Tournament Time in Bangor always takes me back to the sounds, scents, and hard wooden seats of the old Bangor Auditorium.

Why Was It Called the Loud House?

Maybe it's my age, but Tourney time always puts me in mind of the building that became known as the Loud House during tournament week. Don't get me wrong - the Cross Insurance Center is beautiful, the seats are comfortable, and the concession offerings are a huge step-up from the old facility. But, still, it's not the same. The Portland Press Herald captured the spirit of the Loud House in this video from YouTube.

Did You Go To A Lot of Games?

I grew up in Brewer and so going to the Eastern Maine Basketball Tournaments became an annual tradition. My parents are originally from Aroostook County, and they used to take my brothers and me to watch Washburn and Caribou play. In High School, I played in the Brewer band, so tourney games meant playing my flute, hanging out with friends, and cheering on the Witches. And, as an adult, I often did updates from the tournaments for the radio stations, and would stay longer than my 'shift' so that I could enjoy the games.

What Was So Special About the Auditorium?

By the time the Auditorium was torn down, we definitely needed a new facility. And the Cross Insurance Center is a lot more comfortable and every bit as fun. But still, I miss those wide wooden seats, that would pinch your butt if you sat wrong. That loudspeaker that was always so tough to understand what the announcer was saying. Well, except at a game I attended with my family in February of 1980. That's when the game was stopped and the announcer shared the news that the U.S. Olympic Men's Hockey team had just beat Russia for the Gold. I've never heard a louder cheer in my life or a more poignant playing of the National Anthem by a high school band.

Good luck to all the teams competing this week at the 2024 MPA Basketball Tournaments! Soak up the atmosphere and the memories because they'll stay with you for a lifetime.

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