The Rio Grande Valley Vipers have plenty of bounce in their step, especially after opening a new arena in late 2016.
The Bert Ogden Arena is now home to the Vipers, with the stadium located at Interstate 69-Central and Alberta Road in Edinburg. The local Bert Ogden Auto Group secured the naming rights, and the team moved from the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo that it occupied for the first nine years of its history.
The $68 million Bert Ogden Arena has seating for 8,500 spectators and amenities like a 40-foot by 20-foot Jumbotron, a full-service restaurant, executive lounges and suites, and a variety of concessions options. The arena is next door to 1 million square feet of property that will ultimately be developed into an outdoor shopping mall and several restaurants.
The Vipers compete in the National Basketball Association Development League, or D-League, which is the minor league of the NBA. The team was established in 2007 and is affiliated with the Houston Rockets, and the Vipers were D-League champions in 2010 and 2013.
The current D-League has 18 teams, and Rio Grande Valley competes in the Central Division against opponents such as Austin, Iowa, Sioux Falls, Texas and Tulsa. More than 30 Vipers players have been called up to the NBA during the team’s history, and four former staff members are part of NBA coaching staffs.
RGV plays a 50-game season from November through early April, and season tickets range from $49 behind the baskets to $1,250 along the court. Single-game tickets are $7 and up. The Vipers participate in a number of charities and promotional giveaway nights, and they sponsor a Junior Vipers Membership Club for children ages 5-15. The team also has a cheerleading dance squad called the Snake Charmers.