RHYAN HENSON | Multimedia Editor
The Butler community will experience a different Hinkle Fieldhouse starting this fall.
One of the new amenities for the fans will be a scoreboard that is twice as large as the current one. The scoreboard will also have video capabilities.
Associate Athletic Director Ken LaRose said the athletics department would like to use the video capabilities to show other games, statistics and highlights in the future. The department also wants to incorporate a fan cam to show the different faces of the fans of Butler basketball.
More concession stands will also be added for next season.
One upgrade Butler fans may most appreciate is improved seating.
Freshman Lily Picket said she is eager to see a refurbishment of the stands.
“I know one of the things they are changing is the seats,” Picket said. “Those seats get very uncomfortable, especially if you are there for however long the games last. Then there have been times where I have been there for two games in a row, and it is just very uncomfortable.”
LaRose said there will be increased and improved seating areas for fans with disabilities throughout Hinkle.
“Right now we have two handicapped areas, and they are behind the baskets,” LaRose said. “Not only are we going to have them there, but we will have more handicapped seating areas upstairs because some handicapped people like the view from upstairs.”
Fans can expect changes in the concourse and lobby areas as well. They will grow in size and will feature picture collages.
There will be a history tour that fans and visitors can walk through and view in order to relive the past of Hinkle Fieldhouse.
“There will be a lot of things to see,” LaRose said. “It is going to be like a large museum.”
The museum piece that is currently in the West Gym will greet fans at the front door. The Athletic Hall of Fame will be moved to the back.
“The donors will see a new enlarged hospitality area (the Wildman Room). The Wildman Room will be totally redone and three times as large. It will be new and modern,” LaRose said.
Even with all of the changes in progress, some fans enjoy the fieldhouse for what it already brings to Butler.
“Hinkle is one of the only places on campus where you are one of the crowd,” Picket said. “That is such a big-school feel, and for a school as small as Butler, you do not get that feeling very often.”
As all the changes alter how fans experience Hinkle, LaRose said he expects the nostalgia to stay.
“On one hand, the fan experience is going to be better, but, on the other hand, people are going to say, ‘Well, it is still Hinkle,’” LaRose said. “It is still a cathedral of basketball—it still has got the tradition. It is just going to be a new and improved, updated Hinkle Fieldhouse without changing the traditional feel.
“We are still going to have the rafters showing. We are still going to have the iconic windows up in the corner. But everything is going to be brought up to code, brought up to standard.”