University of Idaho breaks ground on new arena

MOSCOW, Idaho (KLEW) The University of Idaho officially broke ground on the Idaho Central Credit Union Arena, a state of the art, first of its kind home for Vandals basketball.

University officials and dignitaries break ground on the $51 million facility named the Idaho Central Credit Union Arena.

The ICCU Arena will be an engineered wood mass-timber facility, the first major college sports arena to be designed this way. The $51 million facility will hold 4,200 people.

Interim athletic director Pete Isakson describes the building as resembling the rolling hills of the Palouse. He says that every piece used in constructing the arena will come from within the state.

Isakson explained, "we're building a building that's gonna be a game-changer for our department. Basketball is going to benefit, the community of Moscow is going to benefit." "Between the concerts, between the community events that we can have in this building, we're going to have something that's going to make North Idaho, our region and the city of Moscow much better," he exclaimed.

ICCU donated $10 million to the project and will have naming rights for the next 35 years. School president chuck Staben is affectionately calling it the "Woodshed".

The ICCU Arena means big things for the future of Vandals basketball, but the 50-year project would not have been possible without the stars of the past.

Women's basketball coach Jon Newlee credits the recent rise of the program with helping to speed up construction of the arena. Under Newlee, the Vandal women have made three NCAA tournament appearances and just as many conference titles.

He said, "I tell all those great players that have been here, "you know, sorry you can't play in this arena because you all deserve to be in this kind of place, in this kind of facility, but know in your hearts that you have helped build this."