South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Frost Arena Renovation Ready for Volleyball

Andrew Pedersen/SDSU athletics
Construction continues on Frost Arena, soon to be First Bank & Trust Arena when construction is complete in fall of 2024.

Frost Arena is opening Thursday after another summer of renovation, and the Jackrabbit volleyball team couldn’t be more excited.

SDSU will host Denver in a Summit League game at 7 p.m. This will be the first time the volleyball team has played in Frost since last fall. They started their season with 14 straight games on the road, everywhere from Iowa to Idaho, “which was a grind,” head coach Dan Georgalas said. “Having a good home crowd is something the team has missed.”

The Frost experience will look different this year. This is because the only available seating to start the season will be on the north side of the arena. The capacity also won’t be at its max. According to Jeff Holm, the senior associate athletic director of facilities and operations, there will only be room for about 1,300 to 1,500 people, so fans should look to get to games early to ensure a good spot.

“We’re excited to get back in there,” Georgalas said. “I think there’s gonna be excitement and a buzz from the fans that day and it’s definitely gonna be something that we can feed off of.”

Concessions and restrooms on the north side will also be open for use, as well as an additional women’s restroom.

“There’s so much interest and so much support out there, people are going to be excited because they’ll kind of see what it’s going to be like without seeing the end product,” Holm said.

This summer’s construction started soon after basketball season ended last March. Since then, crews have added permanent seating in place of the bleachers on the second level. With this update, fans will be able to walk around the arena underneath the seating where there will be more concessions and restrooms. The east, south and west sides will continue construction throughout the year, and the third level suites will not be ready until next fall.

More seating should open as construction continues, with a capacity of about 4,000 for basketball, according to Holm. The second level will be done with chair backs for basketball season. The first level floor and bleachers will be the same as last year and will be redone after basketball season finishes in March.

“I think just the interest in seeing where Frost is in the renovation process will drive some people to come in and check it out,” Justin Sell, the director of athletics said. “It’s going to be a fantastic building.”

This year students should expect a new way to enter games because the usual student entrance on the southwest corner has been a gaping hole for most of the summer; however, the hole will be enclosed by Sept. 28 to help keep out dust and help keep the floor ready for play.

Once the $53.1 million dollar renovations are done, the renamed First Bank and Trust Arena will hold 5,500 people, compared to Frost Arena’s 6,500. The new arena will boost the student athlete experience with updated locker rooms, team rooms and sports medicine facilities. It will also make space for other athletic programs that didn’t have space before, Sell said. “Although there’s always adjustments to certain portions of the construction process, the overall timeline is still on track,” Holm said. “Final completion and grand opening is set for the fall of 2024.”

There will be more amenities in the new arena, including a special area to highlight the history of The Barn, which hosted sporting events until 1973, and Frost Arena, which has been a staple to SDSU sports for the past 50 years.

With women’s sports continuing to grow nationally and at SDSU, Georgalas is optimistic attendance will only grow from this year forward.

“When we get back to Brookings and have the opportunity to unveil the progress on First Bank and Trust Arena, I’m hoping for a great crowd,” Georgalas said. “I’m sure our fans are eager to see the improvements to Frost Arena and after 14 matches to start our season, our student-athletes deserve a warm welcome home.”

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