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Small crowds now the norm for OSU basketball games

By John Rohde Modified: January 22, 2009 at 9:51 am •  Published: January 22, 2009
19, 1982: OSU’s Mitch Shelton, a 420-pound heavyweight with a 9-5-0 record, pinned three-time Oklahoma All-American Steve "Dr. Death” Williams.

→Dec. 6, 1980: OSU guard Eddie "Halfcourt” Hannon threw in a half-court shot at the buzzer to beat No. 8-ranked and defending national champion Louisville, 72-71.

→Several Bedlam contests and games against Kansas and Texas also have raised the decibel level.

But lately, this once House of Horrors has become a house for horrible attendance.

Following a renovation project, Gallagher-Iba had its capacity raised to 13,611 in 2000.

If the arena still had its previous capacity of 6,381, the place would have been full only four times in 10 games so far this season.

That’s not good when you’ve sold 9,318 season tickets.

When Sutton’s teams were on a roll, the toughest place to play in the country was a toss-up among Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse and Gallagher-Iba Arena (before and after renovation).

Not anymore.

Next Monday night brings Bedlam and No. 6-ranked Oklahoma to town.

There’s no guarantee the place will be full. In fact, it’s darn likely it won’t be, unless a couple thousand OU fans show up at the gate.

I miss the old Gallagher-Iba Arena — the one that was deafening, and full.

John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.


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