Hinkle FieldhouseButler Bulldogs
The Hinkle Fieldhouse is home to Butler University's NCAA basketball team, the Bulldogs. The stadium was dedicated as a historical national landmark in 1987. Hinkle Fieldhouse opened in 1928 with initial construction costs of $750,000. With an initial seating capacity of 15,000 it was the largest basketball stadium of its time. With renovations in 1989 and 2011 the seating capacity has been brought down to its current capacity of 10,000 as the stadium was modernized. The stadium features a hardwood playing surface and is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is still the original surface from when the stadium opened. The renovations in 1989 cost $1.5 million and modernized the main area and team locker rooms. The construction project for 2011 is projected to cost $25 million.
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Hinkle Fieldhouse and the 36,000-seat Butler Bowl football stadium were two of the first buildings erected when the university moved to the Fairview campus. The facilities were promoted by a corporation of 41 Indianapolis businessmen who viewed it as a prize for the Circle City as well as for Butler. When Butler signed a lease with the Indiana High School Athletic Association allowing the high school state tournament to be played there, the corporation agreed to finance the building at a cost of $1,000,000. The court was reconfigured in 1933 from running east to west to run from north to south, as over half of the seats were at the ends of the court, when event viewing is typically better from the sides. Butler hosted the tourney from 1928 to 1971, except for 1943–1945, when the building housed the US Army Air Forces and US Navy as a barracks during World War II. The Hinkle Fieldhouse hosted the annual high-school basketball championship games that the fieldhouse was home to the Milan Miracle, the memorable 1954 victory of tiny Milan High School over the much larger Muncie Central. The film Hoosiers, loosely based on that event, used Hinkle Fieldhouse and the memorable voices of original announcers Hilliard Gates and Tom Carnegie in filming the climactic game of the popular movie. A major $1.5 million facelift in 1989 reduced the seating capacity from 15,000 to 11,043, as well as renovating the main reception area, basketball offices, film rooms and team locker rooms. The Fieldhouse also had its other athletic and physical education offices, sports locker rooms, and fitness facilities renovated as well in 1992. Hinkle Fieldhouse hosted the entire 1994 Horizon League men's basketball conference tournament as well as parts of the 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2010 Horizon League tournaments. The fieldhouse was originally called Butler Fieldhouse, and was renamed in 1966 to honor Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle (1899–1992), who was basketball coach at Butler for 41 seasons ending in 1970. In 1983, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. On February 27, 1987, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark in recognition of its role in transforming college basketball. In 2006, to celebrate Butler University's 150th anniversary, a documentary about Hinkle Fieldhouse was aired on ESPN entitled Indiana's Basketball Cathedral. It was an inspiration for the design of Bankers Life Fieldhouse (originally Conseco Fieldhouse). In 2011, Butler University started the first phase of the 2011 renovation and restoration by starting a fundraiser to earn $25 million needed to help with the project. The Bulldogs still play on the fieldhouse's original floor, which has been used longer than any playing surface in Division I.
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