“We believe we have the best arena in the state of Oklahoma, and it just got better,” said head boys basketball coach Bobby Allison.
Memorial High School’s Veterans Arena hosts high school basketball games, junior high games, tournaments, playoffs, and championships. The gym can hold more than 2,000 cheering fans. The only problem was that the sound system wasn’t able to keep up with the excitement that rocked the arena on game day – until now.
“We are installing speakers, amps, and other equipment that can handle the volume needed,” said Ben Tippen, the Audio/Video Systems Supervisor for Tulsa Public Schools. “[The new speakers] have an awesome coverage pattern that allows people to hear at the same volume in almost every single seat.”
The new system was funded by the 2015 bond. It was installed in late November – just in time for the first home basketball game.
“It enhances the atmosphere. It enhances the experience. We’re just making sure that things stay first class, and we’re not just getting by – we’re excelling,” said Bobby. “This arena and this sound system and everything that goes towards this place on Hudson, people aren’t just sitting on it. This is the place to watch high school basketball.”
Bobby said the arena has brought new energy to the basketball program at Memorial since it was finished in 2014.
“In that five years, we’ve been in four state championships and won three. The arena didn’t win that for us, but it’s an ingredient that added to what was already a great tradition that’s helped us keep climbing,” he said. “There are no excuses to not excel and get better. You got a gym here to where it creates a comfort, but it also makes them want to go to the gym, want to work. That’s gone hand in hand with our success.”
Now, as the Chargers compete on the court, fans will be able to hear the play by play loud and clear.
“We’re just very grateful. The kids, and me as a coach, and the school, we don’t take this for granted how lucky we are,” said Bobby. “This is the best place you can have and work. We don’t feel entitled to it. We feel like we have to keep earning what this arena’s about.”
The team hopes to earn it again this year with another successful season. Click here to check out the 2019-2020 basketball schedule.