The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Columns

October 26, 2013

Jim Bailey: Will Muncie Fieldhouse join Wigwam on list of places shuttered?

First the Wigwam was closed. Now there is talk in Muncie that the equally venerated North Walnut Street Fieldhouse could fall victim to the budget ax as school officials look for ways to save money on expenses.

The Fieldhouse, of course, is considerably older and somewhat smaller than the Wigwam. It was built in 1928 at a cost of some $400,000. Nowadays it takes an amount approaching that every year just to keep the doors open.

Like the Wigwam, the Muncie Fieldhouse is not part of an immediate high school campus. It is close enough to Muncie Central High School, however, that some costs can be shared and transportation to and from practices and games is not a major problem.

Right now it seems talk of closing the Fieldhouse is preliminary. Basketball being what it is in Muncie, the school board seems more inclined to shut down a school building or two before thinking of boarding up the historic facility. Sound familiar? Not to mention that fans are just as hot under the collar as were Indian partisans a couple of years ago. And there is talk that gym facilities in the school proper, constructed with Fieldhouse availability in mind, are not adequate for the busy Muncie Central program.

Fieldhouse capacity is listed at 6,547. Years ago it was about a thousand more, at one time hosting one of the single-class semistate tournaments before it was moved to Fort Wayne’s 10,000-seat Memorial Coliseum.

That preceded the construction of other nearby gymnasiums that dwarfed the ancient building. The Wigwam once had 9,012 seats, including bleachers on the stage, reduced to 8,998 by the scorer’s bench and press tables. And new Castle’s famous Fieldhouse was completed a couple years earlier, holding 9,314. Richmond’s seats 8,100.

Seating capacity was terribly important in the days of the single-class tournament when sectionals traditionally were sellouts and the largest facilities available hosted tournaments year after year.

Text Only
Columns
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Do you think heroin is a significant problem in Madison County?

Yes, it has surpassed meth as the problem drug
Yes, but meth is still a bigger problem
No, this was an isolated case
Not sure
     View Results