The BSU Gymnasium has been home to the Beaver men’s basketball program since 1960 and has been the only home for women’s basketball and volleyball.
The 2,500-seat BSU Gymnasium officially became home to the Bemidji State basketball program January 4, 1960, in front of a crowd of community members and dignitaries. The grand opening ceremony was led by the Governor of Minnesota Orville Freeman. Later that evening the Beavers broke the facility in with a 74-51 victory over the University of North Dakota. In nearly five decades since the building was opened, the facility has been home to the BSU volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as a number of high school tournaments and playoff games. In addition the gym is also used for events ranging from concerts and recitals to faculty meetings and commencement ceremonies.
The BSU Gym is only a portion of the physical education complex that was erected beginning in 1959 with funds secured from the state legislature. The one million-dollar complex also houses a six lane Olympic size swimming pool, classrooms and offices for faculty and athletic staff. Encompassed at the gym-floor level are locker room facilities for all BSU athletic teams, faculty, staff and students as well as for visiting teams, officials and coaches. There is also space allotted for athletic training facilities and laundry and equipment rooms.
Not only does it house an array of activities, but perhaps more importantly it gives a distinct “home-court” advantage for the athletic squads that use it. BSU fans and boosters of all ages are regularly seen sporting the green and white colors in peculiar styles.
As Governor Freeman said at the grand opening of the facility, “the one million dollars that the new Bemidji State College Gymnasium cost is not a debt, but an investment.” Since that time countless student-athletes have called the BSU gymnasium their athletic home, while spectators have come in droves to watch BSU events, proving that this really was an investment.
The BSU Gymnasium was closed for nearly two months beginning Oct. 6, 2004, to undergo a $150,000 floor replacement project. The face-lift not only gave the 45-year-old facility an updated and a fresh look, the new maple-stripped floor is also a softer, more athlete-friendly foundation. In 2007, the scoreboard was updated and in the summer of 2018, the floor was stripped, reconditioned and repainted. Also, Bemidji State banners now line the upper railing on both sides of the gym. In the summer of 2010, new lighting was installed in the gymnasium to highlight the new look of the old gym.