Physical Education Complex
The Physical Education Complex on the Bemidji State campus is home to the Frederick P. Baker Training Center, the Gillett Recreation and Fitness Center, and BSU Gymnasium, the home venues for men's and women's basketball, volleyball, track and field, and tennis programs. The complex also contains a six-lane Olympic-sized swimming pool and classrooms and offices for faculty and athletic staff. At the gym-floor level, the facility also houses locker rooms, athletic training facilities, and laundry and equipment rooms.
The Fieldhouse hosted Beaver hockey from 1967 until 2009 and was the home for one of the true dynasties in the history of college athletics. While the venerable building no longer hosts BSU men’s and women’s hockey after the move to their new home in the Sanford Center in 2010, the renovation to the Fred Baker Training Center allows it to remain a critical component in the success of Bemidji State athletics.
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 Gillett Recreation and Fitness Center is the latest addition to the complex, opening in January 1990. Widely regarded as one of the finest facilities in the region for indoor track, the six-lane, 200-meter track has been the site of countless collegiate and high school track and field events and regularly hosts the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Indoor Championships. The center is also the indoor home for Bemidji State’s tennis program.
Located on the south shore of Lake Bemidji, the Sanford Center provides the people of northern Minnesota with a signature sports and entertainment facility. The home of Bemidji State men’s and women’s hockey, the facility has enabled Bemidji to attract a variety of civic, convention and entertainment events and enhance its position as a regional center for northern Minnesota.
The Sanford Center encompasses approximately 185,000 square feet and include all amenities required to host concerts, family shows, trade shows and community events. It has also been designed as an elite Division I hockey facility, providing the BSU men’s and women’s programs with one of the finest home venues in the nation.
The event center seats 4,373 for hockey and can be reconfigured to accommodate approximately 6,000 guests for concerts and trade shows. Seating includes a club level and 26 luxury suites, and all areas of the arena will have access to full-featured concessions areas.
The building also includes convention facilities, featuring a 10,000-square-foot dividable ballroom and 4,000 square feet of meeting space. The convention and meeting facilities have been designed to accommodate future expansion to meet the expected growth of Bemidji and its surrounding area.
The facility has a distinctive design with attention to detail both outside and inside the building.
The existing boat launch, trails and park settings will be enhanced to create a unique ambiance that makes this area an exciting place to be year round.
Chet Anderson Stadium
Chet Anderson Stadium has been the home of Bemidji State University football since 1939 and offers a stunning lakeside setting that is practically unparalleled in college athletics. Built with a $172,000 federal grant to upgrade athletic facilities on campus, the stadium’s original construction included concrete bleachers on each side of the field with seating for approximately 3,000 people. The bleacher structures, completed in 1941, included a refreshment stand, first aid rooms, coaches’ offices, ticket booths and a passageway that was home to a 160x11 cinder track. An enclosed 14'x6' press box occupied the position above and in the center of the north side bleachers, which included a glass front to protect sports writers from inclement weather.
The stadium has undergone modifications throughout the years, but the main structures are the same today as they were more than 65 years ago. Additional seating was installed, bringing the estimated capacity to 3,500, and in 1989 the facility received a new scoreboard and playing surface.
On Oct. 2, 1996, the facility was officially named Chet Anderson Stadium in honor of Chester A. Anderson, who coached the Beavers from 1955-60 and again from 1962-65. Anderson helped lead BSU to Northern Intercollegiate Conference co-championships in 1957 and 1959.
In July 2013, construction crews began work on a new turf playing surface for “The Chet”. The project totaling $1.3 million, included demolition of the running track surrounding the field and the installation of a new entry plaza with the focus of the project being the installation of a new drainage system and synthetic playing surface. Crews removed the natural grass surface, originally installed in 1989, installed a perimeter curb, drainage system and turf, complete with BSU’s athletic logo, which allowed "The Chet" to host all home games for the football and soccer programs.