The University of Idaho formally broke ground Thursday on its long-awaited, $51 million basketball and events arena.
Idaho Central Credit Union Arena is expected to open in 2021-22. The arena plans call for 4,000 seats and a capacity of 4,200, including other areas such as the alumni room. It will be built primarily with wood products and will replace the lawn on the north side of the Kibbie Dome.
The lead gift was $10 million from ICCU, which gets naming rights for 35 years.
The basketball teams currently play primarily in the Kibbie Dome football stadium but also utilize historic Memorial Gym.
“In 1928, we opened Memorial Gymnasium, a state-of-the-art basketball facility,” Interim Athletic Director Pete Isakson said, according to a university press release. “It housed many things beyond basketball: dances, concerts, graduations and much more. The neat thing is, how many memories has that created. Ninety-one years later we’re going to do that again and we’re going to do that here.”
Students will cover more than one-third of the arena construction cost through $18 million of student fees. The university also has reported a pair of $2.5 million pledges.