Yost Field House

Yost Field House

Yost Field House was the first of the three great structures which made Ferry Field one of the finest college athletic fields in this country. The building, 365 feet long and 165 feet wide, extended along State Street on the east side of Ferry Field. It was built in 1923 and was designed for indoor track events and intercollegiate sports, particularly football, baseball, basketball, and track athletics. It provided a total floor space of 87,386 square feet, comprising one great room with a dirt floor, 300 by 160 feet, and a space 63 feet high entirely clear of obstacles.

To afford facilities for year-round training, it was necessary that the building be of huge dimensions, with a complete football gridiron. It was constructed after designs by Smith, Hinchman and Grylls, of Detroit, at a total cost, fully equipped, of $563,168. While the building was exceedingly simple in design, relieved only by long rows of tall windows at the sides and ends, it followed the spirit of the Italian Romanesque in its decorative details. Despite its size and massive qualities and the necessity of adaptation to its function, the architects were able to make it both impressive and dignified.

Yost Field House was, in reality, a building erected over an immense playing field which permitted room for a seventy-five-yard dash at the center and an eight-lap running track around the balcony. A portable basketball floor on which intercollegiate contests were held was set up each winter in the center of the main floor. Down each side were seats for the accommodation of some 7,500 spectators. Fixtures for a second balcony were installed, but this balcony had not been constructed. At the north end were locker rooms, showers, training-room and equipment room facilities for all freshmen, varsity, and sports participants on Ferry Field; offices; and a boiler and fan room for heating purposes. A laundry for athletic equipment of all types was also installed.

From the date of its dedication on November 10, 1923, the building justified its construction, affording ample opportunity for practice in football and baseball during winter weather. It was also used for varsity basketball games, while the track facilities enabled aspirants for the team to begin practice early in the spring. Even batting practice for baseball was conducted on the huge field.

Yost Field House was built with the proceeds from the earnings of the athletic program. It was named by the Board in Control of Athletics in honor of Fielding Harris Yost, coach of the football teams from 1901 to 1924 and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics from 1921 until his retirement in 1941.

Wilfred Shaw (The University of Michigan: An Encyclopedic Survey, p. 1589)

Intramural Sports Building (1) Field House (2) Baseball Diamond (3)

The Great Roof-Trusses
Built Strong Enough to Carry Four Balconies as Well as the Roof Itself

Field House Dedication

Basketball Court

The Field House was named in honor of Michigan’s football coach Fielding Yost.

Fielding Yost

The Field House was remodeled in November of 1973 and renamed the Yost Ice Arena. Funds for this project were furnished by the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics. Charles R. Beltz and Company provided engineering services for this $555,134 project.