Those were the days when high school basketball was king in Indiana. Season tickets were at a premium then, because that was the only way fans could get a crack at tournament tickets. And generally those large arenas were filled on regular-season Friday and Saturday nights as well.
That was before class basketball, the Pacers, the Colts, NCAA Division I basketball and countless other diversions started eating into attendance at Indiana high school basketball games.
When the high school gym that now serves as Anderson High School’s home was built, it seated upwards of 3,500. Crowds of as low as 2,000 at the Wigwam demonstrated no need for an 8,000-capacity facility. Nor has there been a capacity crowd at the former Pirate Palace, which now seats less than 3,000.
Doubtless the Muncie Fieldhouse has been way under capacity of late as well. Will it join the Wigwam on the list of abandoned buildings? Stay tuned.
Jim Bailey’s reflections on Anderson’s past appear on Sunday. His regular column appears on Thursday. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.