Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium – Seymour Fighting Owls
Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium 1350 W. 2nd St. Seymour, IN 47274
Seymour High School Fighting Owls website
Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium website
Year Opened: 1970
Pretty Big Things in Seymour, Indiana
Hours before the game, fans brave chilly conditions in long lines that snake around the massive gymnasium. They pass the time bundled up, checking their phones, or perhaps enjoying a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate. The tension builds as tonight’s winner advances to semi-states. As the sunlight fades and dusks settle upon the crowd, the doors open up and fans quickly rush through many of the various entrances into the building. Ushers feverishly tear-off tickets with fans rushing to their seats.
The lights of the cars now shine through the dark skies lining up the streets and looking for an elusive parking spot. The lines have dissipated outside of the gym by now, and the seating bowl quickly fills up with fans from both visiting high schools. Students, alumni, and hometown fans are now engulfed in Hoosier Hysteria. Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium in Seymour, Indiana, holds a whopping 8,100 people and is home to the Seymour High School Fighting Owls. Dedicated in 1970, it was renamed in honor of Scott 1998, who coached the boys’ basketball team from 1961-1974.
In March 2019, the building became the largest high school gym in the nation after an independent study was conducted by members of the Indiana High School Basketball Historical Society. They counted every seat meticulously and Seymour became the new king of the gyms over the New Castle Fieldhouse. Seymour’s actual capacity of 8,228 was more than New Castle’s actual count of 7,829. That would change in January of 2021 when New Castle officials added seats to boost its capacity to 8,424 to claim the title of the largest gym in the nation, and probably the planet. We may see another tilt sometime in the future.
The Owls were 233-99, won 11 sectionals, 6 regionals, and 5 times were semi-state finalists during his tenure. His 1969-70 squad went 29-1 and Scott was instrumental in building the new gym for the Owls. He was inducted into the Indiana High School Hall of Fame in 1981 and served as its president from 1983-1987. During the regular season, it is home to the Owls basketball program, but it’s also home to regionals, sectionals, and semi-state games during high school tournament time in Indiana.
Its strategic location in between the major cities of Indianapolis and Louisville, Kentucky, off of I-65, makes it the ideal location for various teams in this portion of the state. Before the gym opened up, the Owls played at Shields Memorial Gymnasium from 1941 to 1970. The old building was then used by the middle school, and a bible college, and is now privately owned. It is now privately owned and in squalid conditions. There had been numerous ideas for repurposing the old building but none have been either feasible or practical.
Food & Beverage 3
Seymour follows a standard blueprint of concessions that exist in many gyms across the state. There are multiple concession stands on the upper and lower concourse offering some of the lowest menu prices around. Available items include Papa John's pizza slices (regular or pepperoni), Chick-Fil-A sandwiches (regular or spicy), popcorn, candy, and Orange Leaf frozen yogurt. Pepsi products are available by bottle.
When you have a building that can seat 8,100 fans the atmosphere will be intense and thrilling. It is even more exciting when you have dedicated fanbases that travel to the game and make the gym their home away from home. New Albany High School is located about an hour south of Seymour on the Ohio River and can routinely fill the gym up with its fans.
The seating section is broken into an upper and lower level with a wrap-around section on top. Seats are of the pullout bleacher mold and the gym does not feature a standard scoreboard directly over the center court. Instead, there are four separate scoreboards in each corner of the lower level and two more above each backboard.
The large gym features banners for the home school Owls and an oversized team logo at the center court. There is also a collection of accolades, team photographs of all championship sports teams, and memorabilia in the exterior hall of the building. However, the interior of the gym is absent of banners from the school’s history dating back 100 years. The majority of the atmosphere comes from the teams and their supporters.
The student sections are lively through every point scored during the game. The cheerleaders provide plenty of school spirit as they lead the cavalry at crucial moments. Songs played over the loudspeaker are echoed throughout the building, and it is not uncommon to hear the students sing along in unison.
Seymour is a town of 17,503 people located in southern Indiana. The picturesque town offers rolling hills and beautiful homes as you head to the game off the interstate. There is plenty of regional and national food chains in and around the interstate exits, but check out the various local establishments that offer some fine food and drink.
Larrison’s Diner for some great home-cooked food. The building has been serving delicacies since the 1940s and its appearance looks like it has not been changed for some time; recommendations include bison burgers, ribeye sandwiches, pork tenderloins, shakes and malts, and breakfast items. El Nopal is considered the best Mexican food in town. Schwätzer's German Restaurant and Rails Craft Brew & Eatery are two other options in town for great food.
There are also a collection of places for a pint. Rails Craft Brew & Eatery offers pub food, steaks, sandwiches, and pasta dishes. Chateau de Pique Winery and Brewery are highly recommended for a tasting or two. The Seymour Brewing Company offers great pints and houses the Brooklyn Pizza Company where one can also get a stromboli and a calzone.
As indicated earlier, when the gymnasium is filled to a standing room only the atmosphere is electrifying. This also means that the fans create much of that electricity well before the opening tip-off. Jennings County Panthers fans, from nearby North Vernon, encompassed close to 90 percent of the gym’s capacity. Their opponent was from a little further away in Evansville.
Seymour High School is located off of I-65. Take Exit 55 (IN-11) towards Seymour/Jonesville and proceed a little over 4 miles towards town, turn right onto East 6th St/IN-258, and make a left about a mile later onto Community Dr. The high school will be on your right. There are multiple entrances to the building, bathrooms are located in the exterior walls of the gym, and it can be quite crowded moving in and out of your seats during highly attendant games.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets for regular-season games are $6, while sectionals, regional, and semi-state games are $7 to $12 for single games. These prices are in line with the rest of the state's high school programs. The gym’s size is impressive, but when it is full, it’s amazing to look around and watch the fans get into the action on the court. Concession prices are extremely affordable and parking is plenty but does get crowded, around the facility.
One star for the affordable concession prices; one dollar for a hot dog. Two stars for the old Shields Gym that served as home for the Owls from 1941-1970. The 4,000-seat arena still possesses its original wooden
permanent bleachers, but it is in disarray. You cannot enter the gym, but you can take pictures from the outside.
The third and fourth and final point is for its location and an ideal spot for sectional, regional, and semi-state games during tournament time. If you want to know the definition of Hoosier Hysteria, see a game at the Scott Gym in March.
Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium is one of the many great places to be during tournament time in Indiana. Dedicated fan bases, frantic crowds, and future collegiate stars are all that make Hoosier Hysteria come alive every March. Located a little over an hour away from Louisville and Indianapolis, it is recommended to take in a high school basketball when in Indiana.
Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on Twitter @ballparkhunter and his YouTube channel. Email at Marc.Viquez@stadiumjourney.com