There was a large crowd Feb. 17 as number two ranked Ball State's men's basketball took on Toledo who is ranked first in the MAC West. Ball State won 99-71 in Worthen Arena, which has a capacity of 11,500. Eric Pritchett, DN
Worthen Arena: A $29.4 million upgrade
Editor's note: In honor of the university's centennial year, The Daily News is counting down 100 days to the university's celebration Sept. 6 with 100 of Ball State's most famous traditions and figures. Check back each day to read about Cardinal history.
With the capacity to hold 11,500 cheering fans, Worthen Arena is easily one of the largest buildings on campus.
The arena, which was originally named University Arena was renamed after the university’s 11th president John E. Worthen, was completed in 1992. The building replaced Irving Gymnasium which was opened in 1962 and had a capacity of 6,600.
The arena mainly serves as the home to five Ball State teams: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s volleyball and the gymnastics squad. Additionally, events such as concerts, trade shows and graduation have also been held in the arena.
The first game to be held in the arena was on Jan. 15, 1992, when the men’s and women’s basketball teams hosted Miami University in a doubleheader. The men’s game drew a sellout crowd, the first of eight in the arena’s history.
The arena, which was built at a cost of $29.4 million, was the host site for the 1992 NCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championships and the 1995 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championships.
Worthen is just one part of a larger athletics complex that connects the Jo Ann Gora Recreation and Wellness Center, Health and Physical Activity Building, Field Sports Building and most recently, the Dr. Don Shondell Practice center.
In 2015 a six-panel Daktronics video board, complete with screens that are 11 feet tall and nearly 20 feet wide, was installed above center court and scoreboards were added to each corner of the court. Additionally, a new speaker system and new floor were added to the arena.