Assembly Hall opened in 1971 on the campus of Indiana University. It seats over 17,000 people and is the regular home of both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Located roughly 50 miles south of Indianapolis, the structure’s housed three national championship teams (1976, 1981, 1987), and welcomed the NCAA basketball tournament three times. In 1972, the Hall was the scene of the ABA Championship series, played by the Indiana Pacers and the New York Nets.
Even with Tom Crean‘s program struggling, Assembly Hall still provides a rocking atmosphere to watch a basketball game. Over the years, Indiana‘s posted winning streaks of 50 and 35 games, proving that when the Hoosiers are dominant — as they have been for much of the arena’s existence — the building ranks as one the toughest venues in the country to play in.
Although hosting basketball games is its main purpose, Assembly Hall has been a bastion of Indianapolis culture, hosting a variety of important performances since its inception. During the 1970’s and 80’s musicians such as Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, Neil Young, The Grateful Dead, The Who, Eagles, and Gary, Indiana’s own, The Jackson Five made appearances in Bloomington. Recently, politicians Bill and Hillary Clinton (at separate times) made speeches in the famed arena, and in April of 2008, future president Barack Obama graced supporters with his presence.
ASSEMBLY HALL FAST FACTS:
-Prior to Assembly Hall, the Indiana basketball team played in Gladstein Fieldhouse, the current indoor track and field complex.
-The court is named for Branch McCraken, the coach who led IU to its first two NCAA titles (1940 and 1953).
-Until a $1.9 million scoreboard was installed in 2005, Assembly Hall had never featured advertisements inside its walls.
-Criticized by many because of its antiquated design and poor visibility from the rafters, Indiana University trustees approved plans to construct a new basketball venue, and thusly, the demolition of Assembly Hall. Funding for a new arena has yet to be secured.