South Dakota State University plays its home basketball, volleyball games and wrestling matches in Frost Arena, named after former SDSU coach and athletic director R.B. "Jack" Frost.
Frost Arena is widely regarded as the finest facility with the best athletics atmosphere in the state. It was the site of the 2003 NCAA Division II North Central Regional women's basketball tournament. Postseason basketball returned to Frost Arena in 2014 as four rounds of the Women's NIT were played in front of capacity crowds.
The facility, part of the Stanley J. Marshall HPER Center, now seats 6,100 fans for basketball. Over the years Frost Arena has gone through many changes. Most notably was the $3 million Daktronics scoreboard project, which included a four-sided scoreboard that hangs over mid-court with four Prostar video screens measuring 12 feet by 7 feet, two ProAd displays along the baseline measuring 60 feet long by 4 feet high and a new full-color digital ProTable scorers table.
A seating project was also completed which moved the students from the south bleachers to the east and west bleachers behind each basket, which created a new feel and is much louder, which plays into the homecourt advantage.
Other projects have included new chairback seating for season ticket holders, repainting the floor, and adding an $80,000 sound system to the arena. While the arena has gone through many changes, the women's basketball team has continued to excel on their home floor.
Reuben B. “Jack” Frost was born in Sheyenne, N.D., April 26, 1907, and graduated from Spring Grove (Minn.) High School in 1923. He attended Luther College (Iowa) from 1924 to 1928, and received his Ph.D. in Physical Education from the University of Oregon in 1958.
He was named athletic director, and professor and head of the Department of Physical Education in June 1947, and served until assuming a distinguished professorship at Springfield (Mass.) College in 1960. At Springfield, he occupied the only endowed chair for physical education in the nation.
His coaching career began in 1928 at Glenwood High School and later at Fergus Falls (Minn.). In 1935, he became athletic director and coach at Bemidji State College.
Dr. Frost established the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Graduate program at South Dakota State University in 1951.
He was an international leader in recreation, health and physical education. Among other international assignments, he was this nation's representative at the Fifth Session of the International Olympic Academy at Greece in 1965.
An author, teacher, coach and administrator, Dr. Frost's influence on this university remains today. He mentored Dr. Stanley Marshall, in whose honor the HPER Center is named.
Bids totaling $3,374,115 were let for the facility following legislative approval of the project with the bill signed by Governor Frank Farrar on February 14, 1970. Ground was broken Sept. 22, 1970. Governor Richard Kneip placed the cornerstone on October 2, 1971. Final cost of the building totaled $3,685,000, with the difference made up by gifts and items donated later.
The Jackrabbits played their first game in Frost Arena February 2, 1973. In 1994, the one-millionth fan passed through the Frost Arena turnstiles.