Indiana University breaks ground on Assembly Hall renovations - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Indiana University breaks ground on Assembly Hall renovations

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School officials prepare for a press conference in Assembly Hall on Tuesday, April 7, to break ground on renovations to the 43-year-old basketball facility. School officials prepare for a press conference in Assembly Hall on Tuesday, April 7, to break ground on renovations to the 43-year-old basketball facility.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WDRB) – Major changes are coming to Indiana university's basketball scene as the school broke ground on long-awaited renovations to Assembly Hall.

The 43-year-old home of IU basketball will get a whole new look by the fall of 2016 and construction began this week.

“I am thrilled that this project will preserve the best home court advantage in college basketball while also greatly enhancing the total game day experience for every fan, player, coach and visitor,” said athletics director Fred Glass.

It was announced in December of 2013 that Assembly Hall would be getting a makeover after a $40 million donation from Cindy Simon Skjodt. Her donation is the largest in the history of IU Athletics and the building will be renamed the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

“I grew up going to Indiana University games and have great memories of watching basketball games with my father,” said Cindy Simon Skjodt. “The atmosphere in Assembly Hall is truly unmatched anywhere in college basketball.”

It has been home to IU basketball since 1971 and holds more than 17,000 fans. Architectural renderings show what parts of the building will look like after renovations.

The renovation will revamp the look of the front of the building with an entry plaza, as well as new VIP suites and hospitality areas. 

The new entrance to Assembly Hall will include new ticket windows, concourse flooring, branding, signage and lobby restrooms. Construction will replace existing ramps with escalators in both the south and the north concourses.

“The new and expanded south lobby will serve as a beacon toward the rest of campus and for all of those coming to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall,” said Tom Morrison, IU Vice President, Capital Planning and Facilities. “On the inside, Hoosier faithful will also find all of comforts that fans could hope for on game days.”

Some of those fans have already gotten a look at the plans.

“I thought it was nice how they're going to put in more trees and make it more inviting almost, especially for tailgates because I know my parents set up tents over here so it will be more of a secluded area – I guess you could say," Sophomore Falynne Martin said. 

Demolition, construction and renovations at Assembly Hall will continue through the Fall of 2016.

IU president Michael McRobbie, Tom Crean and student-athletes spoke about the renovations during a groundbreaking ceremony.

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IU provided a list of milestones for Assembly Hall:

  • Assembly Hall was opened in 1971 at a cost of $26.6 million to coincide with the sesquicentennial celebration of Indiana University.
  • Over 12 million fans have watched IU play basketball in Assembly Hall.
  • Assembly Hall has been home to three national men's basketball championships and thirteen conference champions.
  • Assembly Hall was home to the 1975-76 IU men's basketball team, which remains the last undefeated men's team in college basketball and was recognized the best team in the history of the NCAA Tournament in April 2013.
  • Indiana Men's Basketball has a 533-106 record (.834) in 44 seasons at Assembly Hall.
  • Men's Basketball has posted home winning streaks of 50 and 35 games at Assembly Hall.
  • 300,000 people have received their undergraduate or graduate degrees at commencement ceremonies hosted in Assembly Hall.
  • Dignitaries such as Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the Dalai Lama have spoken at Assembly Hall.
  • Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, The Who, Neil Diamond, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, John Mellencamp, Jefferson Airplane, Chicago, Barry Manilow, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, and Sly and the Family Stone are just some of the notable musical acts to host concerts at Assembly Hall.
  • The 1984 Olympic Trials and six Olympic exhibition games took place at Assembly Hall. Notable players at the trials include basketball legends Michael Jordan, Steve Alford, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, and John Stockton.
  • Assembly Hall has served as the only home for Indiana Women's Basketball since it became a varsity sport in the early 1970's.
  • Assembly Hall was home for IU Women's Basketball's 1973 Final Four team, 1972 and 1973 Elite 8 teams, and the 1983 and 2002 Big Ten Championship teams.
  • Assembly Hall was host to the IHSAA Boys State Basketball Championships in 1972, 1973, and 1974.
  • The Indiana Pacers ABA championship team, played regular season and home playoff games at Assembly Hall in 1972.
  • No indoor basketball venue in the United States has more seating on the sides of the court than Assembly Hall, adding to its unique character and design.
  • Assembly Hall has been a host of NCAA Tournament games on four separate occasions.
  • Assembly Hall is also home to the largest student section in the country

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