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Basketball hoop against a backdrop of red seats in an arena



The Pit is among the most iconic venues in all of college sports. If you haven’t been to a game at the University of New Mexico’s subterranean treasure, you’re missing out. Here are three things we love about this iconic Albuquerque landmark.

Its Fascinating Backstory

Built in a 37-foot-hole, the Pit’s construction in 1966 was an architectural feat, particularly at the time. Oddly enough, the roof went up first. Next came the excavation of the hole and arena work. Amazingly, it cost just $1.4 million to build. The Pit’s been renovated a number of times throughout the years and now accommodates more than 15,000 fans and boasts a sleek modern design.

The Atmosphere

When UNM’s spirited and raucous fan base is out in full force, the Pit’s intense atmosphere can’t be beat. If you haven’t checked out a Lobos home game, it belongs on your bucket list.

Serious Home-Court Advantage

Since the Pit hosted its first game in 1966, the Lobos have won nearly 80 percent of their men’s basketball home games, according to the program’s 2021-22 media guide. Eighty. Percent. That’s a serious home-court advantage. Perhaps it’s ABQ’s mile-high elevation that trips up visiting teams. Perhaps it’s the intimidating atmosphere. Whatever the reason, few arenas are harder to win in than the Pit.

Keep up on all things Albuquerque at the Olympus Encantada blog.