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 1990.
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 was 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.
The Kibbie A.S.U.I. Activity Center, a multi-use athletic/recreation/special event facility serving the needs of the University of Idaho students, faculty, staff, and regional community. The facility known locally as the "Dome" was named after a former student - William H. Kibbie, who donated $300,000 towards the construction of the building and for the Associated Students of the University of Idaho who continue to help support the facility.
The Kibbie is located on the western edge of campus across the street from the University Library and the Memorial Gym/Swim Center complex. The Kibbie is bordered on the north by the School of Law and by the UI Golf Course on the south. The Kibbie complex includes the university outdoor track (recently named "Dan O'Brien Track and Field Complex"), two grass practice fields, and a large parking lot
The Idaho Vandals are housed in the Kibbie-which includes areas for their academic, administrative, competitive and training needs. Daily recreational users include -joggers, walkers, weight lifters, racquetball and handball players, plus users of the cardiovascular equipment.
Seasonally, the Kibbie is used for soccer, football, ultimate frisbee, basketball, track and field, and tennis. In addition, physical education classes, intramural sports, club sports, and ROTC training occurs year round in the Kibbie. Kibbie "special events" include the university commencement, concerts, conferences, trade shows, a circus, and any other unique events that can be scheduled.
Kibbie Facts, Figures, Features
15,820 permanent seats
2,000 portable bleacher seats
1,500 folding chairs
40'x60' portable staging
The artificial football field (the "Magic Carpet") is designed to roll out in approximately 2 hours or roll in within 1 hour. This magic is accomplished with the help of forced air, large rollers, and ten winch lines.
1975 Dome roof, end walls, multi-purpose sports floor installed.
1982 East end addition constructed, containing administrative offices of
Kibbie Management, Athletic Department, Weight room,
Racquetball courts, and Locker rooms.
1990 Astro Turf Magic Carpet installed
1991 Video replay system installed.
1991 New polyeurthane sports floor installed
1993 New ADA spectator platforms constructed.
1994 Renovated weight room.
1994 New cardiovascular equipment installed.
1995 New sound and light system installed.
1995 New scoreboard.
1995 New Basketball court and bleachers.
Kibbie Center has a floor area of 93,550 sq ft. The height of the Dome ceiling from the floor is 150ft (14 story building). The roof arch spans 400ft, covering 4.45 acres.
Source: University of Idaho Sports Information Office
June 24, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures
The University of Idaho will play all its home games at Martin Stadium at Washington State University to qualify for NCAA Division 1-A status. U of I's Kibbie Dome is too small for the rating. The school has a five year lease for the venue. Once the school is certified for 1-A status, it must only average 20,000 per game over the season and that would allow it to use the 16,000-seat Kibbie Dome for all games except those that draw the most fans. Idaho will pay $7,500 per game for use of Martin Stadium. Idaho will get all ticket revenue.