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Encyclopedia > Stokely Athletic Center
William B. Stokely Athletic Center
Location 1720 Volunteer Blvd
Knoxville, TN 37996
Broke ground 1957
Opened 1958
Owner Univ. of Tennessee
Operator Univ. of Tennessee
Surface Horner "Pro King" hardwood
Construction cost $1.5 million
Former names UT Armory-Fieldhouse
(1958 - December 1, 1966)
Tenants
Tennessee Lady Vols
(Volleyball)
Capacity
12,700

The Stokely Athletic Center is an on-campus arena located at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. It currently houses the women's volleyball team, but prior to the building of Thompson-Boling Arena, it also housed the men's and women's basketball teams starting in 1966. It is located about a block from both the new arena and Neyland Stadium. It replaced Alumni Gymnasium, a 3,200-seat arena-auditorium built in 1931 which had hosted the SEC basketball tournament four times (1936, '37, '39 and '40). The University of Tennessee (UT), sometimes called the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UT Knoxville or UTK), is the flagship institution of the statewide land-grant University of Tennessee public university system in the American state of Tennessee. ... Nickname: Location within the U.S. State of Tennessee. ... For the ball used in this sport, see Volleyball (ball). ... Thompson-Boling Arena is a 24,535-seat multi-purpose arena on the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. ... Neyland Stadium is a sports stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. ...


The University of Tennessee's Armory-Fieldhouse was built in 1958 to accommodate larger on-campus crowds. It originally housed 7,800 people in the elongated building, with permanent seating in the west end and temporary seating lining the rest of the arena, which was also used for the ROTC, indoor track, and other events. However, by the mid-1960s the fieldhouse was already becoming obsolete for its size. A $500,000 gift from industrialist William B. Stokely was the impetus for an expansion to the final size of 12,700 in 1966, when the building was renamed for Stokely and his family. Permanent seating was installed on the other three sides, including balcony seating on the north and south sides. Interestingly, the expansion had been planned by the original designers when creating the original layout.


Stokely was the home of many great teams, including several SEC titles. It also served as the home of the women's basketball team from midway through the 1976-77 season until the end of the 1986-87 season, which was also the year of their first NCAA women's basketball championship. They had hosted the NCAA Mideast regionals in the building. Besides serving as the current home of the volleyball team and the indoor track and field team, it has been the home of the women's athletics offices, and still occasionally serves as an alternate site when the larger arena is booked for events.


Trivia

Probably one of most famous basketball games played at Stokely didn't involve a Tennessee team. The University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville played there in the NCAA Mideast Regional Final (AKA "The Dream Game") on March 26, 1983. It was the first time since 1959 that the two schools had played each other. Louisville won, 80-68.


External links

  • 2005-06 Lady Vols Basketball Media Guide
    2005-06 Tennessee Basketball Media Guide

 
 

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