Roberts Municipal Stadium

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Roberts Municipal Stadium
Location 2600 East Division Street
Evansville, Indiana 47711-6813
Owner City of Evansville
Operator SMG
Capacity 12,732
Broke ground March 18, 1955 (1955-03-18)
Opened October 28, 1956 (1956-10-28)
Renovated 1980, 1990
Closed October 29, 2011 (2011-10-29)
Demolished January 2013 (2013-01)
Construction cost $2 million
$1.2 million
(1980 renovations)
$16.2 million
(1990 renovations)
Architect Robert Legeman
Evansville Purple Aces (NCAA) (1956-2011)
Evansville BlueCats (NIFL/UIF) (2003-07)
Evansville Thunder (CBA) (1984-86)

Roberts Municipal Stadium was a multi-purpose arena in Evansville, Indiana for sports, public events, and concerts. The arena was built in 1956. It seated up to 12,732 spectators and featured four locker rooms and a press room. The building was demolished in 2013.

The arena received a $16 million upgrade in 1990. In 2007, the city of Evansville hired a professional consultant to examine whether the stadium should be renovated or replaced with a new downtown arena.[1] In December 2008, the Evansville city council approved plans to construct the new arena, which opened in the fall of 2011 as the Ford Center.[2]

It was co-managed with Mesker Amphitheatre, The Centre, and Victory Theatre.

Sporting events[edit]

The sports arena seated 12,500 for basketball. It was the home of the University of Evansville's Purple Aces basketball program from its opening in 1956 until the Aces moved downtown into the new Ford Center in 2011.

From 1957 to 1977, Roberts Stadium served as the host site for the NCAA College Division (now referred to as Division II) Men's Basketball National Championship.[3] It again hosted the "Elite 8" in 2002. In addition, it regularly hosted a variety of other sporting events, most notably the Great Lakes Valley Conference (NCAA Division II) men's and women's basketball tournaments in early March of every year. It also hosted the 1980 and 1983 Midwestern City Conference (now Horizon League) men's basketball conference tournament. It also hosted multiple IHSAA regional and semistate basketball games in the single-class tournament.

Defunct professional teams[edit]

From 1984 to 1986, Roberts Stadium was home to the Evansville Thunder of the Continental Basketball Association, who were coached in 1984 by Utah Jazz Coach, and University of Evansville alumnus Jerry Sloan.

From 2003 to 2007 Roberts was also home to the Evansville BlueCats of the National Indoor Football League from 2003 to 2005 and the United Indoor Football league from 2005 to 2007.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Arena Study". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  2. ^ "City Council OKs arena plans". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  3. ^ "Roberts Stadium". Evansville Athletics. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 

Coordinates: 37°58′45″N 87°30′57″W / 37.97903°N 87.515926°W / 37.97903; -87.515926