James H. Hilton Coliseum opened its doors on Dec. 2, 1971, with a price tag of $8.15 million. Over its 35-year history, the building has been home to the Cyclone basketball, gymnastics, volleyball and wrestling teams and has hosted several NCAA events and countless numbers of memorable moments in Iowa State athletics history.
Hilton has played host to 12 NCAA events in its history, most recently hosting the 2006 NCAA Gymnastics Regional Meet. Also in 2006 and 2008, the facility displayed its versatility, hosting the Beauty and the Beast promotion in which more than 7,000 fans watch wrestling and gymnastics simultaneously.
Iowa State’s crowds certainly rank among the nation’s most “rabid” despite the plush surroundings and 14,356 theater cushioned seats that make Hilton Coliseum look more like a concert hall than an arena. Renovations to Hilton occurred in the summer of 2006 that further increased its appeal as one of the nation’s top arenas. A spectacular new score and video board by Daktronics was introduced by Daktronics. The system includes a center-hung score and video display featuring Daktronics’ ProStar technology and ProAd digital displays. The new video boards have the capability to showcase game information, statistics, amazing colorful animation and spectacular video images.
Major entrances are located at the elevated walkway level to minimize conflict between pedestrians and vehicles. Specialized design treatment and sound systems provide surprisingly good acoustical quality for such a large arena.
Also included in the facility are seven meeting rooms, the coliseum offices, athletic equipment storage areas, and a lower concourse area that will house a complete mobile television trailer only a few feet beyond the basketball baseline.