Test Your Knowledge of the Arena and the Time
This page contains a number of interesting facts we came across while doing the research for the project, but couldn’t quite work into the narrative proper. We hope you enjoy reading them, and that they expand both your understanding of the history of the arena and just how weird history can sometimes be.
Highlight the answers to reveal them!
Just click on the question to reveal the answer. Some you may know, or may have learned from other areas on this site. The answers to others may surprise you.
In what year was the old UD Fieldhouse completed?
1950. It would see use by the team for games until the arena’s completion in 1969. Today, the UD athletic department building is built on the same ground.
In the years prior to the construction of the UD arena, the Fieldhouse was regularly filled to capacity during Flyer games. How many people could it accommodate?
5,882. This number was stretched by Tom Frericks and Don Donoher through some compression magic, and a few extra seats squeezed into freed space. The original number was supposed to have been seating for 5,500.
In what year did Don Donoher become the head coach of the UD Flyers varsity basketball team?
1964. After Tom Blackburn could no longer continue as coach due to his worsening health, Don Donoher became head coach at the end of the 1963-1964 season.
What famous media star once remarked about the UD Fieldhouse "nice barn you got here?"
Bob Hope. He made the comment while visiting the city to participate in a Bogey Busters tournament.
What famous Hollywood actor served as a caddy during the Bogey Busters Golf Tournaments
Martin Sheen, most known for his leading roles in Apocalypse Now and as president in the TV show West Wing.
What was the biggest, most impactful event in national history that took place in 1968?
Some might say Nixon’s election, the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, the riot a the democratic national convention, the abolition of the gold standard in the US, the signing of the Civil Rights Act, the beginning of the Troubles in Ireland, the May riots in France, the culmination of Prague spring, or the assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, but the correct answer is obviously that ground was broken on the site of the future UD arena.
The original design of the UD arena was based off of what other famous college basketball arena?
The University of New Mexico’s “Pit” arena in Albuquerque, NM.
What was the major flaw that led to the UD arena's first design begin abandoned?
It was far too expensive. A more frugal design, based upon digging rather than building up, was eventually adopted.
Why was the revised arena design in improvement upon the first one?
Since it dug rather than building up, it required less steel for construction, bringing the final price down.
About how far below ground level is the UD arena's playing floor?
Approximately 38 feet.
What did the original licensed seats for the UD arena sell for?
One thousand dollars. And Tom Frericks sold every one of them as part of a fundraising effort for the arena’s construction.
What was the first year a basketball game was played in the UD arena?
1969, on December 9, when the UD Flyers face off against Bowling Green and won 72-70.
Who scored the first basket at the UD arena?
Patrick Muran, a Flyer defensive specialist, scored the first goal of the UD arena.
In the opening season of the arena, which nationally-ranked team suffered a remarkable upset to the UD Flyers?
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who would go on to win a record-setting game in the UD arena later that season.
The Flyers' 1966-1967 NCAA run began with an upset against what team?
Western Kentucky’s own Hilltoppers.
During the 1966-1967 season, who did the Flyers face off against in the NCAA semifinals?
The North Carolina Tar Heels, the Flyer’s last victory in the season.
What was the lowest win/loss ratio of the UD Flyers during the 1967-1968 season?
7-9. This would be reversed in a remarkable winning streak which saw the Flyers end the season 16-9.
In what year was the NCAA single game scoring record established at the UD arena?
In 1970, by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a game against Ohio University. The boys in green won 112-82.
Following the terrible flood of 1913, the land on which the arena is now built was used for what purpose in the recovery?
Animal burial. At the time, cities still had large numbers of animals, from tethered horses to livestock enclosures to family pets. After the flood, an area across the river was chosen to be their resting place. Fast forward half a century, and ground is broken for the arena above them.
What Ohio governor played a major role in the construction of the UD arena?
Governor Rhodes, who helped the university acquire development grants for the construction, and spoke at the opening.
Frericks managed to acquire much of the land on which the university now rests by arraigning what?
A land swap, where municipally held land was traded so the city could consolidate holding of the area where the arena now is, and that land leased to the University for the arena.
The University of Dayton acquired both land and money for construction of the arena by what method?
Private donation. Many business owners and groups within the city worked to help get construction started.
Before construction, who owned much of the land where the arena now stands?
The River Conservancy, while much of the remaining land was either municipally held or residential area.
Who owns the land on which the majority of the UD arena parking lot sits?
The Dayton school district, who owned the (largely unused) athletic complex that stood there before construction began.
To keep morale high among the construction crew, what did Tom Frericks supply them with every Friday afternoon?
Buckets of beer, giving the crews a head start on their weekend.
Games were played at the UD arena before it was ever opened. Who participated in these?
Members of the construction crew. They would take turns playing 3 on 3 matches during their breaks.
Why was construction of the arena temporarily halted in 1969?
Because the roof collapsed! Thankfully, nobody was hurt in the accident, and the arena would go on to be completed by the end of the year.
What Hollywood celebrity helped entertain the audience during the opening night of the UD arena?
Johnny Carson, comedian and host of The Tonight Show.
Although Don May was the headline player, what two players also helped carry the Flyer's effort in the 1966-1967 NCAA season?
Glinder Torain and Rudy Waterman, two African-american players whose time with the team was soured by experiences of racial prejudice.
What terrible event occurred in Dayton in 1966?
The Dayton Race Riots, where the city was rocked by their share of nationwide protests against racial inequality.
How many ameteur historians does it take to make a website about the UD arena?
17, plus three professors and an archivist.