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Freedom Hall
FreedomHallStateFair.jpg
Location Freedom Way
Louisville, KY 40209
Opened 1956
Operator Kentucky Exposition Center
Capacity 18,865 (basketball)
19,200 (concerts)
Tenants
Louisville Cardinals, men (NCAA) (1956-2010)
Louisville Cardinals, women (NCAA) (1990s-2010)
Louisville Rebels (IHL) (1957-1960)
Kentucky Colonels (ABA) (1968-1976)
Louisville Fire (af2) (2001-2008)
Louisville Panthers (AHL) (1999-2001)
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament (1958-1959, 1962-1963, 1967, 1969)
2010 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament (2010)

Freedom Hall is a multipurpose arena in Louisville, Kentucky, on the grounds of the Kentucky Exposition Center, which is owned by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It is best known for its use as a basketball arena, serving as the home of the University of Louisville Cardinals men's team from 1956 to 2010, the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association from 1970 until the ABA-NBA merger in June 1976, and the Louisville Cardinals women's team from the 1990s to 2010.

Contents

History

Freedom Hall was completed in 1956 in the newly opened Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center located 5 miles south of Downtown Louisville. In 1984 the facility was refurbished, including lowering the floor to allow maximum capacity to increase from 16,664 to 18,865 for basketball. It has been the full time home of Cardinal men's basketball since the 1957/58 season, with the team winning 82% of home games in 50 seasons. U of L has ranked in the Top 5 in attendance for the past 25 years, with 16 of the past 19 years averaging more than 100% of capacity.

In addition to being the home of the Cardinals, Freedom Hall has hosted NCAA Tournament games ten times, including six Final Fours between 1958 and 1969. The arena has also hosted 11 conference tournaments, nine Metro Conference Tournaments and two Conference USA tournaments—2001 and 2003. It has also hosted the Kentucky High School State Basketball Tournament (also known as the Sweet 16) 23 times, including every year from 1965-1978. In 1984, the floor of the arena was lowered about 10 feet to increase the capacity of the arena from 16,613 to its current figure. In the 1996-97 season Freedom Hall averaged an attendance of 19,590 surpassing arena capacity. Freedom Hall hosts the Championship tractor pull every February during the National Farm Machinery Show.

Another famous event that occurs at Freedom Hall is the Kentucky State Fair World's Championship Horse Show. In fact, Freedom Hall was designed for this event. The North American International Livestock Exposition also is held there each November.

In November 2008 the Louisville Fire of af2 ceased operations. The Louisville Fire was an Arena Football team who played in Freedom Hall.

On the lower level is the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame Walls of Fame where an engraved bronze plaque honors each inductee.[1]

The University of Louisville men's basketball team played their final game at Freedom Hall on March 6, 2010 against Syracuse University, the #1 ranked team in the nation. Louisville won 78-68. (Note: Louisville defeated Notre Dame 85-75 in their first-ever game at Freedom Hall 1956)

UofL Men's Basketball Attendance by Year
Year Average Attendance Games Percent of capacity
1997/98 18,669 14 98.96%
1998/99 19,055 14 101.0%
1999/00 19,180 15 101.2%
2000/01 17,457 16 92.53%
2001/02 18,929 19 100.3%
2002/03 19,037 18 101.0%
2003/04 19,443 15 103.1%
2004/05 18,746 17 99.36%
2005/06 18,316 22 97.09%
2006/07 18,488 20 98%
2007/08 19,481 17 103.3%

See also

References

External links

Preceded by

Municipal Auditorium
Municipal Auditorium
Cole Field House
Sports Arena
NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue

1958 – 59
1962 - 1963
1967
1969
Succeeded by

Cow Palace
Municipal Auditorium
Sports Arena
Cole Field House

Coordinates: 38°12′1.06″N 85°44′30.79″W / 38.2002944°N 85.7418861°W / 38.2002944; -85.7418861

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