Charles Koch Arena

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Charles Koch Arena
The Roundhouse
Wichita, Kansas.JPG
Former names University of Wichita Field House (1955–1964)
WSU Field House (1964–1969)
Levitt Arena (1969–2003)
Location Wichita State University
SE corner of 21st and Hillside
Wichita, Kansas 67260 USA
Coordinates 37°43′18″N 97°17′51″W / 37.72167°N 97.29750°W / 37.72167; -97.29750Coordinates: 37°43′18″N 97°17′51″W / 37.72167°N 97.29750°W / 37.72167; -97.29750
Owner Wichita State University
Operator Wichita State University
Capacity 10,506
Surface Hardwood
Construction
Broke ground 1953
Opened December 3, 1955
Renovated 2002–2003
Construction cost $1.4 million (original construction)
($12.3 million in 2014 dollars[1])
$25 million (renovation)
Tenants
Wichita State Shockers men's basketball (NCAA) (1955–2002, 2003–present)

Charles Koch Arena (pronounced "coke"), popularly known as The Roundhouse, is a 10,506-seat multi-purpose arena on the campus of Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas, United States. It is home to the Wichita State Shockers men's and women's basketball and women's volleyball teams.

History[edit]

The arena was originally built in 1953 as the University of Wichita Field House by what was then the Municipal University of Wichita. It was considered several years ahead of its time because of its circular design, which gave nearly every fan a clear sight line and put the seats very close to the action. As a result, it was quickly nicknamed "The Roundhouse," a name that has stuck to this day. When Wichita joined the state university system in 1964, the arena was renamed the WSU Field House.

In 1969, the arena was officially renamed Levitt Arena after Wichita department store magnate Henry Levitt, who had recently died. Levitt's Wichita clothing store sponsored basketball team won three consecutive national Amateur Athletic Union titles in the 1930s at a time when colleges and corporate-sponsored teams competed in the same tournament.

Endowment[edit]

Following a $6 million endowment from Charles Koch[2] the arena underwent a $25 million renovation in 2002–03, popularly known as the "Roundhouse Renaissance." The old arena concourse was completely demolished and a new one built around the original playing/seating area. A portion of the seating bowl was remodeled to make for more legroom. All new seating was installed as well as a video scoreboard, and virtually every surface that was not renovated was given a fresh coat of paint. The Shocker basketball teams played at the Kansas Coliseum for the 2002–03 season while the arena was rebuilt.

Since 2008[edit]

Koch Arena hosted the 2008 Kansas State High School Activities Association Class 6A state wrestling tournament. The arena also hosts numerous high school basketball games involving schools from the Wichita City League. The KSHSAA Class 6A boys and girls basketball state tournaments will move to Koch Arena from Emporia State University's White Auditorium starting in 2011.

As Levitt Arena it hosted the 1977 and 1989 Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball tournament title game. It also hosted games for the opening rounds of the 1981 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.

In addition to concerts, the arena has also hosted the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice and Champions on Ice as both Levitt Arena and Koch Arena. American Idols Live! has performed annually at Koch Arena since 2003.

In December 2012, ESPN ranked Charles Koch Arena at number 10 in the nation in a poll on home-court advantages in College Basketball. In January 2013, ESPN's Jason King listed Koch Arena as the 7th best home court advantage in college basketball.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ "Koch gives $6 million to update WSU Areana – the donation, the largest in the university's history, helps make possible a complete renovation of the Levitt Arena, which will reopen as Koch Arena in 2003" – Wichita Eagle – November 1, 2000
  3. ^ "King's Court: Home sweet home". ESPN. January 13, 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Historical