Holt Arena
Holt Arena, Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho.jpg
Holt Arena in 2008
Location 550 Memorial Drive
Pocatello, Idaho
Broke ground October 1, 1968
Opened September 26, 1970 (1970-09-26);
(May 9; spring game)[1]
Template:Years or months ago
Owner Idaho State University
Operator Idaho State University
Surface SoftTop Matrix
artificial turf (2011–)
Poly-Turf,[2][3] AstroTurf
Tenants Idaho State Bengals
(Big Sky Conference, NCAA)
Capacity 12,000 - football
8,000 - basketball

Holt Arena is an indoor multi-purpose athletic stadium in Pocatello, Idaho, located on the campus of Idaho State University. It is the home field of the Idaho State Bengals of the Big Sky Conference and sits at an elevation of 4,560 feet (1,390 m) above sea level.[4]

Completed in September 1970 at the north end of the ISU campus,[2] Holt Arena is the oldest enclosed stadium on a college campus in the United States and the second-oldest overall.[5] Only the Houston Astrodome, completed in 1965, predates it. Since the Astrodome's 2006 closure Holt Arena has been the oldest enclosed stadium in use.[6] The original artificial turf installed in 1970 was Poly-Turf.[2][3][1]

The indoor arena was conceived by ISU athletic director Milton W. "Dubby" Holt in 1966 and designed by architect Cedric M. Allen. Although a controversial design proposal for the time, ISU students voted to appropriate not more than $2.8 million to the project two years later.[1] The arena was built entirely with these voluntary student funds.[7] With over 56% in favor, ISU students approved a twelve dollar increase in semester fees to fund the stadium in early 1968.[8]

Originally named the ASISU Minidome, it replaced the outdoor "Spud Bowl" (now Davis Field, as the Bengals' home football stadium. The indoor venue was renamed in 1988 to honor Holt. Davis Field continues as the home venue for outdoor track and field and soccer.[9]

Holt Arena also serves as home for the ISU indoor track and field team and men's basketball team. It also hosts high school football games and other sporting events, rodeos, concerts, and other activities. During the Bengals' run in basketball to the Elite Eight in 1977, they won the Big Sky Conference regular season title, which allowed them to host the four-team conference tournament, which they also won.[10] The Bengals were allowed to stay home for the first round of the 32-team NCAA basketball tournament, as the Minidome had a pair of first round games (sub-regionals) on Saturday, March 12.[11][12] UCLA defeated Louisville and hometown ISU beat Long Beach State. (Five days later, Idaho State stunned UCLA in the Sweet Sixteen at the West regional in Provo, Utah.)[13][14] Between the Big Sky tourney and the NCAA games, the venue also hosted the state's three-day A-1 (now 5A) high school championship tournament.[15]

After the long anticipated opening of the Minidome in 1970, Idaho State true freshman Mike Barnes scored the first regulation points in a basketball game.

Following the success of the Minidome, several other colleges built enclosed stadiums, including the Kibbie Dome at the University of Idaho in Moscow, which was enclosed in 1975 after four years as an outdoor stadium, and the Walkup Skydome at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, opened in 1977.

Holt Arena features Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",". square feet (Expression error: Unexpected < operator. m2) of floor space; the building is recessed 20 feet (6 m) below grade and rises 89 feet (0 m) above grade at its highest point.[7] Holt Arena is one of two indoor football stadiums currently in use in the Big Sky Conference, along with Walkup Skydome at NAU. The University of Idaho returns to the conference in the summer of 2014, except for football.

After 41 football seasons on Poly-Turf and AstroTurf, infilled synthetic turf was installed in Holt Arena in July 2011. Similar to FieldTurf, the SoftTop Removable Matrix System[16] is also installed in Cowboys Stadium in the NFL.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named iswam
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "'Mini-Dome' just first of new Big Sky stadia", September 13, 1970, p. 10, fb. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named pmdsmp
  4. USGS topographic map of Holt Arena. MSR Maps. Accessed 6 January 2008.
  5. Facilities - Idaho State University Bengals Accessed 6 January 2008
  6. Astrodome Hit With Code Violations. click2houston.com. Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Holt Arena, Idaho Public Television. (accessed 4 September 2013)
  8. "Idaho students vote to build domed stadium", January 13, 1968, p. 3B. 
  9. Davis Field. Idaho State University athletics. Retrieved on April 1, 2013.
  10. Missildine, Harry. "Idaho State dumps Weber, earns title and NCAA berth", March 6, 1977, p. D2. 
  11. "NCAA pairings", March 12, 1977, p. 2, part 2. 
  12. Template:Cite magazine
  13. Benson, Lee. "Utes fall short, Idaho State stuns UCLA", March 18, 1977, p. 6B. 
  14. "Amazin' Bengals knock out UCLA", March 18, 1977, p. 29. 
  15. "Hoop scores: Idaho", March 12, 1977, p. 11. 
  16. ISUBengals.com - Hellas Construction to Install New Holt Arena Turf - 2011-06-02 - accessed 2011-09-22

External links[edit | edit source]

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