|Dedicated to the Preservation of Athletic History at Colorado State University
|Courts, Gymnasiums and Arenas
When the athletic association was reformed in 1899, not only did
football, baseball and track receive new life, but indoor sports
also were formed out of the need to expand athletics. Old Main,
the first classroom building on the Colorado Agricultural College
campus was built in 1879 with an expansion built in 1891. The
second expansion of Old Main took place in 1903 and as part of
the building's third wing, a gymnasium was built in the lower level
of the newly expanded building.
Sometimes referred to as dark and damp, the Old Main Gym
was very small and cramped without much room for spectators.
It had a balcony around the top of the gym for spectators and
was so small that few could stand on the sidelines.
From 1899 to 1903, women and sometime men played
basketball in the college barn or armory building that was located
at College Avenue and Plumb. From 1903 to 1922 both men
and women shared the Old Main Gym until the building now
known as Ammons Hall was built for women's athletics. Due to
the cramped conditions, many times the Collegian sports writers
asked whether or not the Aggies should have a basketball team.
Men's basketball did arrive in 1903 and although they sometimes
played as little as one or two games in a season, they competed
in the Old Main Gym until the new Men's Gym (now known as
the South College Avenue Gym) was constructed in 1926.
The Old Main Gym was used for student activities and
occasional intramural games until it burned down with the rest of
Old Main on May 8, 1970.
|A rare look into the Old Main Gym shows how small the
facility was for basketball. Notice the three step bleachers in
the bottom photo and the balcony above. (Private Collection)
|Women's Gym (Ammons Hall) 1922-1966
|Ammons Hall as it is known today served as the women's
gymnasium beginning in 1922. Shown here in 1920 while
under construction, the building had a swimming pool and
offices. Today the pool is gone and little shows that this was
once an athletic facility.
By 1920, the women could no longer share the Old Main Gym
as the college grew. In 1922 a new facility opened for women to
conduct exercise in along with sports of all kinds. The building is
now known as Ammons Hall and it is located in the northwest
corner of the Oval near the Danforth Chapel.
Women used the grass in the Oval for their outdoor sports like
softball and field hockey and they used Ammons Hall for indoor
sports. Inside, the building looked more like an Tuscan Villa than
a gymnasium with a fountain and ornate columns. In the back of
the building the first swimming pool on the Aggie campus was
built and offices and classrooms also were featured throughout
As women's athletics entered the modern era, Ammons Hall
became old and extinct and women's athletics moved to the
Moby complex. The pool was shut down in 1982 and taken out
during renovations in the 2000s. Today the building is used as a
welcome center for Colorado State University.
|South College Gym 1926 - Present
|Ground for the
new Men's Gym
is staked out on
the former site of
Durkee Field in
the spring of
|The Men's Gym, commonly known as the South
College Gym or College Avenue Gym was completed
in the fall of 1926 and was the home of basketball
until 1966. A swimming pool and indoor track
continue to be used by the athletic department
making it the oldest athletic facility at CSU.
|The College Avenue Gym became very outdated by
the late 1950s and 1960s when Coach Jim Williams
brought championship basketball to CSU. As the
school grew, the gym became far too small for the
school and a new facility opened in 1966. (1961
One of the most used buildings in the history of the CSU campus is the
building currently known as the South College Gym. Athletic Director and
basketball coach Harry Hughes worked with college president Dr.
Charles A. Lory for over a year to lobby the State Board of Agriculture
to allow for funds to build the much needed gym. Finally, in January of
1925 the Board approved the construction of the $220,000 athletic
facility to be completed by the beginning of the 1926 school year.
When it opened in September of 1926, the building, known then as the
"Men's Gym" was the envy of all Colorado schools. It housed locker
rooms, a pool, showers, offices, indoor track and basketball court with
capacity to fit more than double the number of students enrolled at the
time. The facility also held the offices for all coaches and athletic
administrators along with tennis courts outside of the building on its west
side. Large windows made for plenty of light, but almost from the
beginning the building had heating issues.
Located on the former site of Durkee Field, the gym suffered on more
than one occasion floods from the creek that formally ran beneath its
foundation. Nevertheless, the new gym served multiple purposes for
Aggie athletics and allowed the basketball team to thrive once they moved
out of the Old Main Gym.
By the 1930s, the gym was noted as the most used building in Fort
Collins as it not only held football practices, swimming events and
basketball games, but also acted as a sort of convention center for the
town. On more than one occasion events like car shows and swap meets
were held inside, not to mention the registration for classes held each
quarter, then each semester. Often times the school would hold
assemblies in the gym and if weather was bad, graduation would be held
there rather than Colorado Field.
At the onset of WWII, the gym was converted to Army barracks and
after the war when students flocked to the campus it was again used for
makeshift student housing. As the campus continued to grow, the building
became far too small to accommodate all students and fans during a
period that basketball coach Jim Williams had revitalized the sport to
become more popular than football for the first time in school history.
In September of 1964, ground was broken on a new Gym and the
beginning of the end for the College Avenue Gym occurred. However,
after the basketball team and other sports moved out of the old gym, the
indoor track team remained there where meets are still held today. The
track offices are still located in the gym and after the 1997 flood, it
received a new basketball court and improvements.
Since it is located on the former site of Durkee Field and still in use for
intercollegiate athletic events today, the South College Gym is the oldest
site for athletics on the CSU campus ranging from 1899 to 2010.
|Auditorium-Gymnasium 1966 - Present
(aka) Moby Arena
In January of 1966, Colorado State University opened a new
basketball facility simply known as the "Auditorium-Gymnasium"
which could seat around 9,000 fans and hold athletic offices.
Located on the far west portion of the CSU campus, the building
is now known as Moby Arena. It received its rather colorful
nickname during construction when two students that worked for
the Collegian noticed it resembled a beached whale. They wrote
about the beached whale in th student paper and the name Moby
was given to the new facility because of the fictional whale.
The building also has an intramural gym, swimming pool and
several different locker rooms for each sport, including the Joey
Porter Locker Room for the football team. Not only does
basketball compete at Moby for both men's and women's, but
the Volleyball team plays in the main arena, water polo,
swimming and diving are also in this facility. It was named
"Auditorium" so that the school could use it for more than just
athletics. Several music concerts, political rallies and other events
happen in Moby Arena each year. It is the primary athletic
facility on the main campus and continues to serve CSU athletics
|"Auditorium-Gymnasium" later became known as Moby
Gym. Former athletic director Oval Jaynes renamed it Moby
Arena, but the state of Colorado still has the building listed as
"Auditorium-Gymnasium". (Lower Left) Moby Arena is the
home for Rams basketball and volleyball. Another facility
connected to the building also has a swimming pool that the
swimming and diving team and Water Polo team uses. Most
team locker rooms are still in the Moby complex.