It's official. ISU Holt Arena has a new name. - East Idaho News

It’s official. ISU Holt Arena has a new name.

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POCATELLO — A sports arena iconic to East Idaho will now be known by a new name.

The Idaho State Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a proposal by Idaho State University to change the name of its sports arena from Holt Arena to the ICCU Dome. The new name comes with a $6 million donation from the credit union over the course of 12 years.

“ICCU has come forward to lead as a champion of our student-athletes and our coaches, and their support will make a tremendous impact,” said Pauline Thiros, ISU Athletic Director.

The name change comes after a two year long renovation of the former Holt Arena that included a number of enhancements including new ADA compliant seating, an improved President’s Deck, a student-athlete meeting room, white liner on the repaired roof and translucent panels above the President’s deck.

The university said the renovation was largely thanks to Idaho Central Credit Union as it put $8.5 million towards the project.

“That lead gift has demonstrated the importance of our relationship with ICCU and the way in which our work together can create investments in our facility, our programs, our student athletes and in our community,” Sagendorf said.

Now that this proposal has been accepted, the resulting donation from ICCU will allow the university to eliminate one out of two of the “money games” from the football schedule. Money games are when a smaller university goes up against a better funded one and receives a paycheck in return.

Thiros said these games have hurt the football program in the past. On one occasion, the team’s starting quarterback received a season ending injury and during another, both the starting and backup quarterbacks received season ending injuries.

Thiros said the donation will also allow the university to “upgrade facilities, develop more competitive and strategic schedules, and expand our program budget to meet more of the needs of a championship program.”

One of the concerns community members raised was the legacy of Milton “Dubby” Holt, a former athletic director and the “architect” of the Holt Arena.

The arena was originally named the ASISU Minidome when it opened in 1970, as the building was funded through an additional student fee. It was renamed Holt Arena in the 1990s to honor the former director.

Carolyn O’Connor, great niece of Dubby Holt, said her uncle supported any endeavors that supported student athletes.

“We loved seeing Uncle Dub’s name on the arena, but he was the ultimate business mind, and he was all about supporting the student athletes,” she said. “As an AD, Dubby was deeply committed to being on the cutting edge of developing resources to support his Bengals. That is what he did when he built the Dome with the students of ASISU, and he would be very pleased to see that ISU Athletics is still benefiting from the work he did so many years ago.”

Thiros, who knew Holt personally, believes he would embrace the name change and the opportunities that come with it.

“(Dubby) was shrewd in his business sense, had great passion behind his vision for Idaho State Athletics and was deeply committed to utilizing every avenue available to build the program,” Thiros said. “I know that today, he would be delighted and proud to see this renewed investment in the facility, and in the student athletes.”

Thiros said Holt will be honored with a mural in the concourse of the building that highlights his achievements and will join the Hall of Champions in the ISU Bengal Alumni Center.

“We intend to develop additional ways to recognize dubby and ensure that patrons well into the future understand the role that he played in making the facility possible,” Thiros said.