You decide: The fate of Assembly Hall…

The Indiana athletic department is still awaiting the results of a building audit on Assembly Hall, where the Hoosiers have played basketball since 1971.

Rick Greenspan and his staff are expecting to find out whether architectural firm HOK Sports believes it would be most practical to refurbish the building or destroy it and build a new arena. A new arena would cost at least $120 million. Renovations would be less, but still pricey.

We’d like to know what you think. Should Assembly Hall, the site where all those championship teams played, stay standing? Or should Indiana build a state-of-the-art facility — which would wow recruits and be more fan-friendly – in its place?

Leave your vote and comments below.

24 comments

  1. It’s time…..Assembly Hall has been a great venue, but like all good things it must come to an end. A new state of the art facility will help recuiting and attendence and be a source of pride for all Hoosiers. Combine the great tradition and the Hoosier love of basketball and do it right…take a look at Conseco in Indy, what a holy shrine to hoops in Indiana. People love it…it will take lots of work and of course $$$, but there are enough IU b-ball lovers in this world to make it happen. MJ

  2. MORE FAN-FREINDLY! MORE STUDENT-FREINDLY! That should be the mantra and chant! I have camped out in front of the South Lobby many of times during the 70’s; it is hallowed ground yet I would love to see students have better access to games and the experience. That would be the one concern I would have that students would get pushed to the back once again to placate the donating alumni. Let’s make this a college facility and not a professional basketball facility. Let’s make it affordable for the students to get as many that want to attend in there!

  3. sounds real intelligent on IU’s part… let an architectural firm do a feasibility study on an building.

    Hmmmm, demo the building and get a really large fee to design a new one (as well as add something new for the firms portfolio)

    Or,

    Get a mediocre fee and probably lose a lot of money working with existing conditions and liability insurance.

    Sorry, I already know the answer. They will look for every excuse possible for demolishing the existing building, so why speculate. The only reason it won’t happen is IU can’t afford it.

  4. well said cheyennemtnman & MJ. as a recent graduate of IU, I too respect the tradition of assembly hall but to survive in the new age of plush student-athlete accomodations, the only way to attract the top recruits to btown is to have the top facilities to match.

  5. Well if you keep the old stadium…please change the mile stair walk from mezzanine floor to the balcony…please provide more escalators and elevators…my feet are still hurting from walking up all those stairs last year

  6. I’m sorry but I am oldschool. I think that Assembly Hall is a first-class venue and if they would just upgrade it a little (maybe suites for the boosters) and set up a student section, that place could be on par with any college arena in the country. Players want to play for a winner, and having a boisterous student section can really help a team. Just look at Cameron Indoor. So I say build a top-of-the-line practice facility to impress recruits, and make some upgrades including a student section in Assembly Hall.

  7. One step forward and three steps back when you upgrade assembly hall. If you want to stay on the same playing field with Louisville Ohio State and the other biggies. The only thing to do is build a new state of the art facility. Then in the next forty years you would still have a nice building. I know that assembly hall has a lot of memories forever entwined in it’s rafters, but the time has come to raze the building and go from there. Why spend money on a feasibility study when the money could be used on a new building? Does anyone know what a feasability study would cost? (just my opinion).

  8. How could anyone think this is a good place to watch a basketball game? The seats are small and crowded together. The aisles are steep enough to be dangerous. (I know because I fell and broke a finger.) The acoustics are bad. If anyone stands up, s/he blocks the view for hundreds behind him. I say start over and build something more comfortable for everyone – like maybe the old Market Square Arena.

  9. I have posted elsewhere that IU should keep the Hall, but upgrade it. I have to say that 95% of my thought-pattern on this comes straight form my heart, not my head. I think that although the Hall has bad sight lines, bad accoustics, steep stairs, and no student section, it is still steeped in the tradition of IU basketball – which is hard to duplicate. Many new, state-of-the-art, facilities lack character, they lack a feeling that is unique to their team – in a word, they are stale. I also wonder about the practicality of spending $15-$20 millinon on a separate practice facility, then turning around and building a new arena – shouldn’t we just build one new building that could host both? My proposal would be to move forward with the new practice facility and “gut” the Hall, allowing for more fan-friendly seating, an added student section and better site lines.

  10. As much as I would like to remodel and update Assembly Hall. My brain tells me there is too much nedded to make that a realistic choice. There needs to be a larger seating capacity, a student section, suites, and numerous other bells and whistles. If possible keep the same floor. And oh yeah paint the visitors locker room pink.

  11. Assembly Hall has always been a white elephant. Tear the place down and hang the banners in a new, better-designed, bigger arena.

  12. mntman – I’m not saying we don’t need new, or upgraded, facilities. Just wondering whether we are moving faster than necessary with building a practice facility now if we are going to build a new arena soon, as well. The practive facility, if built first, will need to be close to the new arena (if it is indeed built). So, you would have to build the new arena in the same plasce as the Hall in order to keep it adjacent. Where would the team play during construction? If a new arena is indeed the answer, why not design it AND the practice facility together, at the same time, rather than having to go back later and fit the new arena to the existing practice faciltiy? I am not concerned with the funding, as I am confident that donors and Greenspan will find a way. Either way, I am very excited about the prospect of new facilities.

  13. The reason this is a huge issue is that it’s a recruiting attraction for the future…especially the near future. I’m not just talking men’s basketball either. What kid would want to play in an old arena anywhere, if they could play in something spectacular and state-of-the-art like what is proposed for IU?

  14. Living in Columbus, Ohio I know what a bore it is to watch a game that is at Value City arena. Sure, I will admit it’s a nice venue, but their isn’t any tradition. You just can’t buy tradition. You cand spend as much money as you want trying to build a state-of- the art arena, but only a few venues still have that traditon that assembly hall has.

  15. Great point Drew! I grew up in Indiana and am a Hoosier thru and thru. However, I have spent the past 7 years in Columbus, OH and the basketball tradition isn’t nearly as strong. IU basketball is more similar to OSU football. They didn’t tear down the shoe, they made it better. The shoe is what keeps the tradition real. If they tear down Asembly Hall, it will be the death of the tradtion that is Indiana Basketball.

  16. I say refurbish it and do not tear it down! There is too much I.U. history there. I am an I.U. alumnus and tearing down this historic building would be wrong. Long Live Assembly Hall!!!

  17. I’m reminded of the scene from “Hoosiers” where the walk into Butler Fieldhouse and measure the height of the goal and find that it’s still 10ft off the ground, but then after the players leave he says “It sure is big though.”

    My point is, building a new arena won’t change the tradition of IU Basketball. We will still have the NCAA Championships, the Big Ten titles, the All-Americans, the most passionate fans, the best recruiting base, etc. It’s not the building that’s made Assembly Hall tough to play at, it’s been the players on the court, “the” coach on the sideline, and the fans, students, and alumni in the stands. That being said, it will be different though.

    Also, if they are going to build a new arena, they need to ensure that it is the best college basketball arena in the world, because after all this is Indiana.

  18. I have been an IU guy since I was about 4 years old. Born and raised in Southern Indiana. I used to watch IU with my mom everytime we had a chance. (Cue Martha the cleaning lady-“Indiana, Our Indiana”!) However, they need to wait until I can finally go, with my mom to a game at Assembly. I haven’t been there, but I have been a part of the history that is at Assembly. Hopefully I can watch them blow out Pur-doo-doo. BTW, add purple flowers to the pink visitors locker room. GO BIG RED!!!!!!!!

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