My experience was mainly as a student in Bud Walton Arena. I was one of the original crazies that held up the signs like Big Deal, Who Cares, Whats That Smell, Whose She, Nice Hair when the opposing players were announced in the last year of Barnhill and the first few years of Bud Walton. In those days I visited many of the other arena and hands down in the SEC… no place compared. Now I never visited Kansas’ Phog Allen Field House or Dukes’ Cameron Indoor two places known for loud intense hostile venues, but I’d place Bud Walton (when we were rollin with Nolan) right there with them for sound.
As for Baseball, the loudest game I was ever at was the Brady Topps walk-off and it was a mad house, but as loud as that was, its outdoor and sound doesn’t reverberate and bounce around like it does in an enclosed arena.
As for football, the two loudest events unfortunately were losses. When Vince Young and Texas came to Fayetteville in 2004 and we lost 20-22 at the end. Until Texas got the lead it was amazing. The other one was in 2006 when USC showed up to open the season. Now let me qualify this by saying thats the loudest I ever heard at a football game up until the game got started and USC shut us up rather quickly. But for a brief time it was magnificent. I was not there for the game when we got revenge against Tennessee and tore the goal post down but from people I know that were there, it was a very loud ending to the game.
Still all in all Bud Walton was the loudest in my day, even against Barnhill and Robkins crazy running around days. Nothing can compare.