Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00
Tipton High School Gymnasium 619 Main St. Tipton, IN 46072
Year Opened: 1967 Capacity: 3,500
A Great Little Gym in Tipton
When the current gym of the Tipton Blue Devils opened along with the high school for the 1961-1962 academic school year the boy’s basketball team finished with its first winning record in 7 seasons that included defeating rival Peru 65-68. The Devils also won its own Holiday Tournament title with a 91-77 victory in the final game against Winchester.
Basketball games against other high schools would not be played against other schools until the 1912-1913 academic school year. Those first few seasons saw club teams formed to play against other Tipton students and the nearby Gawayne Castle or outside on the outdoor court of the high school building. However, a few games against other schools were scheduled during the 1911-1912 season “but owing to a misunderstanding” weren’t played. The 1912-13 season resulted in a 7-11 record for Tipton against various schools in the area and within two years became the dominant sport at the high school.
Tipton High School has an impressive history of basketball and its 3,000-seat gym is worth a look on a fieldhouse tour in the state of Indiana. The low ceiling, two-level seating section, tasty concession items, and the band on the stage set the tone for a boisterous crowd during the cold winter nights. The Blue Devils program has produced 21 sectional, 18 conference, and 6 regional championships dating in its history.
The blend of old-fashion showmanship and Hoosier Hysteria gives the 3,000-capacity basketball gym much-needed pop in the small town of Tipton about an hour north of downtown Indianapolis. The facility features two levels of seats at both ends with a stage situated behind one of the nets that include the school band that has ample space to play throughout the contest. The walls are also decorated with flames, slogans, and numerous championships won by multiple sports programs.
Food & Beverage 3
The basics of hot dogs, popcorHoopfestand nachos can be found at the concession stand outside the main gym floor in a separate room. The pretzels and hot dogs cost a buck and a half, popcorn (some of the tastiest in the state) is just a dollar, and nachos are $2 for an additional charge including chili. Coca-Cola products are sold for $2 a bottle.
The home of the Blue Devils packs a wallop with a pre-game ceremony that gets the audience standing up in their seats. The team mascot charges around the court waving the school flag and the basketball team follows behind him. The student section then comes out onto the court and forms a line for the players to run through to shake hands and give high-fives as they return to the bench. While all of this is occurring, the school band.
perches up on the stage and creates the soundtrack to the evening’s proceedings. The gymnasium feels much more like a high school gym compared to some of the other larger venues located in nearby Kokomo, Frankfort, and Muncie. However, the atmosphere is larger than life for the small town.
Tipton has a population of 5,106 people and is part of the Kokomo Metropolitan Statistical Area. The high school and gymnasium are located on Main Street and close to various local, regional, and national chain retail options. The downtown features a square with a courthouse, typical of what you will find in many small towns in the state. The options for dining include Faye’s Northside Restaurant, Izzy & Eddy’s, South Pole Drive-In, and Jim Dandy’s Restaurant.
Tipton is located miles away from the nearest interstate in the center of SR-19 and SR-28. The gymnasium is very accessible to move around as seats feature two levels with staircases for easy maneuvering.
Return on Investment 3
The cost of a ticket is $5 and concession prices range from $1 to $3 at the concession stands. The prices can’t be beaten and are comparable to that of other high school gymnasiums in the state of Indiana.
The first point is for the team introduction which begins with the mascot running up and down the court and then having the fans coming out to greet the players. The second point is for the band that remains on the stage and performs throughout the game. Its presence is felt and provides a nice backdrop to the night’s proceedings. The third point is for the student section which is also very dominant, adding to the home-court advantage.
An interesting little spot for high school basketball, the Blue Devils' gym doesn’t pretend to be anything more than what it is, a great little basketball gymnasium.