Cameron Indoor Stadium
Own Your Own Cameron Indoor Stadium sculpture of extraordinary realism...meticulously detailed and skillfully hand painted.
- Since 1940, Cameron Indoor Stadium has been the centerpiece of the Blue Devils¨ basketball legacy, a tradition that has led the Devils to capture three NCAA titles and appear in 13 Final Fours.
- Officially licensed by DukeŞ, this magnificent sculpture features extraordinary accuracy and fine detail.
- Authentic in every aspect, the replica has a removable roof, from which the championship banners and baskets hang.
- Superbly crafted and carefully hand painted by skilled artisans, the sculpture comes mounted on a handsome display base.
- Actual size approximately 9 3/4" long x 7 1/2" wide.
The Legendary Home to Duke Basketball & The Cameron Crazies
Cameron Indoor Stadium has been a perfect home for the Duke University basketball program. Conceived on the back of a matchbook cover and renovated in the late '80s at a cost of $2 million, Cameron has been the site of 550 Blue Devil victories.
More than a few of those victories have been influenced by the electric atmosphere within its Gothic halls.
Legend has it that it all began with a book of matches, which for a town and a school founded on local tobacco fortunes seems a promising way to start.
It was on the cover of a book of matches that Eddie Cameron and Wallace Wade first sketched out the plan for Duke's Indoor Stadium in 1935. The story may be a myth (the matchbook has never been found), but then the Indoor Stadium that emerged from those first scribblings lends itself to the propagation of myths.
For fifty-seven years, spectators, players, and coaches have understood the unique magic of the Indoor Stadium (eventually named after long-time Duke Athletic Director Eddie Cameron, a legend in his own right).
It's the intimacy of the arena, the unique seating arrangement that puts the wildest fans right down on the floor with the players. It's the legends that were made there, the feeling of history being made with every game. And it's something more than either of these, something indescribable that comes from the building itself. No one who has experienced it will ever forget it.
Whether or not the matchbook story is true, it is a fact that the official architectural plans for the Stadium were drawn up by the Philadelphia firm of Horace Trumbauer, Architect. Trumbauer was a self-made man, a poor boy who left school at 16 to apprentice himself as a draftsman to a local architect. In 1890, at the age of 22, he opened his own office and quickly rose to prominence in the Northeast. His designs for the mansions and estates of wealthy northeastern magnates brought him to the attention of James Buchanan Duke, North Carolina tobacco baron. Duke commissioned the architect to design his New York townhome during the early part of the century.
In 1924, when Duke created the $40 million Duke Endowment that turned Trinity College into Duke University, he called on Trumbauer to design the new University Campus.
In recent years it has come to light that the plans for the campus, as well as designs for later buildings including the stadium, were drawn up not by Trumbauer himself (although his name appeared on all the blueprints) but by his chief designer, Julian Abele, one of the nation's first black architects. Abele, a brilliant architecture student at the University of Pennsylvania, was brought to Trumbauer's attention shortly after his graduation in 1902. Trumbauer was so impresssed with Abele's talents that he not only hired him but paid his way through the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. To this day, Abele is the only black American ever to graduate from the school.
The original design for the Indoor Stadium was significantly less grand than the one from which the building was actually constructed. That first plan called for 5,000 basketball "sittings", and even that number was considered extravagant, at least by Trumbauer, who originally had proposed 4,000 seats. In a letter to Dr. William P. Few, President of Duke, Trumbauer said: "For your information Yale has in its new gymnasium a basket ball (sic) court with settings for 1600 . . . I think the settings for 8,000 people is rather liberal . . . the Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania seats 9,000."
The original building was a domed structure with 16-feet steel ceiling spans and a 90-by 45-foot playing court. Obviously, Dr. Few must have insisted on something more spectacular.
As important as the size of the Stadium was its external appearance. It was vital that the building be aesthetically integrated with the original West Campus buildings. For this reason, building stone was taken from the Duke quarry in nearby Hillsborough, North Carolina, where all the stone for the original campus had been found.
Building on the Stadium proceeded quickly. The stone had to be laid in temperate weather, for in extremely cold temperatures, the mortar would freeze. The building was finished in nine months.
Thus the Stadium was ready to be opened by the first of the new year, 1940. The final cost: $400,000 (which Duke finished paying after the football team won the Sugar Bowl in 1945). In 1972, Eddie Cameron estimated that a similar structure built in the present day would cost at least $3.5 million.
Duke's new Indoor Stadium was officially opened on January 6, 1940. Touring the building before the evening ceremony and subsequent game, local city officials were "speechless." Said Chamber of Commerce President Col. Marion B. Fowler, "It is so colossal and so wonderful . . . This building will not only be an asset to the university but to the entire community as well." Chamber Secretary Frank Pierson concurred, "There are no superlatives for it."
But Duke's Indoor Stadium was a structure of superlatives. The arena measured 262-feet long by 175-feet wide and was the East Coast's largest indoor stadium south of the Palestra in Philadelphia. Nine fixed steel frames spanned the ceiling at 26-foot intervals, which "provided an exceptionally good sight line." Seating for 8,800 included 3,500 folding bleacher seats on the floor designated, then as today, for the exclusive use of undergraduates. Maximum capacity was 12,000. Sixteen ramps in the upper level helped prevent bottlenecks. It was according to the program issued the opening night, " one of the most modern and complete physical education buildings in the country."
The building was dedicated before a crowd of 8,000, the largest ever in the history of southern basketball. President William P. Few and Dean William H. Wannamaker presented the Stadium to the University. Dean R.B. House of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, representing the Southern Conference, also spoke. Aware of the tensions his presence as a member of a rival institution might cause, House affirmed. "I am a Methodist. I aspire to religion, I endorse erudition, and I use . . . tobacco . . . Hence, I claim to have good personal grounds for being a friend and well-wisher of Duke University." House continued: ". . . here will be on parade not only Duke University, but also . . . Youth . . . education . . . (and) the values of a great and democratic people. Modern games preserve for us the athletic glory of Greece, the executive efficiency of Rome . . ."
To the greater glory of Greece, Rome, and particularly Duke University, the Blue Devils beat the visiting Princeton Tigers that night, 36-27.
It was in February 1986 that NBC Sports commentator Dick Enberg told the world about the latest planned renovations for Cameron. "They're going to make a real sports antique out of it . . . complete with brass railings and stained glass windows." For Duke athletic officials watching the Sunday afternoon broadcast of the Duke-Georgia Tech game, this was certainly news. Planned renovations did not, as some rumors indicated, include stained glass windows (much to the disappointment of the numerous stained glass companies that contacted Athletic Director Tom Butters following the announcement), but there was a major facelift being planned which included new side walls, a new electronic scoreboard, and even brass railings.
Renovations began in 1987. The lobbies and concourse were remodeled during the summer of 1987. Then, in 1988, work began on the interior of the arena. A new electronic scoreboard, new sound system, and decorative wood paneling gave Cameron an updated look, while maintaining the original elegance. The addition of 750 new student seats, increasing Cameron's capacity to 9,314, gave the Cameron Crazies, the Duke students who have made a name for themselves as Duke's exceptional "sixth man," a little more room to practice the art of supporting their team creatively.
Originally the largest indoor arena in the South, Cameron is today one of the smallest in the nation. Nevertheless, its stature grows from year to year. Sell-out crowds, Top 20 rankings, and championships of every variety have become the norm. The "creative harassment" of student spectators has given Duke the honor of being known as "one of the toughest road games in the USA," according to the USA Today and any visiting team that has ever played in Cameron.
Despite the changes that have taken place, Cameron Indoor Stadium has remained very much the same over the last fifty years. New seating, high tech electronics, and a fresh coat of paint have not altered, but rather enhanced, Cameron's most enduring characteristic its spirit. It is still a building of superlatives.
Excerpted from "Home Court - Fifty Years of Cameron Indoor Stadium" by Hazel Landwehr.
Source: Duke University
Cameron Crazy - Sport Magazine, March 1999
In the world of college basketball, there's something about Cameron Indoor Stadium that just can't be rivaled. Duke? Oh, yeah, that's the place where students crash in tents - in the area known as Krzyzewskiville - for weeks to gain entry into the place and, once inside, vent without mercy, but not without crativity.
The House That Eddie Built
The place bears the name Eddie Cameron, who coached Duke to its first postseason football victory, 29-26, over Alabama in the 1945 Sugar Bowl. Oh, E.C. also posted a record of 226-99 as the school's basketball coach (1929-43).
"The Little Buggers . . . "
If, out of frustration, you were to mutter that under your breath, you'd be close. The Crazies' lineage allegedly traces back to a group of guys who were unofficial cheerleaders. They belonged to a loose, non-Greek fraternity known as the Bunch of Guys house, which becam an acronym, "Boggers."
Going into the 1998-99 season, the Blue Devils owned the sixth-most wins in their current house, 580, of any university in the nation.
We Don't Rebuild, We Retro Build
Cameron has had more face-lifts than Elizabeth Taylor. The latest: Construction began last spring on a $10 million annex of new locker rooms, offices and a hall of fame, expected to be completed for the 1999-2000 basketball season.
Give Me The Rock
In 1996, the band Collective Soul became the last to appear in Cameron, bringing up the rear of an impressive play list that through the years had turned the place into one hot rock club too. The Grateful Dead and Dave Matthews Band were particular house faves.
The third floor transplant in Cameron's history went in before the 1997-98 season, a state-of-the-art spring-mounted job. The floor has a tough act to follow: The Devils went 243-50 on its "floorfather", which had supported them since 1977.
The Crazies' Top Taunts
- Chris Washburn comes in with North Carolina State after having been charged with stereo theft. CCs: A shower of album covers during pregame introductions.
- Adrian Branch of Maryland visits in the wake of a marijuana possession bust. CCs: Huge sign, with the greeting, "High, Adrian".
- Steve Hale of arch-enemy UNC drops in after having suffered a punctured lung the previous game. CCs: "In-Hale! Ex-Hale!"
A couple of retorts to the Crazies: Maryland coach Lefty Driesell claimed not to be bothered by the signs because, he said, "I can't read . . . I went to Duke." A columnist portrayed the Duke population as "8,000 students majoring in Smartass."
Feb 4, 1998: Michael Jordan's jersey is stolen from the Smith Center.
Feb 5, 1998: A signed poster of the 1992 Olympic basketball team valued at $20,000 is stolen from Mike Krzyzewski's office.
Feb 26, 1998: Grant Hill's jersey is stolen from Cameron.
Feb 28, 1998: Jordan's jersey is found hanging outside Cameron.
March 16, 1998: Krzyzewski's poster is found crumpled up in a garbage bag at the Dean Smith Center