January 16, 2019

Ever heard the term “Hoosier Hysteria”? Hoosier hysteria is the excitement that surrounds basketball throughout the state of Indiana. While basketball was invented in Massachusetts; Indiana should really be considered the basketball capital of the world. It is reported that 90%, the vast majority of the largest high school gyms are located in The Hoosier State. Here are a list of the top 10 high school basketball gyms in the United States.

  1. West Side High School Gym. West Side High School is a four-year public school. It was founded in 1968 and was the largest high school in the state at that time. The high school is located in Gary, Indiana. Their gym has a seating capacity for 7,217 people.

  1. “The Wolves Den” Gym. This gym is located in Michigan City, Indiana at Michigan City High School. The school was formed in 1995 by the merging of Rogers High School and Elson High School. It is located on the former campus of Rogers High School. It is a four year public school and currently enrolls about 1800 students. “The Wolves Den” has a seating capacity of 7,304.

  1. North Side Gymnasium. The North Side Gymnasium is located on the campus of North Side Middle School. It has a 7,373 seat arena that opened in 1954 in Elkhart, Indiana. Both of the local high schools host their varsity basketball games there. The ground was broken for the project in July 1953 and cost $1.3 million to complete. The gym brought in $57,000 of revenue in the first initial season from ticket sales, concessions, and parking fees.

  1. Alfred J. Loos Fieldhouse. Finally, we see one outside of the state of Indiana. The Alfred J. Loos Fieldhouse is located in Dallas, Texas. It has a seating capacity of 7,500 fans. The Alfred J. Loos Fieldhouse is set in a sports complex that features a football stadium, softball field, and a natatorium. It is highly known for being a very well-maintained facility.

  1. Bill Green Athletic Arena. Marion High School in Marion, Indiana was originally established before 1900. The school has been renovated many times since then. The school is highly known for their great basketball teams. They have won 8 state championship titles and are currently tied for the most in the 100 plus years of tournament play. The Marion High School gymnasium was names the Bill Green Athletic Arena after the former basketball coach Bill Green. The arena has a 7,560 person capacity. Bill Green holds the state record with 6 state championships which includes back to back to back crowns in 1985, 1986, and 1987.

  1. Muncie Fieldhouse. The Muncie Fieldhouse was built in 1928 and sits next to Muncie Central High School. Muncie is a public high school that opened in 1868. In the early 1920’’s, it became one of the first schools in Indiana to adopt a mascot. With a capacity of 7,635, the Fieldhouse became one of the largest high school basketball gyms in the US. In November 2017, a storm came through from a tornado that caused damage to the roof. A brick crashed through the roof and flooded the basketball floor within minutes. The Muncie Fieldhouse has been closed since. They are hoping it will be back up and running someday.

  1. Tiernan Center. Richmond High School is located in Richmond, Indiana. It is the home of the Red Devils. The schools fieldhouse, the Tiernan Center, opened in 1985 and was named in honor of the Richmond High School long-time teacher Richard “Dick” Tiernan. The fieldhouse seats 8,100 fans. It was the host site for the IHSAA boys and girls semi-state basketball tournament in 2013.

  1. Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium. Located at Seymour High School in Seymour, Indiana. It is home to the Seymour High School Fighting Owls. The gymnasium holds a whopping 8,110 fans. It was dedicated in 1970 and renamed in 1998 in honor of Lloyd Scott. Scott had coached the boys basketball team from 1961-1974. Lloyd Scott had been instrumental in helping to build the new gym. This gym is known for it’s incredible bleacher system, which is the largest wooden pullout system in the world.

  1. John A. Barratto Athletic Center. East Chicago Central High School is a public high school in East Chicago, Indiana. This high school replaced the two aging high schools in the area, East Chicago Washington and East Chicago Roosevelt. This center has seating capacity for 8,296 people. The Athletic Center is named after John A. Barratto, who was the East Chicago Washington head coach from 1946 to 1968. He was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1972.

  1. New Castle Fieldhouse. The number one largest high school gym is in New Castle, Indiana at New Castle High School. The fieldhouse seats 9,325 people; that is more than some of the current colleges programs like Duke, Northern Iowa, and Notre Dame. The New Castle Fieldhouse has been the largest high school gym since it was built in 1959.

A few honorary mentions include the Round Valley Ensphere at Round Valley High School in Eagar, Arizona. It has a capacity for seating 9,200 people, but is not considered a gym because it is a domed football stadium. Although this is where the basketball team plays their games. And also, Anderson High School in Anderson, Indiana has a large high school gym with a capacity for 8,996 closed in 2011. It remains standing and will be redeveloped over the years.

If there is one thing that sets these gyms apart from the rest - besides the sheer size of them - it is how well maintained they are. These high school gyms obviously host the high school basketball games, but a lot of them host tournaments and championships all throughout the year. These facilities need to be in tip-top shape at all times. School gym inspections are an important part of maintaining good facilities. The more use your gym equipment experiences, the more imperative inspections are.