BANGOR, Maine — Basketball fans who will miss the old Bangor Auditorium after its demolition this summer may be able to take a piece of the hoops hub home.
Organizers of the future Maine Basketball Hall of Fame said they plan to sell or auction off auditorium seats and other memorabilia to raise funds for the effort to build a hall of fame in the new Cross Insurance Center.
Steve Pound, a former high-scoring Stearns High School star who led that team to the state LL title in 1968, said the hall of fame group is working with students and staff at United Technologies Center, Penobscot Job Corps and Eastern Maine Community College to salvage pieces of history before the building comes down in June.
Students will help remove the 3,700 seats in the auditorium, as well as boards from the bleachers, and put them up for sale to the general public.
“It’s not going to be expensive,” Pound said. While the prices haven’t been set, the seats likely will be sold in sections of two or four. He said people could use the bleacher boards to build furniture for their “camps, patios, or their man cave.”
All proceeds will go toward the fund to build the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame, which will consist of a series of displays in the concourse of the new Cross Insurance Center.
Skip Chappelle, a former Fort Fairfield and University of Maine coach who also played in the first regular-season high school game at the Bangor Auditorium back in 1955, said Friday that people from across the state already have been expressing interest in having a piece of the auditorium in their homes.
Organizers said they haven’t set a solid fundraising goal yet, but they are working to come up with the numbers. More information about the memorabilia sale likely will be posted on the hall of fame’s website, www.mainebasketballhalloffame.com/index.php, in the near future, they said.
Demolition of the auditorium is scheduled to begin in June, so Pound said he hopes to have all the seats and other memorabilia out of the building in May.
Another fundraising event is planned for later this month.
On Saturday, March 16, high school teams, players, coaches and officials that participated in the Eastern Maine High School Basketball Tournament at the Bangor Auditorium over the years are invited to participate in the Final Buzzer Last Shot Shoot Around. Western Maine teams that participated in state championship games held at the auditorium are also invited.
The event will be held in three sessions. The first, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, is for people who were involved from 1956 to 1974. The second, scheduled noon-2:30 p.m. is for 1975-2000. The third runs from 2:30 to 5 p.m. for those who participated in the tournament between 2001 and 2012.
Those shootarounds will be followed by women’s and men’s alumni games at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively.
There is a $20 fee to participate, including a souvenir T-shirt for the first 600 players. For a $35 participant fee, the shooter will receive a T-shirt and a charter membership in the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame. There is a $10 fee for families or $5 fee for individuals who wish to watch. All proceeds go to the hall of fame fund.