VERNON BRYANT - Staff Photographer South by Southwest has been a bur for the UIL state basketball tournament over the last decade, causing an estimated drop in attendance by 30,000 people over the years. However, with Texas' strong basketball tradition at the prep, college and pro ranks, there is no shortage of venues in some of the traditional state championship locations. Here are our 10 picks for tournament sites.
Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports 10. Toyota Center, Houston: The home of the Rockets offers a pretty easy trek south for the state tournament and with the usual one or two teams coming from Southeast Texas in addition to the Houston-area teams that are perennial contenders, the NBA arena seems fitting. The challenge would involve the Rockets home schedule for back-to-back weekends in March. Capacity: 18,300
Michael Ainsworth - Staff Photographer 9. Frank Erwin Center, Austin: Yes, we did just say that dodging South by Southwest would be the goal of this, but even coaches have trouble swallowing the idea of changing a century-long tradition of playing in Austin. Capacity: 17,000
Brandon Wade - Special Contributor 8. Daniel Meyer Coliseum, Fort Worth: The home to the TCU basketball teams will go through some renovations and the proximity to I-35 and the rest of the Dallas-Fort Worth area could make this a sell. And for teams traveling to Fort Worth, luck might be on their side visiting teams have had a pretty solid record on this court in recent years. Capacity: 7,166
Nathan Hunsinger - Staff photographer 7. Curtis Culwell Center, Garland: The facility has shown it can handle big basketball crowds and events, serving as the host site for the SWAC conference tournaments and numerous high school basketball regionals. The Culwell Center is now the site of the UIL state volleyball and wrestling tournaments, so maybe Garland could be the new home of state basketball. The city itself has some good basketball history with guys  like Mookie Blaylock among its notable hoops alumni. Not to mention, Garland ISD has put teams in the state tournament three of the last five years. Capacity: 7,000
D. Clarke Evans - NBAE/Getty Images 6. AT&T Center, San Antonio: This is the first of two San Antonio venues on the list. The Spurs home is centralized in Texas while far enough south of Austin to where travel shouldn't be impeded by SxSW traffic. Capacity: 18,500
Nathan Hunsinger - Staff photographer 5. Moody Coliseum, Dallas: The home to the resurgent SMU Mustangs would be a popular choice for the tournament, but the problem with this location would be seating capacity. It only holds about half the number of people as the Frank Erwin Center. However, with Dallas area stars signing their way to play at SMU, like Keith Frazier, the pipeline could be a nice fit. Capacity: 9,000
Tom Fox - Staff Photographer 4. Ferrell Center, Waco: Baylor's home arena has drawn large crowds for mens and women's college games in recent years and it has served as the home of several regional tournaments at the high school level. It holds more than 10,000 people, and it is pretty centrally located for both DFW and Houston-area teams. And besides, that giant gold dome is pretty iconic. Capacity: 10,280
James Nielsen - Houston Chronicle 3. Hofheinz Pavilion, Houston: The tight quarters would make the home of the UH Cougars a tough sell, but the upcoming $40 million in renovations would make this an appealing arena choice. The school's ties with basketball tradition both at the college level and professional ranks (Hakeem Olajuwon anyone?) could offer a special experience for the high school kids. Capacity: 8,500
LOUIS DELUCA/Staff Photographer - 105096 2. American Airlines Center, Dallas: March is a busy month at the AAC with the Dallas Mavericks and Stars both splitting time in the building, but when Mark Cuban wrote an email to The News saying he would be interested in hosting the tournament, it showed that there is hope for this venue as a home for the state tournament. Seating would not be a problem, and maybe the Mavs ManiAACs would make an appearance. Capacity: 21,000 (standing room)
MICHAEL Ainsworth - Staff Photographer 1. Alamodome, San Antonio: Keeping the Central Texas location and reputation as the home to big-time high school and college sports, the Alamo Dome would be a prime fit for the tournament. Located 80 miles south of the Frank Erwin Center, most of the South by Southwest traffic should be nested in Austin, while the tournaments go on. Capacity: 20,000 (66,000 for football)
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