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History of the Dome

HISTORY OF THE DOME

The original football stadium was named Neale Stadium, which sat where the Kibbie Dome currently is built. An arson fire in November 1969 completely destroyed the stadium and forced the planning of the current facility. Construction soon began on the grandstands and the press boxes, which were completed in 1971. Also in that same year a grass infield was installed. However, only one year later in 1972, the original artificial turf was installed to allow for a covered stadium. The turf we currently have was installed in 2007.

Construction resumed on the stadium with the installation of the roof. An engineering marvel, the roof itself is made up of beams of laminated wood on a framework of tubular shaped steel. These huge arches span a distance of 400 feet and at the center height are 144 feet from the surface of the turf. The roof was completed in 1975.

Money needed to be raised before the entire project was completed, but in July of 1981 the $3.8 million was achieved to start work on the East End addition. Housing departmental offices, locker rooms, a weight room, equipment rooms, and both men’s and women’s varsity locker rooms the East End was a much-needed addition to the project. The addition was completed in August 1982. All in all, the total cost of construction of the Kibbie Dome and the East End project was over $12 million dollars.

The Kibbie-ASUI Activity Center was named after William H. Kibbie, a former student who donated $300,000 towards the building of the facility. Kibbie, who only attended the University of Idaho for a few weeks in 1936 before he unfortunately had to leave, said this of the University: “It is a university in the classic and real sense of the word…and has maintained its position throughout the years as a leading institution of higher education. The enclosing of the stadium complex should serve to support and further the program of the university in all its aspect.” Sadly, on February 12, 1988, William H. Kibbie died in an automobile accident.