Due to the lack of devoted athletic facilities on campus, City Park was utilized by ETNC students during the early years of the athletics program. Multiple 1917 issues of the East Texan describe the construction of the first athletic fields on campus on three acres of land to be used for football, basketball, baseball, and track. The early fields were located south of Ferguson Hall. According to photographs in the Locust Yearbooks, the site that became known as Lion Field was used as early as 1924. Stadium seating on the west side was constructed by 1929, possibly as early as 1927. Outdoor lighting was added in 1930 allowing for nighttime games. Student seating on the east side was hastily constructed in 1936 in one week by male students involved in the National Youth Administration, a Works Progress Administration program during the Great Depression. The growing popularity of the football team led to a larger stadium being constructed on the west side in 1938. The two sides of the stadium combined could seat around 10,000 people. Lion Field was used by the football and track teams. Lion Field was utilized until Memorial Stadium was constructed in 1950.
The first gymnasium on campus was a two-story wooden structure. Shortly after the building was constructed, a disaster was narrowly avoided after a cigarette stub caused a fire in a pile of sawdust adjacent to the building. The fire was discovered in time to prevent the destruction of the structure, but the building was destroyed by a later fire in 1934. Since the building was partially insured and the lack of an adequate gymnasium was deemed an emergency by the Board of Regents, construction began immediately on a replacement. That replacement would become known as Whitley Gymnasium and was at the time only surpassed in size by gymnasiums at Texas A&M and University of Texas. The gym featured a regulation playing court, eight dressing rooms with 48 showers, and an electronic scoreboard. Whitley Gymnasium was primarily used by men’s athletics with the women’s programs continuing to use the “Cub Gym” attached to Ferguson Hall. After the Field House was completed, Whitley Gym became the women’s gym. Renovations included the addition of badminton courts, dance studios, and an indoor archery range. Whitley Gym is now used for Lion Football.
Now the location of sand volleyball courts, the area between Whitley Gymnasium and the Field House was once home to an outdoor swimming pool.