Ahearn Field House
Ahearn Field House is one of the athletic buildings on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. It is currently home to the K-State volleyball team and indoor track and field squad, and houses facilities for the Department of Kinesiology and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. The facility was named in honor of Michael F. Ahearn. Over the years 'Mike' Ahearn served Kansas State University in a variety of roles that included coach, professor, Head of the Department of Physical Education, and Director of Athletics. Kansas State's men's basketball team posted an all-time record in Ahearn Field House of 369-96 (.793), including six undefeated seasons.

In the US during the 1930s and 1940s the popularity of basketball as an intercollegiate sport increased. At the same time, the KSU men's basketball teams enjoyed great success, reaching the Final Four of the 1948 NCAA tournament. As a consequence, the number of people attending games steadily increased, and began to exceed the capacity of the existing facility, Nichols Hall. By the mid-1940s students would have to climb into the rafters in order to find a seat to watch the men’s team play. Not only was this situation uncomfortable, it was also unsafe. In the late-1940s the Kansas State Legislature approved the construction of a new and much larger basketball facility, designed to overcome the capacity and safety shortcomings of Nichols Gymnasium.

Opened in 1950 with a seating capacity of more than 14,000, Ahearn Field House was one of the first and largest purpose-built basketball arenas in the country . Changing fire codes over the years forced changes to the seating arrangements that eventually reduced seating capacity to 11,700 for the 1987-1988 season. This was the final season in which K-State basketball games were held in Ahearn. Ahearn Field House hosted the men's NCAA basketball tournament regional finals six times ( 1953, 1955, 1960, 1962, 1965, and 1969). It also hosted the national championship match for the 1974 AIAW Women's Basketball Tournament, as well as a quarterfinal game in the 1976 NIT. Ahearn Field House provided a legendary homecourt advantage for K-State. Former Kansas State coach Tex Winter said in his biography Trial By Basketball: "Kansas State won a lot of ballgames because of that crowd. Many times during timeouts you couldn't hear yourself talk. All I could do was scribble a play on the floor. The crowd there never died, even in one of our lulls ”“ the crowd would come alive and pick us up." The total attendance from 1950 to 1988 was over 4,839,796.

Ahearn today
By 1988 many felt that Ahearn ”“ like Nichols before it ”“ had grown outdated, and that year K-State basketball moved to the newly-constructed Bramlage Coliseum. Over the years Ahearn has been modified to accommodate a variety of other activities, ranging from additional classroom space to providing venues for other intercollegiate sports such as indoor track and field and volleyball. Ahearn has also hosted NCAA volleyball tournament games four times since 1996.


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