WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 26, 2014, 09:55 PM

After this weekend, the Bison Sports Arena will finally be reconstructed

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's hosted concerts, the circus, church services and track meets.

By: Dom Izzo, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's hosted concerts, the circus, church services and track meets.

After Saturday, the Bison Sports Arena will host its final NDSU basketball game.

The arena was built in 1970 and is finally getting a make-over.

When the Bison Sports Arena opened its doors in October 1970 for then hefty price tag of $3.1 million, the place was described as the Fieldhouse and General Physical Education building.

44 years later the Bison will play their final basketball in here on Saturday night and for those that have packed this place over the past four decades its created some indelible memories, but not everyone is sad to see the place go...

Erv Inniger/NDSU’s Men BB Coach (1978-1992): “It is good riddance, Saul would have trouble recruiting, Tim and all the coaches that have been here, getting players they had its not easy recruiting against these team.”

Gene Taylor/NDSU’s Athletic Director: “I don't know if it's we're saying goodbye to Cameron Indoor Stadium, it’s got great memories, they see newness, so it's goodbye, we can hardly wait to see what it looks like new.”

It seems hard to believe that the BSA was ever new, but the memories are still fresh for many...during a fifteen year period, you be hard pressed to find a better basketball setting where the place was routinely packed, especially for the dynamite NDSU women's team.

Amy Ruley/NDSU’s Women BB Coach (1979-2008): “Just looking around the facility at one occasion and looking across at the section in standing in front of our bench and up by the letters S and T, students were straddling the beams sitting up above, it was full.”

The place was always full as Ruley's teams dominated, winning three straight national championships, now the BSA was definitely an advantage for the BSA, but not in traditional ways...

Ruley: “I suppose having to walk thru those hallways and see your breath and feel the cold getting back to the court, I remember Sherri McNamara at UNO, she had to come for the 2nd half because she couldn't wait any longer for the restroom, you guys need more restrooms, need to do a lot around here.”

Inniger: “When we played South Dakota State, the first basket we make there would be 4-5 dead jackrabbits on the court, custodians had to come up clean o it, didn't call technicals back then now they'd stop the game and say it's over baby.”

This building's time is almost over, construction on the brand new facility begins in April, but the memories will always be vivid.

Inninger: “Everybody talked about it, you played one game a year at home, or you played two games and forgot about everybody else, People just hated coming here.”

While under construction, the women will play at the BSA, and the men could play at the Fargodome or Scheels Arena.