E.A. Diddle Arena
E.A. Diddle Arena is an 8,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The arena, built in 1963, is home to the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers men’s basketball team and Lady Toppers women’s basketball and volleyball teams. It is also known as Academic-Athletic Building #1. It also holds Military Science and Physical Education & Recreation classes and offices.
Diddle Arena was built in 1963 and is named after longtime WKU men’s coach and Basketball Hall of Famer Edgar Diddle. It hosted the Ohio Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament in 1976, 1978, and 1980-1982 and has hosted the Sun Belt Conference men’s basketball tournament four times. Dedicated on December 7, 1963, Diddle Arena has hosted some of the finest players and teams ever to play in the college ranks. Originally designed to seat 8,500 fans, the seating capacity has fluctuated over the years and by 1970 the arena had been adjusted to hold 13,508.
Some of the record crowds that the arena has hosted include 14,277 fans for a 1971 battle against former OVC arch-rival Murray State; 13,000 for the 1984 Wendy’s Classic Final versus Louisiana Tech and All-American Karl Malone; and 13,300 for a 1986 showdown with former Sun Belt Conference rival UAB.
In 2004 a $32 million renovation was completed which reduced seating capacity to 8,000. The renovation also included: 16 luxury suites, all-new seating, new concession and restroom areas, new playing floor, elevator access to all levels, new sound and lighting systems, two new auxiliary gyms, new training and weight rooms, air-conditioning, and new locker and office space complex facilities.