Charles E. Meyer Gym – Scottsburg Warriors
Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
Charles E. Meyer Gymnasium 375 E. McClain Ave. Scottsburg, IN, 47170
Capacity: 3,677 Opened: 1956
Welcome to The Pressure Cooker
They say that little matters in Scottsburg, Indiana, as much as basketball. When the team is winning, the crowd is loud, the band is booming, and the place becomes a pressure cooker. The high school basketball program has been playing its games since 1956 at the Charles E. Meyer Gymnasium.
The home of the Warriors and Warriorittes was built for $500,000, featuring 2,909 fixed wooden bleachers and 768 additional roll-away seats. In 1954, a non-profit holding company was formed to fund a new building. It was financed through bonds that were sold to Scott County citizens starting at $5. Work on the gym also featured four dressing rooms, ten classrooms for the junior high, and a “useful lobby” in the front.
The dedication game took place in front of a packed house against Paoli on November 20, 1956. The boys’ program would make three Sweet 16 and two Elite Eight appearances in underclass basketball. The girls would make three Final Four appearances, finishing as runner-up in 1986 and culminating in a state championship in 1989.
Today, the crowds don’t regularly pack the old place, but the passion is still there; the gym gets loud even with a fraction of the audience. The high school arena would go through a $1 million renovation project that included replacing the heating and cooling system, new lighting, and windows. The lobby was renovated for the 50th anniversary that involved a granite stone project. Fans, alumni, and students purchased small pieces, with personal messages, to help fund the restoration of the main lobby.
The gym’s namesake, Charlie Meyer, was the head coach of the Warriors for 13 seasons. He guided the boys to a 178-125 record and four sectional championships. He would be inducted into the Indiana High School Hall of Fame in 1986.
Food & Beverage 2
Due to COVID-19 protocols, there are no food or beverages served at the Meyer Gymnasium this year (2021). There has been a mixture of results from around the state this season. A few gyms offer a full range of concession items (White River Valley), a few items (South Adams), and no items (Clay City).
The Meyer Gym has a stunning wow factor when walking inside the building. The brick gymnasium is an advertisement for Indiana high school basketball. The hardwood bleachers could tell a thousand stories; the purple and gold banners aging with mites, and the walls could confirm if those stories are accurate.
The atmosphere is loud, despite the reduced attendance figures during our visit and the pandemic. The noise level bounces off the low ceilings to create a home-court advantage for the Warriors. The audience is seated on three sides of the court with a modern purple rolled-out bleacher section for the students and the band. The view is ideal from the majority of the seating, but higher up, it could be blocked by the multiple banners hanging from the ceiling.
The main lobby has been transformed into a basketball museum for the school. A large mural honoring the school’s basketball history for both boys and girls is proudly displayed for all visitors to see. There is a focus on former players who are now enshrined in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, along with the granite project with personal messages from citizens and alumni. A section of the lobby is replicated to form the original basketball court. There are also multiple trophy cases featuring accolades and memorabilia, along with the gym’s original center-court S logo and signage hanging up on the walls.
Scottsburg has a population of 6,747 residents and is 30 miles north of Louisville on I-65. The town is home to two unique events in August that includes the Leota Country Frolic, a festival to celebrate the town’s heritage with live bluegrass music, a watermelon eating contest, a flea market, in a euchre tournament. There is also the Pig Roast in the Park with live music and a slow-pitch softball tournament.
These two events occur outside the basketball season but could be an option to return if you live near Scottsburg. There is a town square that features a courthouse and war memorial. The surrounding buildings offer a few interesting places to eat, including Hardy’s which serves pub food, and Java Station 56 which is a coffee house in a relaxed atmosphere. They offer sandwiches, soups, and pastries. Jenny’s Pizza is known for its stromboli and, at times, offers a buffet. There are also an array of national fast-food restaurants right off the interstate exit for more options.
Clifty Falls State Park is 20 miles west of Madison, Indiana, that features nature trails along the waterfalls and campgrounds. The Scott County Heritage Center offers historical artifacts and information on the local area. Goat Milk Stuff is a farm store offering cheese and other products from goats.
The small and loyal passion group of fans makes quite the ruckus during the contest. There are quite a few dressed in purple and gold and many were residents who were taking in the early afternoon basketball game at the old gym. Attendance has been a mixed bag this year, and rightfully so, with sparse crowds at many big-time arenas, but that is not the case at the Scottsburg gym–it’s business as usual.
The building is not located at the high school but a mile east of the main downtown square and courthouse. The address does not show up on GPS, and it is wise to know the address before heading into town. However, I am sure asking for directions–remember that–would be simple. Just in case you miss it, look for the crowded parking lot and school banners from the gym’s exterior.
Once inside, the main lobby opens up to wrap around the court and seating bowl. There are multiple entryways around the venue, and there is plenty of parking in the main lot. Restrooms and concession stands are located in the hallways outside the seating area. The bleacher seating is easily accessible by various main aisles.
Return on Investment 4
The price of a ticket for a basketball game is $6, and food options are around the same price as other basketball gyms in the state, during non-COVID seasons. There are a few nice, local eateries to visit after the game and a few state parks nearby to enjoy during the warmer months. However, it is the gym itself and the lobby that is the main attraction.
The main lobby receives a point for its restoration that includes pieces of the original flooring on the walls, large murals honoring the history of the program, and a small replica of the original court design on the floor. It is very nicely done, and one of the better-looking lobbies in any Indiana gymnasium. The granite project earns a second point and is also in the lobby. When the gym celebrates its 50th anniversary, citizens purchase a piece and inscribe a personal message. They are now displayed for everyone to see inside the building.