Monday, June 7, 2010

Does Cook Hall Delay Replacing Assembly Hall?

A funny thing happened to Indiana on its way to building a new Assembly Hall.

It built the new Cook Hall and now everything is all askew.

Suddenly a lot of the reasons why Assembly Hall is such a spectating disaster (were designers TRYING to kill elderly fans and torture balcony spectators with the arena’s brutally steep steps and painful views) became a lot less of a priority because $25 million Cook Hall has enough amenities (practice courts for the men’s and women’s teams, a state-of-the-art training room, a state-of-the-art weight room, and a Legacy Court that displays Indiana’s greatest basketball moments) to keep IU facility competitive.

In other words, athletic director Fred Glass can put off trying to raise the $150 million or so it would take to build a new basketball facility and concentrate on a more immediate facility need –- a new baseball stadium.

That’s a topic for another day. For now consider Glass’s enthusiasm for Cook Hall.

“The building is fabulous,” he said. “We think it’s the best of its kind in the country. It will be the WOW factor we need. It sends chills and brings tears to fans around the state. I hope it become a destination for people to visit.”

All that shelves plans to push for a new basketball arena.

“Cook Hall has the effect of extending the longevity of Assembly Hall,” Glass said. “That’s good news because Assembly Hall is a tough place to play for opponents.

“Having the latest technology and eye candy and whiz-bang effect of Cook Hall, combined with venerable Assembly Hall, is a 1-2 punch that will be good to us.”

“Good” comes with this perspective -– the Assembly Hall design was based on a North Carolina livestock pavilion. In other words, a barn. Why? Because officials wanted a large arena with most of the seats between the baselines and were, and we’re being diplomatic here, frugal with their money in terms of design.

Oh, there’s one other thing. The arena’s architecture plans were drawn in the early 1950s. The building wasn’t finished until the early 1970s. In other words, it was obsolete the first day it opened.

We’re just saying.


  1. Sweet, another facet of IU basketball that is currently total %#*?, the arena!

    I have experienced enough memorable times at Assembly Hall that I can ignore its many flaws. It's like your weird uncle that gets too drunk at every family party. Sure he smells like cat urine, but you still have a warm place in your heart for him.

  2. Assembly hall may have its flaws. However the effect it has during a game, I mean talk about electric. That place rocks harder than any in the country. A college bb stadium is about creating an atmosphere. If people are mad because they cant see the screen because they sit in the back main rows, they should be more focused on the game anyway.

    As long as the roof problems are fixed I hope AH stays put as long as possible

  3. The hall was actually designed to match Memorial Stadium. So should we now consider wrapping in the north end? VBG

  4. I agree that Assembly Hall is certainly not a state-of-the-art facility. It may be tough for fans to climb the stairs. It's not easy to view the game if you have seats that are not in the first 20 rows or behind the baskets. But recruits will be sitting behind the bench. To see all those people, hear all that noise and notice those banners waving, will certainly not detour a prospect from attending Indiana.

    The first thing a recruit will tour is Cook Hall. He will be BLOWN AWAY. Then Coach Crean will walk him over to an empty Assembly Hall--with seats as far as the eyes can see. Once Chuck Crab announces: "Your Indiana Hoooooosiers!", goose bumbs will cover his 16 year-old body. He won't ever see a game from the balcony or have to climb those stairs unless he's on the team doing conditioning drills.

    I say, keep it until we have the money to replace it. Because the more we talk about, the more likely a potential recruit will read about it and have negative thoughts enter his mind before he even arrives on campus.

  5. I believe the estimates for a new arena were on the upward amount of 200-300 million actually but I could be wrong.

  6. Let's focus on getting IU back to "normal" (i.e 20 win seasons and NCAA Tournament bids) and then we can bitch and complain about getting a new arena. I just want to win again.

  7. Support the Marching Hundred Hall. The Hundred is the biggest supporter of IU Athletics. The students work hard every day to provide support and entertainment for Football, Basketball and Soccer. Currently the Hundred has been in run down facilities of the University School on the bypass, slated for demolition once vacated. There is no bus service to the facility on the far East Side of Campus. Students either walk and have to cross the Bypass or beg a ride.

    Help the Hundred with The Tradition of Excellence.

    Make your contributions to The Marching Hundred through the IU Foiundation.

    Here is a concept of the new facility

  8. Well another wait game, those old people, fans, and donors alike, have to chance a fall or two, trying to get up and down the steps at Assembly Hall, to do everything from the bathroom, to the peanuts. I guess there is going to have to be a fall, and/or worst, to get Glass thinking, $150 million is better than a court date! But he is a attorney, and good on his feet, so its not a job for him to get up and down those "Killer" steps.