Holt Arena

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.[6]

Holt Arena
Holt Arena in 2008
Former namesASISU Minidome
LocationIdaho State University
550 Memorial Drive
Pocatello, Idaho, U.S.
Coordinates42.870°N 112.429°W / 42.870; -112.429
Public transitPocatello Regional Transit
OwnerIdaho State University
OperatorIdaho State University
Capacity12,000 - football
  8,000 - basketball
Record attendance13,895 (football)
November 22, 1980
ISU vs. Boise State[1]
SurfaceSoftTop Matrix
artificial turf (2011–)
Poly-Turf,[2][3] AstroTurf
Broke groundOctober 1, 1968
OpenedMay 9, 1970 (1970-05-09);
(spring game)[4]
49 years ago
Construction cost$2.8 million [4][3]
($18.1 million in 2019 [5])
Idaho State Bengals
(Big Sky Conference, NCAA)
Location in the western United States
Location in Idaho


Originally named the ASISU Minidome—named after the Associated Students of Idaho State University, who funded construction[7]—it opened 49 years ago in 1970 at the north end of the ISU campus.[2][4] Holt Arena is the oldest enclosed stadium on a college campus in the United States and the second-oldest overall.[8] 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.[9] The original artificial turf installed in 1970 was Poly-Turf.[2][3][4] The venue was renamed in 1988 to honor Milton W. "Dubby" Holt (1914–2007),[10][11][12] 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.[4] The arena was built entirely with these voluntary student funds.[13] With over 56% in favor, ISU students approved a $12 increase in semester fees to fund the stadium in early 1968.[14][15]

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[16] is also installed in AT&T Stadium in the NFL.

Spud Bowl

Holt Arena replaced the outdoor "Spud Bowl"[4][17] (now Davis Field, at 42.859°N 112.431°W / 42.859; -112.431) 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.[18]

Additional uses

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,[19] which they also won.[20] 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.[21][22] 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.)[23][24] 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.[25]

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 twenty feet (6 m) below grade and rises 89 feet (27 m) above grade at its highest point.[13]

Holt Arena hosted the 2018 Convention of the Idaho Republican Party, which was held June 28 through June 30.[26]

See also


  1. Idaho State Bengals | Holt Arena, ChampionshipSubdivision.com. (accessed 4 September 2013)
  2. "'Mini-Dome' just first of new Big Sky stadia". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. September 13, 1970. p. 10, fb.
  3. Checketts, Brent (February 19, 1970). "Pocatello's Mini-Dome Serves Maxi-Purpose". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. B-14.
  4. Ferguson, George (May 12, 1970). "Idaho State: What a Mini!". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. C-1.
  5. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  6. USGS topographic map of Holt Arena. MSR Maps. Accessed 6 January 2008.
  7. "Decision Likely Next Week on Dome Name". Idaho State Journal. Pocatello, Idaho. October 31, 1969. p. 2. Retrieved February 2, 2019 via newspaper.com.
  8. Facilities - Idaho State University Bengals Accessed 6 January 2008
  9. "Astrodome Hit With Code Violations". click2houston.com. Archived from the original on 2008-07-22. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  10. Missildine, Harry (January 9, 1989). "Dubby started some things". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 13.
  11. "Idaho State icon Dubby Holt dies". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). January 9, 2007. p. C1.
  12. "Milton "Dubby" Holt". Find a Grave. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
  13. Holt Arena, Idaho Public Television. (accessed 4 September 2013)
  14. "ISU students vote on site". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. January 11, 1968. p. 21.
  15. "Idaho students vote to build domed stadium". Miami News. Associated Press. January 13, 1968. p. 3B.
  16. ISUBengals.com - Hellas Construction to Install New Holt Arena Turf - 2011-06-02 - accessed 2011-09-22
  17. "Idaho rivalry flares a news at Spud Bowl". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). November 16, 1963. p. 8.
  18. "Davis Field". Idaho State University athletics. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  19. "Gonzaga, Montana State in tough but not without chances". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). March 4, 1977. p. 31.
  20. Missildine, Harry (March 6, 1977). "Idaho State dumps Weber, earns title and NCAA berth". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. D2.
  21. "NCAA pairings". Milwaukee Sentinel. March 12, 1977. p. 2, part 2.
  22. McDermott, Barry (March 21, 1977). "The Sixteen Sweetest Fight For A Kiss". Sports Illustrated. p. 28.
  23. Benson, Lee (March 18, 1977). "Utes fall short, Idaho State stuns UCLA". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. 6B.
  24. "Amazin' Bengals knock out UCLA". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. March 18, 1977. p. 29.
  25. "Hoop scores: Idaho". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. March 12, 1977. p. 11.
  26. "Hotel Information". idgop.org. Archived from the original on April 17, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2018 via Wayback Machine.
Preceded by
Tacoma Dome
Host of the NCAA Division I-AA National Championship Game
Succeeded by
Paulson Stadium
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