Holt Arena in 2008
|Former names||ASISU Minidome|
|Location||Idaho State University|
550 Memorial Drive
Pocatello, Idaho, U.S.
|Public transit||Pocatello Regional Transit|
|Owner||Idaho State University|
|Operator||Idaho State University|
|Capacity||12,000 - football|
8,000 - basketball
|Record attendance||13,895 (football)|
November 22, 1980
ISU vs. Boise State
artificial turf (2011-)
|Broke ground||October 1, 1968|
|Opened||May 9, 1970;|
50 years ago
|Construction cost||$2.8 million |
($18.4 million in 2020 )
|Idaho State Bengals|
(Big Sky Conference, NCAA)
Holt Arena is an indoor multi-purpose athletic stadium in the western United States, located on the campus of 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 (1,390 m) above sea level.
Originally named the ASISU Minidome--named after the Associated Students of Idaho State University, who funded construction--it opened 50 years ago in 1970 at the north end of the ISU campus. Holt Arena is the oldest enclosed stadium on a college campus in the United States and the second-oldest overall. 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. The original artificial turf installed in 1970 was Poly-Turf. The venue was renamed in 1988 to honor Milton W. "Dubby" Holt (1914-2007), ISU's athletic director from 1967 to 1989.
As assistant athletic director, Holt conceived the indoor arena in 1966 and it was 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. The arena was built entirely with these voluntary student funds. With over 56% in favor, ISU students approved a $12 increase in semester fees to fund the stadium in early 1968.
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 is also installed in AT&T Stadium in the NFL.
Holt Arena replaced the outdoor "Spud Bowl" (now Davis Field, at ) as the Bengals' home football stadium in 1970. At the south end of campus, Davis Field continues as the home venue for outdoor track and field and soccer.
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, the famous Simplot Games high school indoor track meet, along with other sporting events, rodeos, concerts, and other activities.
During ISU's run in basketball to the Elite Eight in 1977, they won the Big Sky regular season title, which allowed them to host the four-team conference tournament, which they also won. The Bengals were allowed to stay home for the first round of the 32-team NCAA tournament, as the Minidome had a pair of first round games (sub-regionals) on Saturday, March 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.) 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.
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.
It is one of three indoor football stadiums currently in use in the Big Sky Conference, along with the Kibbie Dome and Walkup Skydome. During the final six seasons of Idaho's absence from Big Sky football (2012-2017), the Alerus Center at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks was another indoor stadium used in Big Sky football, but UND left the Big Sky after the 2017 football season.
Holt Arena features 194,400 square feet (18,060 m2) of floor space; the building is recessed 20 feet (6.1 m) below grade and rises 89 feet (27 m) above grade at its highest point.