Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall

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Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
Former namesAssembly Hall (1971–2016)
Location1001 East 17th Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47408-1590
Coordinates39°10′51″N 86°31′20″W / 39.18083°N 86.52222°W / 39.18083; -86.52222Coordinates: 39°10′51″N 86°31′20″W / 39.18083°N 86.52222°W / 39.18083; -86.52222
OwnerPurdue University
Capacity17,222 (2016-present)
17,472 (2011-2016)
17,456 (2005-2011)
17,257 (2000-2005)
17,357 (1976-2000)
16,746 (1973-1976)
16,666 (1971-1973)
Broke groundDecember 22, 1967[1][2]
OpenedSeptember 12, 1971[7]
Construction cost$26.6 million[3]
($168 million in 2019 dollars[4])
ArchitectEggers & Higgins
Structural engineerSeverud Associates[5]
General contractorF.A. Wilhelm Construction Co., Inc.[6]
Indiana Hoosiers (NCAA) (1971–present)

Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, formerly named and still commonly referred to as Assembly Hall, is a 17,222-seat arena on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. It is the home of the Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball and women's basketball teams. It opened in 1971, replacing the current Gladstein Fieldhouse.[8] The court is named after Branch McCracken, the men's basketball coach who led the school to its first two NCAA National Championships in 1940 and 1953. Basketball sportscaster Gus Johnson calls the Assembly Hall "the Carnegie Hall of college basketball."[9]



Indiana officials spent decades planning and four years of construction before The Assembly Hall was finally opened in 1971 at a cost of $26.6 million.[10] The new "Assembly Hall" was named in honor of the school's first basketball arena of the same name. The facility was intended to be aesthetically pleasing and hold a large capacity while offering modern conveniences.

The opening of the arena coincided with the debut of coach Bob Knight, who guided the Hoosiers for 29 seasons before his dismissal by then-IU president Myles Brand in September 2000.

School officials were intent on having the majority of the seats on the sides in order to improve the viewing experience, with only a small number (20 rows of bleachers) behind the baskets.[10] Thus, in order to fit over 17,000 seats in the arena the sides needed to be very steep. The facility also features two balconies, but they are so high up that sitting in them can feel quite far away from the court.

The Assembly Hall has been criticized by some fans for its unique design.[11] Because the facility was designed without consideration for the video replay board added in 2005 that currently hangs above center-court, some of the top rows of the lower level are obstructed from the replay board by the overhanging balcony. The entire court itself, however, is still viewable. In December 2013, 24 monitors were added to the areas that had previously been obstructed. Work was completed by Strauser Construction and Cassady Electric.

In the fall of 2018, J.C. Ripberger Construction Corp completed the new Roberts Family Team Center which includes, the new Andy Mohr Locker Room, the Oladipo Zeller Legacy Lounge, the Tim Garl Athletic Training Room and the Basketball Coaches annex. Project was completed just prior to 2018 Hoosier Hysteria.

Upgrades and improvements[edit]

Assembly Hall score/replay board, added in 2005

Indiana installed a new playing surface during the summer of 1995. New bleacher seats were also added, along with a media row and end seating platforms on Lobby Level.[12]

Upon his dismissal from Indiana, head coach Bob Knight predicted that with his departure advertisements would soon find their way into The Assembly Hall. Knight said, "You'll see a new Assembly Hall this year I'm sure. There will probably be ads in it for everything from dog biscuits to Pepsi Cola, I would imagine. We've always tried to keep it really free from commercialism. It's kind of a sacred place where students come to play and students come to cheer." [13] In 2005 the school completed construction of a state-of-the-art, $1.9 million scoreboard-video board. As with Knight, some Hoosier purists criticized the new scoreboard and advertisements, which had never before been in The Assembly Hall.[14]

In the spring of 2010 a new practice facility called Cook Hall was added adjacent to The Assembly Hall. The two facilities are connected to each other by a tunnel. Cook Hall is 67,000 square feet (6,200 m2) and features coaches' offices, locker rooms, player lounges, meeting/video rooms, new practice courts, training rooms, a strength development area, and a Legacy Court.[15]

2015 renovation and renaming[edit]

Assembly Hall in December 2015.

On December 19, 2013, Indiana University announced that a $40 million donation from Cynthia "Cindy" Simon Skjodt, daughter of late shopping mall magnate and Indiana Pacers owner Mel Simon, would be used to renovate Assembly Hall.[16] Indiana University renamed Assembly Hall the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall upon the completion of the renovations and improvements, which were completed in October 2016.

The south lobby was restructured with a new entryway and dramatic atrium. Escalators replaced ramps in the south lobby. Throughout the arena, new branding and graphics were updated to celebrate the tradition and success of IU basketball.

Existing bathrooms and concession stands were remodeled and new bathrooms added. A large state-of-the-art video scoreboard replaced the current bifurcated scoreboard, improving fan experience for all fans in Assembly Hall, especially those sitting in the balcony. Box seat-style seating was added above the south baseline bleachers and will generate revenue to pay for this seating and to help fund ongoing upkeep of Assembly Hall.

Behind the scenes, Assembly Hall's HVAC and other infrastructure systems were updated and a state-of-the-art broadcast technology center was added to enhance IU Athletics video production and game day broadcasts.[17]

Safety issue[edit]

On February 18, 2014, an 8-foot (2.4 m) long beam over a foot wide fell and damaged the seats at Assembly Hall.[18][19] The scheduled game for that day against the University of Iowa was postponed due to safety concerns.[20]

Atmosphere and success[edit]

The Assembly Hall is well known as being one of the loudest venues in college basketball, aided both by passionate fans and its unique design of steep sides. A 2012 poll of four ESPN pundits ranked it third in terms of best home-court advantages in the country.[21] Since opening for the 1971-72 season, over six million fans have attended men's basketball games at the venue. The men's team has been historically successful there, posting home winning streaks of 50 and 35 games.[8] The Assembly Hall has been home to three national championships, 32 straight winning teams, and 12 conference champions.

During the 2015-2016 basketball season, both the men's and women's teams went undefeated at Assembly Hall, posting a combined 33-0 record at home.

Proposed replacement[edit]

On June 22, 2007, Indiana University trustees approved the demolition of the Assembly Hall and the construction of a new basketball arena "when appropriate". Populous was hired to assess the benefits of renovating or replacing the Assembly Hall. The trustees decided against renovating the stadium for $115 million because construction of a new arena would cost $130 million. This idea was scrapped due to the University changing course and opting to renovate Assembly Hall.[22]


List of Events

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tower, Debbie (1972). "IU Assembly Hall". Commerce and Indiana. Indianapolis: Indiana Department of Commerce.
  2. ^ Burgess, Dale (December 22, 1967). "IU Football Team Practices, Then Travels to Pasadena". The Rochester Sentinel. Associated Press. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  3. ^ Tolliver, Melanie (2002). Indiana University Basketball: For the Thrill of It. Champaign, Illinois: Sports Publishing LLC. p. 11. ISBN 1-58261-579-9. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
  4. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  5. ^ "Projects". Severud Associates. Archived from the original on January 4, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  6. ^ "Minutes of the Board of Trustees of Indiana University". Indiana University Bloomington. December 18, 1971. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  7. ^ "Bob Hope Concert Setlist at Indiana University Assembly Hall". Retrieved November 28, 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Assembly Hall". Indiana University Athletics. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  9. ^ "Indiana's Assembly Hall". Indiana Athletics. March 27, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Hiner, Jason; Van Arsdale, Dick (2005). Indiana University Basketball Encyclopedia. Champaign, Illinois: Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 1-58261-655-8.
  11. ^ M, John (June 24, 2009). "Should IU Replace The Assembly Hall?". SB Nation. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  12. ^ Bikoff, Ken (April 4, 2010). "A Basketball Palace". Inside Indiana. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  13. ^ "Bobby Knight Speaks". WTHR. Indianapolis. September 10, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  14. ^ Click, Dan (April 7, 2012). "New Assembly Scoreboard to Bring Video, Ads". Indiana Daily Student. Indiana University Bloomington. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  15. ^ "Cook Hall". Indiana Athletics. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  16. ^ Woods, Alden (December 19, 2013). "$40 million donated for Assembly Hall renovations". Indiana Daily Student. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  17. ^ "Historic $40 Million Gift Will Renovate Indiana University's Assembly Hall and Launch Unprecedented Capital Campaign for IU Athletics". Indiana University. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  18. ^ Medcalf, Myron (18 February 2014). "Iowa-Indiana game postponed". Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  19. ^
  20. ^ Osterman, Zach (18 February 2014). "IU basketball game postponed after metal falls from Assembly Hall ceiling". Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  21. ^ King, Jason (December 12, 2012). "King's Court: UK's Backcourt Blues". ESPN. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  22. ^ "IU Trustees Back Move to Replace Assembly Hall". WTHR. Indianapolis. June 22, 2007. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  23. ^ ELO show 1981

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