North Side Gymnasium
The North Side Gymnasium is a 7,373 seat multi-purpose arena opened in 1954 located in Elkhart, Indiana, United States on the campus of North Side Middle School. Both of Elkhart's high schools, Elkhart Central High School and Elkhart Memorial, host their varsity boys' basketball games there. It was home to the Elkhart Express of the International Basketball League. At one point it was the largest high school gym in the country, seating 8,200 prior to renovation.
Ground was broken on the building in July 1953 and the project cost a total of $1.3 million, with work proceeding after a protest filed with the Indiana State Board of Tax Commissioners was rejected. When the field house was opened on November 24, 1954, the facility was the largest high school gym in the United States. In its initial season of operation, the gym generated $57,500 in revenue from ticket sales, concessions and parking fees from the 134,000 fans who attended high school games, and the many more who attended wrestling matches, ice shows and watched the Harlem Globetrotters.
For the 2005 season, the Elkhart Express of the International Basketball League debuted in the North Side Gymnasium, under a deal in which the arena was leased by the school district to the park board, which then leased it to the team, as part of an effort to skirt restrictions on leasing the facility for financial gain.
- Wyatt, Tom. "Elkhart Central ready to ride", Post-Tribune, January 29, 2002. Accessed October 15, 2015. "One drawback regarding facilities is the fact the school shares North Side Gymnasium with Memorial High for boys basketball, creating a potential for scheduling conflicts."
- Shaw, Jodee. "Basketball could pack 'em in at North Side Gym", The Elkhart Truth, November 8, 2004. Accessed October 15, 2015. "Ground-breaking ceremonies for the new gym were on July 27, 1953. The first game was played Nov. 24, 1954. With a seating capacity of 8,248, it was the nation's largest school gymnasium."
- Grayson, Harry. "Grayson's Scoreboard: Indiana Builds Gyms Bigger Than Towns' Population", Lawrence Journal-World, December 22, 1954. Accessed October 15, 2015.
- Koon, Warren. "Tuscaloosan At Large: A Pitch For The Game Of Basketball", The Tuscaloosa News, December 6, 1969. Accessed October 15, 2015.
- Shaw, Jodee. "Express get a home", The Elkhart Truth, September 14, 2005. Accessed October 15, 2015. "The Elkhart Express, the city's new minor league basketball team, has found a home court. The International Basketball League team will play its home games at North Side Gym."
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