Demonstration (or “Dem”) Hall has a long history with the ROTC on campus. It was originally built in 1928 as a replacement to the Armory (which stood where the Music Building is today) and was designed primarily for military drills…as well as livestock exhibitions
It also has an equally long history with the Spartan Marching Band. How did these two entities come to share this space? Simple - for much of its early history, the SMB functioned as a part of the ROTC and operated as a military band. Though it eventually became its own organization, it has retained its place in Dem along the ROTC to this day.
In 1930, Dem became the venue for Spartan Basketball, which was just becoming popular on campus. Unfortunately, due to this increasing popularity, the basketball fans outgrew the venue quickly and the program was moved to Jenison Field House just ten years later.
However, another sports team would soon take its place. From 1949 until Munn Ice Arena was built in 1974, Dem Hall would serve as the home for MSU Men’s Hockey. Perhaps the most notable game that took place during this time was when the MSU team took to the ice against the Detroit Red Wings in 1958.
Today Dem may look a bit like a deserted old cigar factory from certain angles, but its former ice arena is home to many an intramural soccer game and even the occasional roller derby event. It still houses the ROTC and the Spartan Marching Band, though they no longer have to worry about livestock demonstrations getting in the way of their practices or drills.