Idaho Vandals

Idaho’s new basketball arena moves closer to fruition with $10 million donation

An artist’s rendering shows what the exterior of the University of Idaho’s new basketball facility might look like.
An artist’s rendering shows what the exterior of the University of Idaho’s new basketball facility might look like. Courtesy of the University of Idaho

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.

“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.

Rachel Roberts: 208-377-6422, @byrachelroberts

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