Your Take: The Assembly Hall

Should it stay or should it go now?

It’s up to you.

Option 1: Renovate Assembly Hall, the cavernously intimate home of all Bob Knight’s great success, at a cost of at least $50 million and probably closer to $100 million. Doing so would create a unified lower seating area — no more removable bleachers, just one big chunk of seating all around — add some sort of luxury suit/club box element within that lower bowl or possibly as a replacement for the balcony seats.

Option 2: Knock it all down and start all over again. Estimated price: $115 to $140 million.

Option 3: Do nothing at all. Except maybe a few piddly but necessary fixes around Assembly Hall as it prepares to be paired with the Basketball Development Center (i.e. building with a few extra gyms, a couple of offices and some locker rooms and training areas) by the end of 2008.

Cast your vote. Let your voice be heard.

No, this isn’t a democracy. It’s something much more powerful: it’s capitalism, and you’ve got all the money.

32 comments

  1. Build a new one. There is no reason why they can’t figure out a way to finance it. Have all the sponsorship you want on it. I could care less, but staying with a place like Assembly Hall would be a mistake.

  2. Option 1. I see no reason to build a new arena if it costs more. If we can save money and save the atmosphere by renovating Assembly Hall why wouldn’t we. The main reason people want to build a new arena is because they have some sort of facination with Conseco Fieldhouse. Which in an outsiders opinion (Not a Pacers fan), it is not very good at all. Conseco is state of the art, but not college basketball. If we want to attract top recruits year in a year out, we need a college basketball facility not a pro facility. As a High School Senior those are the things you think about. I feel so pasionate on this subject that I even gave a speech on it a couple of days ago in my Business Pres class for my final.

    And most people feel we need “State of the Art” facilities, well in all honesty, we do. The players are getting a new practice facility. So basically a State of the Art Arena would basically be for the fans not the players, and personally once Assembly Hall is renovated it would be more than enough for the fans.

  3. I’m visualizing…

    John Mellencamp Arena at Assembly Hall.

    Yep, I’m all for tradition, but Assembly is starting to look more like Williams Arena than the Breslin Center. Knock it down and build a brand new state-of-the-art facility with adequate student seating, a la Kohl.

    I can see the recruiting going up even now!

  4. Evan, it will cost roughly $120 million to do a proper renovation of AH to update it. IU could build a new one for basically that same price. AH is a terrible place to watch a game. There are only about 3,000 good seats in the whole arena. I do not want a Conseco at IU but you are crazy if you think AH is better than Conseco. Conseco is to “pro” to be a college arena, but the basic concept is good just make it more like a college arena. Renovating AH would be a monumental mistake and I think the Trustees realize just that after the meeting today. Indiana needs and deserves a state of the art modern facility that still captures the history and tradition of IU Basketball but with all the bells and whistles. No one has advocated a pro facility, just a new one that has decent seating, more seat room, more concessions and bathrooms and a roof that doesn’t leak.

  5. Start a new Tradition! Knock it down and build a new one , and call it Bob Knight Arena.

  6. Knock it down. It opened my last semester at IU and had lousy sight lines then and now.

    Corporate boxes and naming rights make projects like this financially feasible.

    Make the new arena unique with a State of Indiana theme. Similar, but different from Conseco.

    I have always said Assembly Hall looks like it was designed at Purdue with the goal of getting back at us for some slight. It was a bad design for the site in 1955. Good memories, good teams from the past don’t not in and of themselves make for a good venue.

  7. Wouldn’t a renovation of AH seemingly take away all “tradition” familiarities anyway? People are holding onto the idea of AH and not realizing that a renovation would produce an AH they wouldn’t recognize anyway.

    Start new.

  8. New one for sure! I grew up watching games at Assembly Hall, but we need to update. It would be important for recruiting and the future of the program. We should have the best!

  9. Build a new one, and while it’s being built change the floor of the old HPER building and play the games there. It will be old-school, and I’m sure you could fit 5,000 seats, which should be plenty since students don’t really go to the games anyway. Who knows, maybe it will catch on and it there will be no need for a new facility!

  10. Build a new one. Bob Knight wanted to improve the facilities when he was here and never was able to convince people that it needed to be done. Several years have since passed and it’s definitely time to do something! Create the room so that the Alumni no longer have to peer through a sea of students and give the students what most Big Ten schools have: a student section! Even if the price per ticket is raised, I guarantee those students will come. And c’mon folks, the Mark Cuban Arena? The Mellencamp Arena? I don’t think so. Let’s be a bit more creative when trying to find sponsorship!

  11. DO NOT name anything after Mark Cuban. Bring back the mystique name of “HURRIN’ HOOSIERS”, the traditional fast paced game that truly represents all of Indiana. DO NOT name anything because of MONEY. What is there is there. Some changes could be in order especially for corporate sponsorships-suites.See if winning basketball lends itself to major change.
    bill tosheff-Captain, 1951 Hurrin’ Hoosiers
    Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame
    1st NBA Co-Rookie of the Year-1952
    President, Pre-1965 NBA Players Ass’n-who brough in 40 pioneer NBA veterans of the early era into a pension program.

  12. Build a new one but design it so some of the “feel” of Assembly Hall is brought into the new facility.

  13. The only thing that matters is the program. When Bob Knight got bigger than the program, he had to go. Assembly Hall needs to go, too. Let’s build an arena worthy of Indiana basketball.

  14. Build one that will seat enough people that you don’t have to have life long season tickets in order to get in to see a game. Bloomington and surrounding areas have so many fans that would love to see more than one game in a life time in person.
    Changing the name to Bob Knight Arena or whatever would be an added plus.

  15. We can’t change the name to RMK Arena….that would ruin all of Dick Vitale’s broadcasts of games because he wouldn’t have anything to ramble on about when it comes to IU. He goes on a rant about that every single game…sometimes when IU isn’t even playing.

  16. Mr Tosheff, I hate to tell you this, but there’s no way this thing is getting done without corporate naming rights being sold. In this day and age, all we can hope is that those rights are bought by someone or something with an attractive name.
    If it’s money versus tradition, you and I both know that money wins every time, and tradition never even gets a punch in.

  17. Assembly Hall was not designed with spectators in mind. There are many seats that are horrible to watch a game. I say, let’s do away with Assembly Hall, and build a much better arena worthy of Indiana basketball!!!

  18. Assembly Hall was a disaster from the time it opened as far as being a good place to watch basketball. There is tradition there because of what the players accomplished over the past 35 years. I can’t imagine anyone will miss it except those who had the 2,000 or so outstanding seats. The rest are horrible. Tear it down and build a new one.

  19. Do away with it all. Toss those banners out with the building since the past doesn’t matter to those now running the show.

    Put a big ol’ corporate logo on it, maybe even name it The Verizon Arena.

    After all, that would be appropriate is still in it when finished.

    Heck, we can even be like Duke and put the idiots on the edge of the court where they can jump up and down too.

    Tradition….we don’t need no stinkin’ tradition any more.

  20. Whoa… It’s a perfectly useful building, why tear it down? Even if private funding can be obtained for a new arena, e.g., naming opportuntiies and sponsorships, the old building surely can be useful to other university teams, programs, union board etc.

    But we’re missing the major point: if we can’t obtain adequate levels of private funding for a new arena, then we should wait. I could not justify tying up the university’s bonding/borrowing capacity on athletic buildings when there are even more pressing academic needs on this campus that affect many more studetns and future alums every day. How about Ballantine Hall? Or the fact that many Arts & Sciences buildings on this campus have no elevators, cooling and disability features? Swamy was probably the only Dean at IU that couldn’t meet a disabled professor in his office given the state of old kirkwood hall. Let’s get real folks — fix what we have, and that which we have real urgent needs to repair or replace.

  21. First off, assemblly hall is unattractive, falling apart, disfunctional. We would get much more bang for the buck in building a new stadium. There is nothing really worth saving (except for the scoreboard) with this in mind, why would we want to get less bang out of our tax dollars?

    I look forward to a new facility and will hopefully be able to attend the implosion!

  22. I have a few suggestions:

    1. Tear down Assembly Hall, but salvage what you can. This would obviously include the new scoreboard. But why not sell the seats or the floor to fans? Remember when they cut up the floor years ago and sold it? Surely there would be a strong interest from nostalgic fans looking for souvenirs from AH.

    2. Build a state of the art arena with seating for 22-23k that includes suites. The suites earn a lot of revenue and would be utilize to fund part of the new arena.

    3. Naming rights deal — sadly, this will definitely have to occur, I think. Surely, IU could get 1 mil+ a year for a naming rights deal. I could see someone along the lines of Eli Lilly, Steak N Shake (Kelley family), Mark Cuban (HD Net), Bill Cook (Cook Inc), etc.

    4. Selling premium seats for a premium. This includes lower level seats and possibly those courtside seats in the first few rows.

  23. I say leave it there, and build a new one nearby. We could surely come up with some use for such a cool building (though I agree with those who have said it’s not a great place to watch basketball).

    I would also support a renovation plan that did some amazing improvement of the “sight lines”.

  24. Rename the current Assembly Hall -Robert Montgomery Knight Hall, then…tear it down. He despises IU and has shown nothing but contempt for Indiana when he left. This would be a great way for Indiana Basketball and RMK to “break clean” of each other.

    I agree- sell the seats to IU fans who would snatch them up in a heartbeat (all be it as tattered and nasty as they are!!!). I’d love to watch IU b-ball games in the future at home in my AH seats!!! Take the new scoreboard and the championship banners to the new arena and then…move on!!!

  25. As a season ticket holder, I would be more than willing to pay an increased fee for a new arena. The steps are so steep. This season I saw an elderly fan fall and have to be carried out on a stretcher. This arena should have been replaced long ago. Although I hate watching the Cameron crazies at Duke, you must admit that having those students close to the courts makes a huge difference. If a new arena is built, I vote the students get first chance at all the floor level seats all the way around the court. (I’m not a student). I think it would be a great fundraiser to let each season ticket holder have the opportunity to buy their seat and sell what is left to the general public. (Hey, isn’t it nice by the way to be talking about the basketball program with such hope and excitement again???) THANKS COACH SAMPSON!

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