Assembly Hall
Assembly Hall is a large dome-shaped indoor arena located in Champaign, Illinois, and is part of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Hall hosts games for the Fighting Illini men's and women's basketball teams, and doubles as a performance and event center.

Fighting Illini Basketball
Assembly Hall hosts home games of Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball and Illinois Fighting Illini women's basketball and has earned a reputation as one of the toughest places to play in college basketball, thanks to the student cheering section, the " Orange Krush," which occupies the floor around the court as well as some seats. At the annual "Paint the Hall Orange" game, everyone in attendance wears an orange shirt, resulting in an impressive and intimidating environment, although in recent years it has become customary for Illini fans to wear orange at all home games and the official "PTHO" game was discontinued after the 2007-08 season

Assembly Hall opened on March 2, 1963 and continues to attract attention for its design and construction. Four hundred feet across, it at one time was one of only two edge-supported domes in the world. The roof is supported by 614 miles (988 km) of one-quarter inch steel wire wrapped at the base of the dome under intensive pressure. The architect was Max Abramovitz, a distinguished University of Illinois alumnus. A popular legend in the University of Illinois School of Architecture maintains that then-student Abramovitz proposed the design of the Assembly Hall in one of his design courses and was criticized by faculty, claiming it to be "unfeasible" and "structurally unrealistic."

The third largest Illinois arena after the United Center in Chicago and the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Assembly Hall has just over 16,000 permanent seats, with an official capacity of 16,618 for basketball games, but when portable chairs are placed on the floor for an in-the-round performance there is a potential of up to 17,200 depending on the size of the stage.

Assembly Hall has hosted a variety of Illinois High School Association events. It has been the home of the state individual wrestling tournament since 1967. From 1963 to 1995, Assembly Hall played host to the state finals of the boys' basketball tournament. From 1978 to 1990, it also hosted the IHSA girls' basketball tournament.

Broadway Series
Assembly Hall is also the venue for the annual News-Gazette Broadway Series, which features popular musicals such as Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, RENT, and Fiddler on the Roof.

Endangered Landmark
As of April 2, 2008, the Assembly Hall was added to the annual top ten endangered Illinois historic places list as published by Landmarks Illinois, a non-profit historic preservation group. The only other endangered athletic site on the list is the Cubs' Wrigley Field in Chicago.

New Arena
In the autumn of 2008, school officials, led by Athletics Director Ron Guenther, are deciding whether to refurbish Assembly hall or build a new basketball arena. A decision is expected during the 2009 -2010 school year.


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Building Activity

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    about 5 years ago via Annotator
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