Albertsons Cos. will have its name in lights on the University of Idaho campus with the commitment of $500,000 over the next 10 years to the new court-sports arena and naming rights to the scoreboard. The donation is a reflection of the longtime partnership between UI and Albertsons, according to the groups.
“Albertsons and UI are both grounded in a mission to support and invest in our home state,” said UI President Chuck Staben.
The announcement of the 4,700-seat arena came in October as UI neared the halfway point in fundraising for the $30 million project. The arena, slated for construction north of the Kibbie Dome, will host UI’s basketball and volleyball teams, as well as be a gathering space for a variety of events.
“Albertsons’ commitment to Idaho extends beyond our stores and into the institutions that help make our people extraordinary and the state of Idaho one of the best places to live and work in the country,” said Bob Miller, chairman and CEO of Albertsons Cos, based in Boise. “The UI arena will be an exceptional addition to the student experience in Moscow, and Albertsons Cos. is grateful for the opportunity to help bring a long-term goal to fruition for the students and the community.”
The arena is planned as a wood and wood-product building, using one of Idaho’s greatest natural resources to further build the Idaho-based legacy of this building. The 70,000-s.f. facility has been a focus of Staben since he arrived—and a goal for UI for nearly 50 years.
UI plans to seek approval from the State Board of Education to plan and bid the construction in February 2017.
Backing from the students, in the form of a self-imposed fee, added to the momentum.
“The enthusiasm and support from our students is important to this project and the integral part it will play in campus life,” Staben said.