William L. White Auditorium

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William L. White Auditorium
White Auditorium
White Auditorium Logo.png
Former names Civic Auditorium
Location 111 E. 6th Ave., Emporia, Kansas 66801 USA
Coordinates 38°24′19″N 96°11′01″W / 38.4053°N 96.1835°W / 38.4053; -96.1835Coordinates: 38°24′19″N 96°11′01″W / 38.4053°N 96.1835°W / 38.4053; -96.1835
Owner The City of Emporia
Operator The City of Emporia
Capacity 5,000
Surface Grade 1, one-inch thick, northern hardwood maple
Broke ground 1940
Opened 1941
Construction cost $613,375.17[1]
($10.4 million in 2016 dollars[2])
Emporia State men's & women's basketball
Emporia State women's volleyball
KSHSAA (basketball – March)

William L. White Auditorium, commonly known as White Auditorium, is a 5,000 seat multi-purpose arena in Emporia, Kansas. It is home to the Emporia State University men's and women's basketball teams, as well as the volleyball team.[3]


The Emporia Civic Auditorium's – as it was known from 1940 to 1973 – construction began to in December 1938.[4] On May 6, 1940, the City of Emporia kicked-off a five-day "Fiestaval" to celebrate its opening.[5] In 1963, it was renamed to its current name, William L. White Auditorium, named after local newspaper owner, William Lindsay White, who was also the son of William Allen White.[6]

In December 1940, the Teachers College basketball team began playing their home games at the Auditorium,[7] and in 1974 for the Emporia State Lady Hornets basketball games have been played there as well. When the volleyball program was established in 1973, it began to play its home games in White Auditorium. The building also hosts the Kansas State High School Activities Association state basketball tournament since 1955.[4]


During the 1994–95 basketball season, the Auditorium was renovated and bleacher seating was added to the south end of the court, expanding the seating capacity from 3,700 to 5,000.[3] In 2008, White Auditorium went under renovation. A new color scheme was painted throughout the building, new scoreboards were added, the basketball court was refinished, and new seats replaced the wooden seats in the upper Auditorium.[8]

Slaymaker Court[edit]

On February 20, 2013, the Emporia City Commission voted to name the floor of White Auditorium, Coach Slay, Ron Slaymaker Court, named after longtime men's basketball coach and ESU's winningest coach.[9] On February 28, 2013, one week later, during the halftime of the men's ESU-Washburn game, Ron Slaymaker, and his family, alongside ESU President Michael D. Shonrock, ESU Athletic Director Kent Weiser, and the Mayor of Emporia, Bobbi Mlynar, unveiled the design of Ron Slaymaker Court, debuting in the fall of 2013.[10]


  1. ^ "4 May 1940, Page 19 - at". Newspapers.com. 1940-05-04. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  2. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "About William L. White Auditorium". Emporia State University. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "History of WLW Arena". Emporia-KS.gov. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "27 Apr 1940, Page 5 - at". Newspapers.com. 1940-04-27. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  6. ^ "2 Nov 1972, Page 7 - at". Newspapers.com. 1972-11-02. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  7. ^ "6 Jan 1941, Page 7 - at". Newspapers.com. 1941-01-06. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  8. ^ Brandy Nance (2008-07-17). "Auditorium to get screen, scoreboards - Emporia Gazette: News". Emporia Gazette. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  9. ^ "Emporia City Commission Approves Ron Slaymaker Court at White Auditorium". Emporia State University. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Thursday, February 26, 2013 Celebration of Slaymaker Court at halftime of ESU v. Washburn Game". ESU Spotlight. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 

External links[edit]