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  • Writer's pictureMarc Viquez

Nicoson Hall – Indianapolis Greyhounds

Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Nicoson Hall 1400 E Hanna Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46227

Year Opened: 1960

Capacity: 4,000


A Small Hidden College Basketball Gym in Indy

Nicoson Hall on the campus of the University of Indianapolis (UIndy to many of us) is named after former basketball coach Angus Nicoson who led the program for 30 years and compiled an impressive record of 483-279 between 1947-1977. Nicoson transformed not only the basketball program but other sports on campus into a highly-respectable one. Fans entering the lobby will notice a bronze portrait of him that was dedicated in 1991.

Another legend designed the building, architect Ralph Legeman’s patent design was used to construct the building. The $600,000 gym was dedicated on January 19, 1960, and was one of 27 of its kind built for both high school and collegiate gyms between 1949 and 1968. The design features no structural support for the seating bowl and roofing, top of the gym supported by steel trusses, and street-level entrances with multiple exits to move traffic after the game.

The Greyhounds had played the previous two seasons at the Southport Fieldhouse a few miles south of campus and at the Barn since its inception in 1922. The team became members of the Great Lakes Valley Conference in 1980 and have made several NCAA Tournament appearances including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2015, the same year the Hounds were ranked number one for two weeks.

Nicoson Hall has also hosted wrestling matches during the 1987 Pan American Games, a training camp for the Indiana Pacers, and has hosted several college teams practicing for Big Ten and NCAA Final Four tournaments held downtown at either the RCA Dome or Lucas Oil Stadium.

Food & Beverage 3

There is a small concession of items stand located on the main level of the building offering a few items that include hot dogs, nachos, chips, candy, and soda. The selection is small and it might be wise to grab something to eat before or after the game but the food items are similar to what you would find at local high school gyms in the area.

Atmosphere 3

Nicoson Hall features a wraparound concourse at street level with permanent hardwood bleacher seating forming an octagon around the gym court. The walls are decorated with team photos of current and past players and in one corner of the building is the Greyhound Lounge for private members complete with a roped off area with bar stool tables and chairs.

A healthy crowd welcomes the Greyhounds onto the court that is lead by the cheer team that waves flags. There is a lot of room to move around throughout the seating bowl and both ends feature a large open space that provides more than enough room for both cheerleaders and a small press. The ceiling features a few championship banners but their colors of grey and white are somewhat camouflaged by its surroundings.

A $500,000 donation from Ray Skillman Auto Group saw the installation of a sleek and modern playing surface in 2015. A new carpet and efficient LED lighting also included that summer as well at the gymnasium. There are also two simple scoreboards up above the concourse and a student section behind one of the nets provides a space for the Hounds most fervent fans to cheer the home team and chastise the visitors.

Speaking of Hounds, the school has a mascot named Ace who patrols around the venue. Sadly, he was not at the game we attended. Other features of the gym feature a small concession stand and a lobby that features two beautiful murals on the school’s hoops history.

Neighborhood 3

The campus is not located in one of the best neighborhoods of Indianapolis but it’s only three miles away from one of his best neighborhoods, Fountain Square. The hip little spot offers local restaurants, concert venues, and small shops that attract visitors from all over the city. The neighborhood has been up and coming the past decade and should only improve with more development.

Hotel Tango Distillery is a great spot for homemade spirits set in a rustic vibe, Chili Water Brewery and Fountain Square Brewery are two great spots for craft beer. Kuma’s Corner offers some of the best burgers in a heavy metal theme establishment, Revolucion serves tacos and burgers in a contemporary Mexican restaurant with bold folk art photos on the wall, and for a nice dinner, the Bluebeard serves sharing plates and craft cocktails in a renovated 1924 warehouse.

Duckpin bowling at the Fountain Square Theater takes visitors back in time with a 1930s or 1950s theme era bowling alley. Radio Radio is a concert lounge and rock-music venue with a small dance floor and video screens. A little closer to the UIndy campus is the Garfield Brewery and The Thompson House that offers wing specials on Tuesday and Sundays all day long.

Fans 4

Fans in Indiana love their basketball at all levels and the UIndy faithful provided a nice backdrop to the game at hand. A beating of Lindenwood delighted the small but passionate fan base who saw its club move to 11-3 on the season.

Access 4

Nicoson Hall is located on campus along the main road a few miles from the I-69 exit. There are two parking lots on both sides of the gym that are free of charge after 3 pm. The gym itself consists of one main lobby with ticket booths and a wraparound concourse with bathrooms, a concession stand, and plenty of exits for patrons after the game.

Return on Investment 3

The price of a ticket is $10 per person and $5 for students and seniors 65 and older. The parking is free after 3 pm and concession prices are average in price. The cost is reasonable for Division II basketball and could make for a nice alternative for your basketball viewing in the state of Indiana.

Extras 3

The Robert Legeman design is a nice feature of the building that is still the fixture with multiple high school venues in the state. The main lobby features two nice murals detailing the school’s basketball history. The gym’s lighting is a nice feature at the game.

Final Thoughts

Nicholson Hall looks like many other buildings of its kind that are home now to high school basketball in the state of Indiana. However, it features much better lighting and a few touches here and there to set it apart from the others of its kind. However, it’s not hard to have a somewhat high-school feel while watching a game on the campus of UIndy. However, that is not a knock on the gym. It is indeed inviting to enjoy a college basketball game in this hidden little gym in Indianapolis.

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