Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
|Kibbie-ASUI Activity Center|
The Kibbie-ASUI Activity Center, also called the "Kibbie Dome," is one of the unique facilities in all of the NCAA.
The Kibbie Dome has been the home of Vandal athletics since 1975, when the barrel-arch roof was completed. In 1976, the building earned the award for America's Outstanding Structural Engineering Achievement.
It took nearly seven years to complete the 14-story-tall structure, which is tall enough that Idaho's Theophilus Tower dormitory would fit inside. Construction began in 1969 on the site of the former Neale Stadium, which had been partially destroyed by fire. The field and stands were completed in 1971, but it took four more years to finish the unique roof. The east end addition, which includes the athletic department offices, locker rooms, training rooms and a weight room, was completed in 1982.
In 2004, the facility began its next phase of improvement, as enhanced academic and athletic support facilities were added for student-athletes. The Norm and Becky Iverson Speed and Strength Center was added to more than double the size of the previous weight room to 7,000 square feet. Locker rooms were also expanded to more than 14,000 square feet.
Team meeting rooms, two student-athlete computer labs and study rooms and expanded academic support areas have also been added. In 2010, the athletic training and equipment rooms were expanded and upgraded to nearly double their respective work areas.
In 2010 and 2011, the old plywood end walls were replaced with state-of-the-art KalWall translucent panels as part of a major renovation to bring the building up to code. In conjunction with the end-wall replacement and fire-safety measures, the Litehouse Center, Bud and June Ford Club and expanded premium seating, suites and loge boxes were added and the Bob Curtis Press Box was completely rebuilt on the North side of the facility. Those improvements were privately funded.
The Kibbie Dome serves as both a training and competition facility for many of Idaho's 16 varsity athletic teams, including football, basketball, track & field and tennis. The facility has a capacity of more than 16,000. When the fans get excited, the Kibbie Dome crowd noise can be deafening and intimidating to opposing teams.
Beneath the football field, which is rolled up and stored at season's end, is a premier indoor track & field facility, as well as a full indoor tennis facility. The Cowan Spectrum, where Idaho men's and women's basketball play their home games, is also a part of the Kibbie Dome floor. With 93,000 square feet of floor, there is plenty of room for each team to practice at the same time.
As a track & field facility, the Kibbie Dome is home to Idaho's perennial top-25 men's and women's indoor and outdoor programs. Vandal track & field athletes can practice year-round in the facility. The track is a 290-meter flat circular with eight lanes in the straightaway. It also has two long jump pits, two pole vault pits and two throwing circles. The spacious floor area also gives the Kibbie Dome enough space to host indoor discus and javelin competitions, a boast few other indoor facilities in the nation can make.
The Idaho men's and women's tennis programs use the facility to train and compete during the winter and in times of inclement weather conditions. The floor can be cleared for action on up to nine courts at once.
The Kibbie Dome is for more than just Vandal Athletics, too. The facility has been used to host a multitude of different events, including Idaho high school football playoffs, concerts, student activities, intramural sports, community events and graduations. The facility is also used by students and staff as a workout venue.
The internationally-renowned Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival also calls the Kibbie Dome its home. One of the banner accomplishments of the University of Idaho, the festival was recently awarded the National Medal of Arts, the nation's most prestigious arts honor.
The festival dates back to 1967 and during its history, it has featured some of the best jazz musicians to ever play, including Ella Fitzgerald, Gerry Mulligan, Dizzy Gillespie, Dianne Reeves, Stan Getz, Carmen McRae, Diana Krall, Wynton Marsalis and Sarah Vaughan and of course, Lionel Hampton and his New York Big Band.
Every year, thousands of high-school, middle-school and elementary-school students from hundreds of schools all around the United States and Canada make the pilgrimage to Moscow to take part in adjudicated performances, workshops and concerts.