Case Arena – Frankfort High School Hot Dogs
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A Good Case of High School Basketball
Everett N. Case Arena is the 23rd largest high school gymnasium in the world. Known throughout the state of Indiana for its architectural design and dome roof, there is not a bad view from any of the 5,000 plus seats in the home of the Frankfort High School Hot Dogs, a rather curious, but definitely fun team nickname.
Opened in November of 1963, the arena was built to attract the regional tournament back to town after a neighboring high school built a larger arena a few years earlier. Frankfort built a luxurious gymnasium that would rival no other in the state. It was named in honor of Everett Case who coached the men’s basketball team for 17-seasons between 1922-1942 compiling a record of 385-99-1. Case won 14 Regional Tournaments and four state championships (1925, 1929, 1936, and 1939).
The legendary coach put Frankfort on the national map with innovations to the game that include the 10-second rule, cutting down of nets after tournament wins, playing of music before games, inviting the pep band to play at games, placing numbers on players jerseys, and introducing the time clock.
Case would leave Frankfort in 1942 and coached North Carolina State for the next 18 seasons. He would bring his fevered passion of basketball from Indiana and inject into North Carolina by leading the Wolfpack to 10 conference championships and one Final Four appearance in 1950. Case also become a legend in North Carolina and is regarded as the Father of the ACC.
Food & Beverage 3
Surprisingly, concession choices are not that much different than some of the major Indiana universities. The food is inexpensive, all items are $1.50-$2, and are served efficiently in the main lobby. Hot dogs are topped with chili or cheese for no additional charge, and nachos, pretzels, candy, and cookies round out the munchies at the arena. Pepsi products are served in 20-ounce bottles and cost $2.
The Case Arena stands out as you approach the school’s parking lot; the stand-alone gym features a dome roof and could rival many smaller college program basketball arenas. A walk through the front door opens up to a well-lit lobby that houses trophy cases that prominently displays its four state championships and memorabilia from the motion picture “Blue Chips”.
The main concourse wraps around the entire building and houses the concession stands, bathrooms, merchandise stands, and tables that at times are used by the local community businesses. There are also two sets of staircases that provide access to the upper section where most of the seating exists in the building. One of the staircases includes the original center court logo, a common theme in most basketball gyms in the state, but perhaps slightly larger than most.
The seating in the upper level offers the original wooden seats that are thick and full of character. The wooden seats display two sets of numbers, one for regular season games and the other for tournament games. The center seating area is a bit more modern and is of the plastic blue color variety. The inner concourse allows for easy access from the top level to the bottom level.
Another highlight of the arena is its roof that is similar to design to the William L. Garrett Memorial Gymnasium in Shelbyville and the State Farms Center in Champaign, Illinois. The roof provides great acoustics and sets it apart from many other high school arenas in the Hoosier State.
Other areas of interest include the school’s mascot Big Blue entertaining fans not only on the court but also in the stands with fans of all ages. There are also the names of the schools that compete within the Sagamore Conference painted on the walls in school colors and a standard electric scoreboard that is centered with the school’s iconic Hot Dog logo.
There are various national chain restaurants within walking distance of the arena; they have become the popular meeting grounds for after game chatter by students and fans. These establishments include Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and the local place to congregate after the game, Applebee’s. A little less than a mile down the road is the town square featuring more places to enjoy a meal or a drink after the game. Main Street Pub & Eatery, Arni’s, and Pepe’s Mexican restaurant are three nice choices set in a small town America atmosphere. Hoops Sports Bar is yet another local establishment worth visiting if you have some time after the game.
The Hot Dog fans hold their own during games and will pack the house during rivals from nearby communities. The basketball team
The arena is located on the grounds of the high school and offers free parking to all visitors during home games. The location of the school is on the main drag in town near many of the retail and chain restaurants. It is not hard to find since the arena stands out predominantly for the passersby. The two levels of the concourse wrap around the building, allowing fans easy access to their seats, concessions, and restrooms. It should be noted that the two seating sections cannot be accessed unless you exit and use the staircase in the main lobby.
Return on Investment 4
All tickets to Frankfort High School basketball games are only $5. The parking is also free outside of the gymnasium, making this a highly affordable night with family and friends watching great basketball in a fabulous our arena. The concessions are also inexpensive and can satisfy little ones who are in attendance craving a little sustenance.
One point for the update trophy cases that have been cleaned up the last few seasons. The school’s four state championships are the centerpieces of the numerous accolades and memorabilia in the main lobby of the building. The other cases included painted basketballs of all 1,000 point members, tournament championships, and newspaper clippings.
Another extra point for the unique nickname that is known not only in the state but throughout the country. It wasn’t until 1956 that the school adopted the Hot Dogs moniker. Rumor has it a sportswriter from nearby Lafayette said during a game “the players looked like a bunch of hot dogs out there”. A few years later, a logo was designed and one of the country’s most interesting schools name was born.
A third extra point for trophy case at the entrance that includes memorabilia from the movie Blue Chips. During the summer of 1993, the arena was transformed into the “Dolphin Dome” named after the fictitious Western University Dolphins. There were 5,000 extras who packed the building during the four-game shoot. Up until recently, there was a “Let’s Go Dolphins” banner hanging on the wall. The trophy cases were added recently and include items from the movie set including team jerseys, programs, autograph pictures, ticket stubs, and a movie poster.
A fourth point for the school adopting an Indiana University tradition. The Hot Dogs perform its own “Greatest Time Out” routine after the first quarter of play. The cheerleaders and mascot run onto the court with flags and banners to the tune of The Lone Ranger Theme. It is a nice little tradition that adds a little seasoning to the night’s proceedings.
One final extra point for the overall design of the arena. The domed ceiling provides an ideal canvas to allow visitors unobstructed views from almost anywhere in the gymnasium. Case Arena feels more like a college basketball arena than a high school gymnasium.
Case Arena would be the largest high school gymnasium in all but four states in the country. There are 18 larger gyms in Indiana and each of them has their own sense of pride and nostalgia. In Frankfort, the arena has the historical significance of being named after Everett Case, who helped put the school and later NC State basketball on the map. His efforts would result in enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
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