Did you know that the current Bangor Auditorium is not the first Bangor Auditorium? In fact it is the second.
57 years ago the current Bangor Auditorium opened up its doors to Eastern Maine Basketball. The Bangor Rams and the John Bapst Crusaders played their home games there the first year in 1955-56.
The first Eastern Maine Basketball Tournament there was in February of 1956. There were just 3 classes L, M and S.
L was for the Large schools, M for the medium schools and S was for the small schools.
In 1961 the SPA/MPA went to four classes, LL for extra large schools, L for large schools, M for medium schools and S was still for the small schools.
All the 4 classes played their games at the current Auditorium with B and D playing on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and the A and C Teams playing Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
This was a real tournament of 3 games in 3 days for the winners. There were no days to get ready for the next game. The best prepared team, best conditioned team and the best coached teams had a real shot at winning these 3 day tournies.
In the early 70’s the MPA went and changed the LL to A, L to B M to C and S to D and moved the A tournament out of February Vacation week to the lst weekend after the B C D Finals on a Saturday and then had the semi-finals and Finals on Friday and Saturday of the next weekend. Then the following weekend the State Finals were held at alternating East West Sites.
IN 2006 the MPA moved the A tournaments East and West back into February vacation week with the B C and D’s and moved the Eastern A out of the current Bangor Auditorium to Augusta because there were only 3 teams east of Fairfield in Eastern Maine Class A.
THe Eastern Maine Tournament and the John Bapst Crusaders are the only to organizations that have held their events every one of the 58 years the current Auditorium has been opened.
The current Auditorium has had 2 sets of basketball hoops and supports and it has had 3 floors including the current one.
Before the current Auditorium opened in 1955 the Eastern Maine L Tourney was held at “the Pit” at the University of Maine.
The M and S tourney was held at the old Bangor Auditorium which was located where the new CIC is being built.
The first Bangor Auditorium was opened in 1943 and it held 2000 people and had a regulation size high school court with a balcony all around the facility and bleachers under the balcony on the sides and there were bleachers at both ends of the court.
Before that Auditorium was built the M and S tourney was held at the current Brewer Auditorium.
This current Auditorium building was built for basketball and the basketball tournaments. This building has served Eastern Maine Basketball players, coaches, officials and fans well over for more than half a century and it is too bad that a formal closing basketball ceremony has not been set up as of yet.