BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — Think Frost Arena and intense men’s and women’s basketball games between South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota will come to mind.
But it was a men’s game with Augustana (then a college) that set the game record attendance for Frost on Feb. 11, 1989. The attendance was 9,456, according to the SDSU athletics website.
The two teams were members of the North Central Conference (NCC). Augustana won the NCC men’s basketball title that year.
The record attendance for women’s basketball was set on Jan. 16, 2003, against USD with 7,814 fans.
The largest volleyball crowd was 1,301 on Oct. 29, 2009, against North Dakota State University.
SDSU recently announced a $50 million renovation to Frost, which will be re-named First Bank & Trust Arena. The bank and trust is donating $20 million to the renovation, SDSU officials said. There will be an interactive space to highlight the history of the arena.
The original namesake for Frost Arena, Reuben “Jack” Frost, was the university’s director of health, physical education, recreation and athletics for 14 years, according to his 1989 obituary. He left the university in 1960 for a position at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts.
He coached the Jackrabbit men’s basketball team from 1947 to 1954. His record was 86-79.
Before Frost left SDSU, he established the university’s graduate program in health physical education and recreation in 1951, according to the university.
Frost has undergone some changes since it opened in 1973.
Chair back seating was added in 1992-1993, which eliminated 500 seats, which likely assured the 1989 men’s attendance record would not be broken.
Other improvements have included a new sound system and mid-court scoreboards.
SDSU officials said today that the renovated arena would seat 5,500. SDSU was second in average home game attendance in the Summit League for 2019-2020 at 2,819 per game. NDSU lead the league with 3,134.
The SDSU women were also second in average home game attendance for 2019-2020 with 2,010. USD ranked first with 2,280.
USD opened a new arena before the start of the 2016-2017 season. It seats 6,000, according to the USD athletics website.
Frost was also named to the NCC hall of fame and the Bemidji State University Hall of Fame, according to his obituary.