Jim Mann Green Dome – West Vigo High School Vikings
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Green with Envy at West Vigo
The Jim Mann Green Dome has been the only home to the West Vigo High School Vikings since the school’s inception in the fall of 1959. The fieldhouse would open later that school year in 1960 and for nearly 60 years has been the state’s most striking facility with the school colors of green in almost every portion of its interior
The 2,600-seat venue is of the “sunken gym” style that was popular at many gyms around the state during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. However, its the hues of green that makes it stand out undeniably as the home of the Vikings.
The gym was renamed after longtime Athletic Director Jim Mann in 2011 who spent 30 years at the school. The Vikings boys and girls basketball teams captured six sectional championships during his tenure from 1969-1999.
Another interesting note is that Larry Bird did his student teaching at the high school following the 1978-1979 season with Indiana State University. That year Bird guided the Sycamores to a Final Four appearance in the championship game. He would spend the rest of the school year at West Vigo before signing with the Boston Celtics and NBA stardom.
Food & Beverage 3
The gym offers a collection of familiar concession items found at most high school gyms and field houses. A small concession window is open at one corner of the building offering hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, pretzels, and fountain drinks. On certain nights the school features various money raising efforts that include pulled pork dinners for $10 and baked goods for $.50. The pulled pork is the real deal and not the type found in a tube container or drenched with barbecue sauce.
The parking lots surrounding the gym are usually filled before most weekend games and the gym does not stand out from its exterior to most passersby, but once you walk in through the double door entrance, you know you are somewhere much different. The colors of green smack you in the face and run up your nose.
A large concourse surrounds the upper portion of the gym that also serves as a walking track during gym class and the walls are decorated with almost 60-years of school memories from old photos, sweaters, team photos, and news clippings. A few interesting clippings and photos hang on these walls giving the gym a classic field house atmosphere.
However, it’s the color of Kelly green that makes this gym stand out from most venues in the Hoosier State. The colors are splashed in almost every point of the building from the backdrop of the walls, area behind the benches, and railings up above the court on the roof. To many, it’s The Green Dome, and it’s easy to see why.
West Terre Haute is a short few miles from Terre Haute and the campus of Indiana State University. The major chain restaurants can be found near the I-70 interstate exits, but there are more than a few ample places to visit in downtown Terre Haute.
Moggers has been a staple for casual dining in town for many years and across the street from the building is the Terre Haute Brewing Company. The Verve is a nightclub offering live entertainment and J. Gumbo’s offers affordable cajun and creole-style meals in both traditional and non-traditional ways.
The Clabber Girl Museum is worth a visit to one of the country’s oldest brands. It also features glimpses into the history of Terre Haute and the evolution of American baking over the past two centuries. The Sycamore Winery is one of the newest editions in town located on a scenic property overlooking two lakes. Visitors can taste both homemade wine and beer at the picturesque building.
West Vigo fans love the Green Dome and many who move away enjoy a stroll down memory lane with a visit to their favorite place. A few in attendance took me around to show me a few names of people they went to school with or once played on the court.
The simple design of the gymnasium makes getting around rather simple. The bathrooms are located outside of the seating area in the main lobby and when the game is over, multiple doors open up directly to the parking area.
Return on Investment 3
The price of an adult ticket is $5 and is in line with other basketball venues in the state. The pricing of concessions is also affordable with most items well under $3. If you are here with former alumni, the game might be more interesting due to the history lesson you may receive about the gym and its former occupants.
The gym receives one star for the school colors of green everywhere in the gymnasium; from top to bottom any visitor or opponent knows they are in Viking Country.
A second star is for ticket raffles throughout the game that adds a little bit more sense of community during the game.
A third star for the entire crowd singing the school fight song to the tune of the Wisconsin Fight Song. A nice way to begin the game.
The Green Dome is a very striking facility in West Terre Haute, an interesting field house that includes itself in the list of great, small gyms in Indiana. In a state that prides itself on its field houses, The Green Dome is among the best of the smaller sized schools.
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Jim Mann Green Dome
4590 Sarah Myers Dr.
W. Terre Haute, IN 47885
Year Opened: 1960