March 30, 2015
The plaque inside the arena reads, "To win the game is great. To play the game is greater. But to love the game is the greatest of all." No statement sums up a place like the Palestra quite like that one. Located on the University of Pennsylvania's campus, the Palestra was made to enjoy basketball, specifically the college brand, and since 1927 it's served that purpose brilliantly. Often referenced among College Basketball analysts top arena's in the country, the Palestra has earned the title of being "The Cathedral of College Basketball." It has no multi-million dollar scoreboard or club boxes that go for $1,000 a night. The Palestra is simply about hoops.
Named after a term used to describe a rectangular enclosure used to watch young men compete in athletic events in Ancient Greece, the Palestra has hosted more games, visiting teams, and NCAA tournaments than any other facility in the country. The arena also has played host to Philadelphia's Big 5: Penn, St. Joseph's, La Salle, Temple, and Villanova. At the inception of the Big 5, all games were played there, but now about half of the round-robin city tournament is held at the Palestra.
We here at Shibe figured that March would be the perfect time to celebrate the perfect college basketball facility. Our Palestra shirts are the second in our Stadium Series, following the very popular Shibe Park shirts. The shirt features the outside of the historic building, with a banner reading "Cathedral of College Basketball" running under it. We hope you enjoy the design as much as we do, and would love to hear about your favorite Palestra memories in the comments below!