Idaho Central Credit Union Arena

University of Idaho

The new University of Idaho Central Credit Union (ICCU) Arena will be a showpiece for U of I’s Vandal Athletics program, provide a unique gathering place for sports, concerts and events, and celebrate Idaho’s timber heritage with innovative mass timber construction.

Size: 66,186 sf
Location: Moscow, ID
4,000 seats for basketball and 4,700 seats for concerts
Design Architect: Opsis Architecture
Sports Architect:
Hastings & Chivetta Architects


The new 4,000-seat ICCU Arena supports the rising prominence of University’s basketball program, strengthening the University’s ability to recruit athletes and providing a vibrant and intimate fan experience that showcases the regions’ unique natural materials and landscape. Designed as a multi-event and court sports facility, the ICCU Arena provides the main Vandal basketball program home court, practice court, men’s and women’s locker rooms, conference space, concessions, media room as well as coaching and staff offices. The arena’s location just north of the Kibbie Dome solidifies the athletics district and creates a landmark architectural public gateway to the campus.

The ICCU Arena also represents an exciting new chapter for the Idaho timber industry and UI. The project will serve as a national model for the use of mass timber for long-span sports facilities and is focused on innovation in the design of mass timber construction with a particular emphasis on Idaho forest products. A learning laboratory for students in the forestry and engineering departments, the design showcases the innovative use of locally harvested wood and laminated and cross-laminated (CLT) structural elements.

The undulating roof forms recall the surrounding Palouse landscape with deep overhangs protecting the arena from direct sunlight and creating welcoming entry porches for the campus and community. Every aspect of the traditional “windowless steel box” arena prototype has been rethought toward sustainable systems that will be the future of college sports facilities.

Beginning as a west-facing entry porch, the roof splits apart to create overlapping contoured forms over the north concourse. To the east, the roof wraps down around the practice court to connect with the ground. Infilled side walls are sheathed with charred cedar and a combination of clear and translucent glazing. A three-level CLT wood “bar” forms the west edge of the arena, containing the lower-level locker facilities, main-level athletic offices and team rooms, and an upper-level special event room overlooking the main court.

Using Rhino, an advanced 3D modeling software that allows for the efficient exploration of complex geometries beyond the capabilities of traditional BIM software, Opsis was able to develop a dynamic form that addresses a wide variety of programmatic and structural requirements.

The University received a highly competitive Wood Innovation Grant to make timber and mass timber construction a focal point of the project. When completed, the Arena will be the first signature wood facility of its size in the state.