Haute look for Idaho varsity’s Holt Arena


Idaho State University Holt Arena undergo major renovation Image: Idaho State University

The Idaho State University’s (US) Holt Arena will undergo a multimillion dollar facelift to upgrade the facility and improve fan experience. The project is being fully funded by an investment from the Idaho Central Credit Union (ICCU).

The ‘Idaho State University’ stated that the Idaho State University President Kevin Satterlee made the announcement recently during his annual Fall Address to the faculty and staff. The project will include new seating, elevators, improvements to the entryways, addition of donor hospitality suites, club space, and premium seating. Renovations will also improve accessibility at the more than 50-year-old facility. ICCU’s investment will also fund a new and fully branded turf that meets the latest specifications and standards for performance and safety.

The Idaho State University is a public research university in Pocatello, Idaho (US). Founded in 1901 as the Academy of Idaho, the Idaho State University offers more than 280 programs at its main campus and at locations in Meridian, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls. It is the State’s (Idaho) designated lead institution in health professions and medical education.

The 12,000-capacity Holt Arena is an indoor multipurpose athletic stadium in the Western United States, located on the campus of the Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho. It is the home field of the Idaho State Bengals of the Big Sky Conference and sits at an elevation of 4,560 feet above the sea level.

The Idaho Central Credit Union is a State-chartered credit union in the Western United States, headquartered in Chubbuck, Idaho, adjacent to Pocatello (US).

Remarked President Satterlee, “Holt Arena has been home to fantastic moments from our University’s history. Now it is time for an upgrade, and I cannot imagine a better partner to make this happen. ICCU is a partner in the truest sense of the word, and their generous commitment to our success is phenomenal.”

The timeline for the project is approximately two years. The turf is currently being designed and is expected to be installed prior to the Fall 2022 football season. The remainder of the renovations are expected to be completed in August 2023.

Averred Kent Oram, President-cum-CEO, ICCU, “It’s no secret that we love the Idaho State University, and this investment shows our commitment to the University and our community. For more than 50 years, the Holt Arena has brought people together for many amazing events. Accessibility is so important and will allow everyone the ability to attend events here. We are proud to make this investment on behalf of our members and team members, many of whom are graduates or students of Idaho State. Go Bengals!”

In 2020, the Idaho State celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Holt Arena. Over the years, the 12,000-seat venue has been home to University commencements, championship football and basketball games, and concerts. Holt Arena has also been an important venue for the community, hosting high school football games, graduations, rodeos, and more, including a visit by a US President.

Stated Pauline Thiros, Idaho State University Athletic Director, “Holt Arena is the most iconic building on our campus, and I am incredibly excited that this tremendous investment will solidify its legacy for the next 50 years. These enhancements will not only dramatically improve the gameday environment, but are paramount to elevating the program and the experience of our student-athletes. ICCU is making it possible to execute one of the first of many, much-needed major capital improvements to the athletics facilities at Idaho State.”

Holt Arena was the vision of the former Idaho State University Athletic Director Milton ‘Dubby’ Holt, who saw the unique dome as a solution to get more fans to football games by playing at night in a covered arena. The arena, originally known as the Minidome, cost $2.8 million to construct, and was funded through student fees after the student body voted to support the project. The doors opened to fans on September 26th, 1970.

Thiros added that the Idaho State Athletics is succeeding with efforts to dramatically improve University facilities – “This announcement follows the successful renovation of the historic Davis Field, now an exemplary venue for outdoor track and field and soccer. It comes in the midst of completing several other facility improvements funded by charitable gifts, including locker room renovations for golf, volleyball, football, and tennis. We’ve also added a state-of-the-art film room in Reed Gym, and an indoor golf simulator and practice facility. And we are just getting started.”

Last month, the University broke ground on the $11.5 million ICCU Bengal Alumni Center, which is being constructed just North of the Holt Arena. The new 26,281 square-foot building will serve as a meeting place and events center for alumni, students and friends of the University, and will be the home of the Idaho State University Sports Hall of Fame. Construction on the center is expected to be completed by Spring 2023.

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