Hinkle Fieldhouse
Hinkle Fieldhouse is a basketball arena located on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. When it was built in 1928, it was the largest basketball arena in the United States, and it retained that distinction until 1950. It is the sixth-oldest college basketball arena still in use, and it is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. It "is the earliest of the major college fieldhouses, which, along with rules changes that made for a faster game, transformed college basketball in the late 1920s and 1930s."

Hinkle Fieldhouse and the 36,000-seat Butler Bowl football stadium were two of the first buildings erected when the university moved to the Fairview campus. The facilities were promoted by a corporation of 41 Indianapolis businessmen who viewed it as a prize for the Circle City as well as for Butler. When Butler signed a lease with the Indiana High School Athletic Association allowing the high school state tournament to be played there, the corporation agreed to finance the building at a cost of $1,000,000. The court was reconfigured in 1933 from running east to west to run from north to south, as over half of the seats were at the ends of the court, when event viewing is typically better from the sides. Butler hosted the tourney from 1928 to 1971, except for 1943”“1945, when the building housed the US Army Air Forces and US Navy as a barracks during World War II. It was as host to annual high school basketball championship games that the fieldhouse was home to the Milan Miracle, the memorable 1954 victory of tiny Milan High School over the much larger Muncie Central. The film Hoosiers , loosely based on that event, used Hinkle Fieldhouse and the memorable voices of original announcers Hilliard Gates and Tom Carnegie in filming the climactic game of the popular movie. A major $1.5 million facelift in 1989 reduced the seating capacity from 15,000 to 11,043, as well as renovating the main reception area, basketball offices, film rooms and team locker rooms. The Fieldhouse also had its other athletic and physical education offices, sports locker rooms, and fitness facilities renovated as well in 1992. Hinkle Fieldhouse hosted the entire 1994 Horizon League men's basketball conference tournament as well as parts of the 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2010 Horizon League tournaments. The fieldhouse was originally called Butler Fieldhouse, and was renamed in 1966 to honor Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle (1899”“1992), who was basketball coach at Butler for 41 seasons ending in 1970. In 1983, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. On February 27, 1987, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark in recognition of its role in transforming college basketball. In 2006, to celebrate Butler University's 150th Anniversary, a documentary about Hinkle Fieldhouse was aired on ESPN entitled "Indiana's Basketball Cathedral". It was an inspiration for the design of the Conseco Fieldhouse.

The Fieldhouse has served as host to U.S. presidents ( Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton), Evangelist Billy Graham, Ice Shows, professional basketball teams, Olympic basketball trials, the first USSR-USA basketball game, all-star basketball games for the NBA, ABA and the East-West College All-Stars, national indoor track events, tennis matches of both Bill Tilden and Jack Kramer, national equestrian events, the Roller Derby, a six-day bicycle race, a three ring circus, as well as the volleyball matches during the 1987 Pan American Games. At 15,000 the volleyball match was the highest attended volleyball match ever held in the United States.


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  • Georgi Sokolov
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    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com