The home of the Duke University Blue Devils basketball team, Cameron Indoor Stadium, opened in 1940. Then called “Duke Indoor Stadium,” the original design included seating for 8,800 fans with room for 9,500 standing; today, it can seat 9,314, with room for 10,000 standing.
The stadium’s namesake, Eddie Cameron, coached basketball and football at Duke from 1926 to 1972, for a combined 46 years of service. He truly loved the university and continued to hold unofficial and administrative positions until his death in 1988. In addition to coaching, Cameron was a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and named to the National Football Hall of Fame, Atlantic Coast Conference Sports Writers Hall of Fame, Duke University Athletics Hall of Fame, North Carolina Hall of Fame, and Virginia Hall of Fame. The stadium was renamed in his honor on January 22, 1972, which Cameron said was “his most cherished honor.”
Cameron is reported to have drawn up the original plans for Duke Indoor Stadium on the back of a matchbook cover. The stadium was formally designed by Julian Abele, one of the first black architects in the United States (Abele is also credited with designing Duke University Chapel).
Renovations in the late 1980s updated the traditional scoreboard to an electronic version, added a center court display, updated the wood paneling, railings, and enlarged student section. In 2002, air conditioning was added, and in 2008, the center court display was updated with a video scoreboard.
Duke’s student body and most loyal fans are referred to as the “Cameron Crazies,” due to their reputation of high-energy, high-volume cheering (their volume has been recorded at levels exceeding 121 decibels–louder than a jackhammer). The stadium is unique in that, unlike most top-25 basketball programs in the country, many of its prime seats are still reserved for students. This lends to the spirited, enthusiastic atmosphere that makes attending a game at Cameron Indoor Stadium unlike any other.
Students are known to camp out to wait in line for tickets to big games, such as those against rival UNC-Chapel Hill’s Tar Heels. This campout area is known as” Krzyzewskiville.”
The hardwood floor was designated “Coach K Court” in 2000 for legendary Coach Mike Krzyzewski (the original hardwood center court is now on display at The Washington Duke Inn.)
Cameron Indoor has been ranked the number one college arena by Bleacher Report, fourth on Sports Illustrated’s list of the world’s top 20 sporting venues, and “the toughest road game in the nation” by USA Today.
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