5 area high school gyms that help make Dayton a basketball hotbed



Dayton is recognized nationally as a hotbed for basketball, thanks to well-attended events like the NCAA First Four and Flyin’ to the Hoop high school invitational.

With Flyin’ to the Hoop in town this weekend, here are five great venues to watch high school basketball:

1. Fairmont’s Trent Arena

Set on the campus of Fairmont High School, Trent Arena is a premiere mid-size sports arena in the Miami Valley area. Completed in October 2005, the arena can seat up to 4,400 people and includes two full-size basketball courts, four locker rooms, a conference room, officials’ room, concession stand and walking track.

In addition to the arena itself, the Trent Arena boasts an 8,000-square-foot lobby.

2. Vandalia-Butler Student Activity Center

Before Trent Arena, Butler set the standard for high school basketball facilities. Built in 1986, the S.A.C. seats 5,000 and includes a quarter-mile track above the gym floor. Season-ticket holders have theatre-style seating on the west side of the court and in both the north and south balconies.

Standard bleacher seating is found on the east side of the court and in the east and west balconies.

Credit: Ron Alvey

Credit: Ron Alvey

3. ‘The Pit’ at Oakwood High School

Oakwood’s gym has compact seating sections that make for an intimate but fun environment. It’s called “The Pit” for a reason, as the crowd looks down on the court, which is surrounded by blue-padded walls.

4. Alter High School gym

Knights fans even travel well for away games, so you can count on good crowds when the team is playing at home. Alter’s gym is another small one (an entire side of the court is taken up by a stage), but it’s always tightly-packed and the spirited crowd.

5. Northmont’s Thunderdome

Northmont High School unveiled its updated facilities two years ago this week, which included the new Thunderdome. It has a modern look of bright lime and yellow colors sprinkled throughout.

The gym seats 2,200 – almost triple the old gym’s capacity – and includes a large concession area with a big screen TV so patrons can see the game while purchasing snacks. An overhead scoreboard is suspended from the ceiling and viewable from all sides of the floor, and theatre-style seating is available across from the team benches.

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