By Jon Scott
Kentucky has played organized basketball for over 100 years, and during that time the rules, players and the game itself have changed dramatically over the decades.
The wide range of facilities (both on campus and off), from the earliest humble gymnasiums of yesteryear to the gigantic and extravagant domes and arenas of today have also undergone dramatic changes. Going back through time to view how these facilities have evolved gives insight into how the game itself has changed with the times. Often the upgrades in facilities have been an attempt to keep in step with the increased interest in the sport, while at other times new facilities have themselves laid the groundwork and spurred popularity of the game.
Beyond reflecting interest in the game, changes in the facilities also serve to highlight other factors which have proven important in the game's development, such as effects from political decisions, economic drivers, and cultural influences on architectural style and aesthetics.
The link below provides short descriptions of selected gymnasiums and arenas during notable time periods found during the development of the game, along with graphic examples illustrating the style of the day. This is Part 1, describing facilities from the turn of the century up through the early 1970's. Part 2 looks at more modern arenas, and will be upcoming shortly. Each of these buildings have hosted games that the Kentucky basketball team has been a part of.