OU in Nov 1990 with Nolan’s great MayDay team. That place was crazy start to finish and we crushed Billy Tubbs and OU 110-88. It may have seemed a little louder because my tickets were pretty close to Robken and the bands perch in the corner. So I would have to vote for the Barn. (It could also be that my hearing isn’t as good as it once was! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

1 Like

Copy that. I helped push the bleachers out.

I measured how loud it was by how long the ringing lasted that day or into the next day.

1 Like

As someone who has been on the bench or covered almost every home basketball game since 1981,
Barnhill was the loudest and most intimidating atmosphere of the two.

But the early and mid 90s in Bud Walton was special and the last 3 home games this season have returned it to a place no one wants to play.


I agree Barnhill was much louder. I can remember leaving there a few times and my ears would ring for 2 hours. I haven’t had season tickets for 3/4 years but I never heard BWA where I thought it was close to Barnhill.

Barnhill was special, but it didn’t have a moon man.


Yes but BWA doesn’t have the Madhatters!

Maybe it should. Muss is always pumping up Sam and the football team. Where are the Razorback football players at The Bud? Pretty sure they are students too. Where are they?


A word about Robken. These days he couldn’t be Robken with all the piped in sound, which is much louder than the pep band. If they want to that right, they should mike each individual instrument and run them through an amp. Do that even if they cut the size of the band a bit and audition for the best players in the music program. Get some fresh arrangements for the rest of the SEC to steal. They seem to have liked a lot of the other stuff that started here, much of with Robken.


Been to both.many times, 20,000 is louder the 9,000

Been to both many times. I love the Bud, but Barnhill with Robken and it’s acoustical characteristics was a notch louder I believe.

I don’t think it’s close in my mind, Bud Walton (at capacity) is louder. And I don’t think it’s close. I measure that in the way I talked to my neighbor on press row in Barnhill (doable) and the way I could not talk to my neighbor when Bud Walton was opened. I don’t think where the press sits now is an accurate measurement of noise that reaches the court. We aren’t courtside anymore. But we were in the early 90s when Bud Walton was rocking (as it is now).

I don’t know how the noise from the band compares now. Did Robken pack more band members into his space than they do now? I do know they didn’t have the piped in music then that they do now. And, the piped in music contributes to the loudness of BWA. When that mess is being played, it’s dang loud.

Not sure what y’all are talking about. When I was a student, there was no BWA and Barnhill only had permanent bleachers on one side of the court. The other side was dirt for indoor football practice. I worked a concession stand and only had to go back to it with about 2 minutes to go in the half to fill Coke cups. Ah, those were the days. Late '50’s.

Duff, clearly we are talking about post World War II times!

I was a member of the Hogwild Band. I was there the first time Jim Robken ran the circuit to get the fans on the other side of the arena to stand up and cheer. (In those days, media timeouts weren’t required for non-TV games, so coaches would try to take the crowd out of the game by calling timeouts; Jim was determined to cause that strategy to fail).

That said, Bud Walton is louder. Barnhill was more intense and intimidating. Both are great atmospheres when the crowd is into it. As I’ve said before, I prefer the band to the piped in music. I hate the momentum-killing commercials on the big screen and game “hosts” babbling during timeouts. To me, the in-game experience was always better at Barhill. Glad to see the band back on the court for Swing March on Saturday. That was outlawed for a few years (band members on the court during timeouts) but that’s clearly been rectified.