The Official Athletic Site of Butler University The Official Athletic Site of Butler University
Butler Athletic Facilities

The Butler men's basketball, women's basketball and volleyball teams plays their home matches in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, which is located on Butler's campus, northeast of the residence halls and main portion of campus. Less than a mile's walk from anywhere on campus, Hinkle is accessible to all students and plays host to exciting athletic competition each year.

Hinkle Fieldhouse has reigned as one of the nation's great sports arenas for more than six decades. The classic facility was constructed in 1928 and has stood up to the test of time, maintaining the splendor, character and atmosphere that made it one of the nation's most famous basketball arenas more than a half century ago.

The Fieldhouse, which remained virtually unchanged for more than 60 years, received a major facelift during the summer of 1989. Among the changes to the historical building were new chair back seats in the lower arena, new doors and windows on the south side of the exterior, new offices for basketball, volleyball and sports information and marketing, a training room and locker rooms off the main arena, a VIP lounge, a repaved parking lot, outside landscaping, extensive interior painting and a new public address system. The renovation was geared toward upgrading the facility, while retaining the history and nostalgia of the home of "Hoosier Hysteria."

The original construction of Butler Fieldhouse was part of a massive project designed to give Butler one of the finest athletic plants in the nation. The project was financed by a corporation of 41 prominent and farsighted Indianapolis businessmen. Completion of the Fieldhouse was guaranteed when Butler signed a lease agreement with the Indiana High School Athletic Association allowing the high school state tournament to be played in the massive new facility. Butler's association with the IHSAA continued from 1928 to 1971, with a brief interruption during the war years, 1943-45.

Butler played its first basketball game in the Fieldhouse on March 7, 1928, defeating Notre Dame 21-13 in overtime. Since the Fieldhouse was not entirely completed at that time, the building dedication was held off until Dec. 21, 1928. The name of the facility was changed in 1966 from Butler Fieldhouse to Hinkle Fieldhouse in honor of Butler's legendary coach and athletic director, Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle.

The Fieldhouse has served as host to four U.S. presidents (Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford), the Billy Graham Crusade, the Sonja Henie Ice Show, four professional basketball teams, the U.S. Olympic basketball trials, the first USSR-USA basketball game, all-star basketball games for the NBA, ABA and the East-West College All-Stars, the nationally prominent Butler Relays in track, tennis matches of both Bill Tilden and Jack Kramer, the 1982 World Goal Ball Championships, a three-ring circus, several equestrian events, the Roller Derby, a six-day bicycle race, and the popular movie "Hoosiers." The building also housed the United States Air Force and Navy as a barracks during World War II.

During the summer of 1987, Hinkle Fieldhouse again received national attention, this time as the site for the volleyball competition at the tenth Pan American Games. The largest crowd ever to see a volleyball match in the United States (14,500) gathered to see the United States defeat Cuba in the men's gold medal match.

When the Fieldhouse was originally constructed, it was the largest basketball arena in the United States, and it retained that distinction for more than 20 years. Recent renovation has reduced the seating capacity from 15,000 to around 10,000, but the aura that made Hinkle Fieldhouse one of the nation's first great basketball arenas remains today.

Butler Bowl

Located on the northeast side of Butler's campus just east of storied Hinkle Fieldhouse, the Butler Bowl provides a spectacular setting for athletic competition. The facility serves as the home of Butler's football team and men's and women's soccer teams.

The Butler Bowl was designed as part of a massive project developed to give Butler University one of the finest athletic plants in the nation. Construction on the Bowl was completed in time for the start of the 1928 football season and Butler inaugurated the stadium by defeating Franklin, 55-0. The original Butler Bowl had seating for 36,000 spectators, with an option to enlarge the seating capacity to 72,000.

The first major change in the Butler Bowl came in 1955 when the Hilton U. Brown Theatre was constructed in the south end zone. The huge outdoor theater replaced 16,000 seats on the south end of the stadium and gave Butler one of the premier open-air stage facilities in the Midwest. For years, the Hilton U. Brown Theatre served as the summer home for the widely-recognized Starlight Musicals, which brought the best in off-Broadway performances to Indianapolis.

The most recent renovation saw the removal of the Brown Theatre and all of the permanent seating on the east side of the field to make way for the construction of the Butler Apartment Village, which gives the stadium a much more cozy and nostalgic feel. Additionally, the installation of an artificial playing surface makes the field more apt to handle the wear and tear it receives from the football and soccer teams throughout the year.

Currently, the Butler Bowl has permanent seating located only on the southwest side of the field, running from the south 20-yard-line to the end-zone, but additional seating is available on the east sideline and on the south end-zone lawn. The field runs north and south with the stadium scoreboard located at the north end of the Bowl.

Varsity Field

Along with the Butler Bowl, Varsity Field serves as one of the homes of the Butler men's and women's soccer teams. A natural grass field, the complex gives the soccer teams a unique advantage in being able to play games and have practices on both the artificial surface of the Butler Bowl and the natural surface of Varsity Field.

Varsity Field features a covered area for both team benches, an elevated press box, a storage area for equipment and seating along the southern sideline for up to 500 spectators. The soccer teams are also able to take advantage of the practice fields located north of the main field.

The field is located adjacent to Butler University's Holcomb Gardens across the Inland Waterway Canal. The facility is a part of the larger athletic field complex which also includes the Butler Softball Field, outdoor tennis courts and intramural fields.

Bulldog Park

Bulldog Park serves as the home of the Butler baseball team. Located just behind Hinkle Fieldhouse and the Butler Bowl, Bulldog Park provides a nostalgic setting for collegiate baseball, with seating for up to 500 spectators and a fully functional press box. The field features symmetrical dimensions, stretching 330 feet down both lines, 370 feet to the gaps and an even 400 feet to the batter's eye in dead center. The Butler dugout stretches along the third-base line with the visitors situated along first. The bullpens are located in foul territory in both corners of the outfield, while a batting cage sits along the left-field line out of play.

Originally a multi-purpose baseball field and football practice field, Bulldog Park became a baseball-only facility following substantial renovations during the 1990s, which saw the addition of a permanent outfield fence, bleachers, dugouts and a press box. Since its conversion, the field has been home to numerous players who have gone on to play in the professional ranks, including current Minnesota Twins pitcher Pat Neshek.

Butler Softball Field

The Butler softball team calls the Butler Softball Field home, located adjacent to the Holcomb Gardens across the Inland Waterway Canal. The field is a part of a larger athletic field complex that features Varsity Field (the alternate field for both the men's and women's soccer teams), the outdoor tennis courts and intramural softball and soccer fields.

The field features brick dugouts for both the home and visiting benches, a bullpen area and batting cages located down the first base line out of play and spectator seating for up to 500 people. The field's outfield dimensions extend to 200 feet from foul pole to foul pole.

A minor renovation during the winter of 2007 saw new dirt added to the infield and regraded for a more consistent playing surface.

Butler Bubble

The Butler Bubble is home to the Bulldog men's and women's tennis teams and is used as an indoor practice facility for the Butler baseball, football and soccer teams. All of the Butler tennis teams' home matches take place inside the bubble, which is located behind Hinkle Fieldhouse off of 52nd Street.

The Bubble was originally constructed at the far west end of the Hinkle Fieldhouse parking lot, but was relocated to along the right field line of Bulldog Park after the original plot was broke for the construction of the new Health and Recreation Complex in the summer of 2005.

The Bubble houses four hard-surface tennis courts as well as additional room for storage of equipment for both tennis teams. The bubble itself is supported by higher air pressure inside and is permanently fixed over the courts.

Health and Recreation Complex (HRC)

The Butler University Health and Recreation Complex (HRC), which recently opened in the fall of 2006, is the practice home for the Bulldog women's swimming team. The six-lane lap pool give the squad an on-campus site for conditioning and training. In addition, the HRC also features the following:

  • Two-court gymnasium that can accommodate basketball, volleyball, and badminton.
  • Leisure pool for water basketball, volleyball, bubble benches, or lazy river.
  • Hot tub.
  • Sauna.
  • Men's, women's, and family locker rooms.
  • Two multipurpose rooms for use with group exercise classes or club sport practices.
  • Free-weight room with Hammer Strength equipment.
  • Cardio and selectorized weight machine area that includes Precor, Matrix, and Cybex pieces (over 60 pieces in all).
  • 1/10 mile jogging track.
  • Fitness assessment & massage therapy room.
  • Conference room that seats approximately 30-40.

    Weight Room

    All of Butler's athletes benefit from an extensive strength and conditioning program under the direction of the strength and conditioning coordinator. The purpose of Butler's strength training program is two-fold. One is to decrease injury potential and the other is to increase performance potential. By increasing the strength of each athlete's muscles, bones and connective tissues, the chance of incurring an injury while performing lessens. To increase functional strength is also an important step towards an athlete realizing his or her athletic potential.

    The conditioning coordinator has instituted a program for Butler athletes that stresses flexibility, agility, jumping sills, speed and reaction time as well as strength. The program utilizes free weights, strength machinery, manual resistance and additional innovative techniques to help maximize the chance for Butler athletes to succeed.

    The center of Butler's strength and conditioning program is the new 4,000 square-foot weight training room located in Hinkle Fieldhouse. The weight room, which features an entire outside wall of glass, is stocked with free weights, weight machines, stationary bikes, stairmasters, and related apparatus, which allows Butler athletes to train in an open and comfortable atmosphere.