The University of Idaho’s proposed $45 million basketball arena moved a step closer to reality Thursday.
Thanks to a $10 million gift, Idaho Central Credit Union will have the naming rights to the 62,000-square-foot, 4,200-seat arena for the next 35 years.
With ICCU’s donation, U of I has raised $34 million of the $45 million needed to complete the project, which will be built on the north side of the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center.
Groundbreaking will occur when funding for the entire project is secured.
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“The arena project has been a long time coming,” Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear said. “With the help of our Vandal supporters, we are seeing this vision become a reality. This arena will bolster the student-athlete experience and create an exciting environment for future generations.”
According to the university, the new facility will be a one-of-a-kind engineered wood structure, highlighting Idaho’s wood products industry and providing a unique home for U of I’s basketball programs as well as other activities.
“I am absolutely thrilled and excited about the $10 million investment from ICCU toward the naming rights of the arena project,” Idaho women’s basketball coach Jon Newlee said. “What a generous and fantastic gift. This should really get the project moving in a big way.”
For comparison purposes, the grocery chain Albertsons paid $12.5 million over 15 years to rename Boise State’s on-campus football venue Albertsons Stadium in 2014. In 2004, BSU sold the naming rights to its basketball and entertainment arena for $4 million over 15 years to Meridian-based ES-O-EN Corp., a franchisee with 56 Taco Bell stores in Idaho, Utah and Oregon.