When it comes to hoops in New Mexico, there is but one destination – the Pit.
The nationally renowned arena, originally named University Arena but affectionately called the Pit for its underground design, is the University of New Mexico Lobos hunting ground, where visiting teams fear to tread thanks to an amazing fan base that makes it one of the loudest, most raucous places to play college basketball. High school teams also strive to play in the Pit for state basketball championship games.
Over the years, the Pit has played host to NCAA tournaments, including a memorable Final Four in 1983, and it also has been a venue for concerts, boxing matches, rodeo competitions and other events, including the Gathering of Nations Indian powwow.
Built in 1966 at a cost of $1.4 million, the Pit (now officially called WisePies Arena) celebrated its 50th anniversary last week. There is no other arena like it and thanks to a fabulous $60 million face-lift, it stands as proud as ever.
Happy birthday to this icon that puts New Mexico on the map in a very good way!
This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.