Allen Fieldhouse


Allen Fieldhouse

Infobox_Stadium
stadium_name = Allen Fieldhouse| nickname = "The Phog"


location = 1651 Naismith Dr
Lawrence, KS 66045
broke_ground =
opened = March 1, 1955
closed =
demolished =
owner = University of Kansas
operator = University of Kansas
surface =
construction_cost= $2.5 million (original)
architect = Charles L. Marshall
former_names = | tenants = Kansas Jayhawks
(Men's & Women's Basketball)
seating_capacity = 16,300

Allen Fieldhouse is an indoor arena at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. The arena was named in honor of Dr. Forrest C. "Phog" Allen, who coached the university's men's basketball team for 39 years. The actual playing surface is the James Naismith Court, honoring the inventor of basketball who later established Kansas' basketball program and served as its first coach from 1898 to 1907.

Facilities

Allen Fieldhouse was dedicated on March 1, 1955 when the Jayhawks defeated their in-state rival, the Kansas State Wildcats, 77-67. Since then renovations have included minor seating expansions in 1986 and 1994, as well as accessibility upgrades in 1999 to modernize concession stands and restroom facilities, and to install an elevator in the south end. Handicapped seating was moved courtside behind both baskets in 2001.

Renovations completed in 2005 include a thorough cleaning of the exterior, and the creation of a new Booth Family Hall of Athletics facility on the east side of the Fieldhouse. Interior renovations include a new hardwood court, new windows, and a multi-million dollar video board and sound system. After 2006, new banners for the retired jerseys and conference and national championships were installed.

Banners hang in the south rafters to honor such Jayhawk greats as Wilt Chamberlain, Clyde Lovellette, Jo Jo White, Danny Manning, Paul Pierce, Lynette Woodard, Drew Gooden, and Nick Collison. There is also a banner to honor Max Falkenstien, the legendary Jayhawks radio announcer, who served the university for more than 60 years. To date he is the only non-athlete to be honored at Allen Fieldhouse in this way. The east and west sides are devoted to KU's conference championships (a total of 51 as of 2008) as members of the Missouri Valley Conference, Big Six, Big Seven, Big Eight, and Big 12 Conferences, as well as the Jayhawks' trips to the Final Four and national championships in 1922, 1923 (Helms Foundation championships), 1952, 1988, and 2008.

On the north wall hangs a banner reading "Pay Heed, All Who Enter: Beware of the Phog", in reference to the intimidating atmosphere and the team's home court dominance.

History

Built in 1955, construction of the fieldhouse quickly slowed to a halt because of a federal mandate restricting steel consumption, following the Second World War and during the Korean War. However, university officials were able to find a loophole: by adding some rooms for gun and weapons storage, construction of the building was able to continue under the guise of an "armory."

The concourse was originally an indoor track, and at times the Fieldhouse has been home to men's and women's basketball, indoor track and field, volleyball, and practice facilities for the American football and softball teams. It has since specialized as facilities were constructed around campus to accommodate these needs, and now serves exclusively as the home for Jayhawk basketball.

Allen Fieldhouse has also hosted several NCAA tournament regionals, NBA exhibition games, and occasional concerts and speakers, including Abbie Hoffman in 1970. [cite web | title = Hoffman's Huff | url = http://www.kuhistory.com/proto/story.asp?id=67 | accessdate =2007-09-19 ]

Kansas won 62 consecutive games at the Fieldhouse between January 30, 1994 and November 21, 1998. This mark exceeded the previous school record of 55 games, which lasted from February 22, 1984 through January 30, 1988. However, the 55-game streak remains a conference record for the old Big Eight, while the 62-game streak spanned both the Big Eight and Big 12 conferences.

Max Falkenstien was a stalwart figure in the radio booth, working every home game in Allen Fieldhouse from its construction to his retirement in 2006, over 50 years later.

Prior to playing at Allen, the basketball team played at Hoch Auditorium, their home from the beginning of the 1927 season to the end of the 1955 season. Before that, the Jayhawks played at Robinson Gymnasium, whose design was heavily influenced by the advice of Dr. Naismith, was razed in 1967 and is now the site of Wescoe Hall.

Capacity

Allen Fieldhouse was originally built with a capacity of 17,000. During Ted Owens' coaching period, the capacity was reduced to 15,200. It was raised to 15,800 in the 1986 offseason (Larry Brown was the coach at the time), and since 1993, its official capacity has been 16,300. Of these seats, 7,000 are dedicated to current KU students, with most of the remainder taken by season-ticket-holding members of the Williams Educational Fund, the fundraising arm of KU Athletics, named after Lawrence banker Dick Williams and his sons, Skipper and Odd. [cite web | title = KUSports.com | url = http://www.kusports.com/news/seatingplan/story/110758 | accessdate =2007-03-19 ] The largest crowd in Allen Fieldhouse for a basketball game was 17,228 on March 1, 1955 when the building was dedicated. Barring another expansion of seating, it is unlikely that this record will ever be broken as fire codes have forced KU to strictly enforce the building's capacity since the mid-1980s.

Traditions

Before the start of every home game, it is tradition to sing the National Anthem, followed by the school alma mater, "Crimson and the Blue"; finally followed by the Rock Chalk Jayhawk Chant.

While the opposing team is being introduced, it is tradition for the members of the student section to take out a copy of the student run newspaper, The University Daily Kansan, and pretend to be reading it, in an effort to show disinterest in the opposing team. After the opponents are introduced, a short video, detailing the history and the accomplishments of Kansas basketball is shown, to get the crowd excited. As the Jayhawks are introduced, the students rip up their newspapers and throw the confetti pieces of paper in the air as celebration.

External links

* [http://kuathletics.collegesports.com/facilities/kan-allen-fieldhouse.html Allen Fieldhouse at kuathletics.com]
* [http://www2.kusports.com/news/2006/mar/02/falkenstien_has_jersey_unfurled/?mens_basketball Max has "jersey" retired during halftime, 1 March 2006]
* [http://kuathletics.cstv.com/williamsfund/kan-williamsfund.html Williams Educational Fund]

References

Other References

"Kansas 2002-03 Basketball Media Guide." Topeka, Kansas: Mainline Printing, 2002.

"Kansas Jayhawks History-making basketball." Marceline, Missouri: Walsworth Publishing Company, 1991.


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