POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – After 50 years of being one of the state’s most iconic buildings, an even better Holt Arena is taking shape on the Idaho State University Campus. Holt Arena is undergoing a large-scale renovation to upgrade the facility and improve the fan experience.
The two year, $10 million dollar project is fully funded by a generous investment from Idaho Central Credit Union. Upgrades include new seating, elevators, improvements to the entryways, enhanced accessibility and more.
Idaho State University athletic director Pauline Thiros says the upgrades were very necessary and will make a huge difference for ISU students and fans.
“The updates are absolutely necessary just for aesthetics to make it a really attractive arena that screams Idaho State University Bengals, we want our arena to roar and it’s going to do that again. So we really really need the update for the fan And the student-athlete experience,” Thiros said.
For anyone walking into Holt arena right now, you’ll get a look at some pretty big changes. For more than 50 years, the original Minidome has been the home of all kinds of athletic events, concerts and so much more. In fact, it’s the oldest covered football field in the US, but now it’s time for an upgrade. The project will be done in two phases starting on the north side. Thiros says the demolition is well underway.
“Of course, all of the old seats have been removed. We’re replacing all of the seats blowing out all of the tunnels and the ramps to make them ADA accessible, putting in a president’s box and the President’s deck where there’ll be loge seating suites, in essence, available for season ticket holders who want to purchase those,” Thiros said. “And we’ll put in a new roof, a new turf, it’ll be a whole new really exciting, fan-friendly, comfortable environment and it’ll look great.”
The first phase will be ready in time for home football games in the fall of 2022. Renovation on seating for the south side gets started as soon as football season is done this fall.
Thiros says the ISU students, staff, and fans can’t wait for the changes.
“It’s been a long time coming and everyone is very very excited about maintaining the feel of a very special building and Holt Arena is something innovative, a place where you know it’s always sunny and 75 even when we’re watching football in November and we love Holt but it is needed some attention. It is needed to become a better venue for a Division One football program. And we’re really happy that ICCU is making it possible for us to do that for our community and for our student-athletes,” Thiros said.