Inside the Home of Hoosier Basketball

With so many new amenities in the renovated Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (check them out in the video above), it can be easy to overlook some of the past peculiarities that have made the beloved basketball venue so interesting and endearing.

Take, for instance, the fact that Assembly Hall was modeled after the design of state fair and cattle auction pavilion J.S. Dorton Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. Or that, in addition to serving as a hardwood basketball court, the original floor was capable of being converted into an ice skating rink!

Bob Hope preparing for the Homecoming Show at Assembly Hall in October 1971. Photo courtesy of IU Archives.
Bob Hope preparing for the Homecoming show at Assembly Hall in October 1971. Photo courtesy of IU Archives.

The venue has also served as stage for some the biggest names and acts of the last century, from Bob Hope (who performed at Assembly Hall’s inaugural event) to Barack Obama, the Grateful Dead to the Dalai Lama, and Fleetwood Mac to the Foo Fighters. And that’s when it wasn’t hosting countless other Indiana University events such as Commencement and Hoosier basketball games.

It’s clear that after nearly 50 years, Assembly Hall’s most enduring trait might be its status as the place where history is made. With modern conveniences now in place, that’s sure to continue long into the future.

Read Video Transcript

This video was originally published for IU Day 2017.

Written By
A. Price
A resident of the Hoosier state since grade school, Alex forged a friendship with “tried and true” IU upon becoming a writer at the IU Foundation.