Facilities

Crowd at Yost Field House dedication

The crowd at the dedication of the Yost Fieldhouse in 1923

Construction of Intramural Building

Construction of the Intramural Building

In November 1923, the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics dedicated the Yost Field House — a term Yost himself invented.[1] This new facility cost $563,168[2] and provided a venue for basketball and track events along with indoor football practice. The Michigan Daily, reported “The field house represents one more stride toward Athletics for All, a policy the full attainment of which should be the highest aim of college athletics.”[3] Charles Baird, Michigan’s first athletic director who began work in the late 1800s, termed the facility  a “Supergymansium.[4]

Still, Yost’s aspirations continued beyond the new field house. In 1926, he led the construction of an indoor ice rink in the renovated Memorial Coliseum, which could be used for ice skating during the winter months. He also developed the Women’s Athletic Association building and a playing field for female students at the University. And in the fall of 1930, the University opened a new golf course at Yost’s urging in 1931. In 1928, Yost helped established the Intramural Building at a cost of $750,000 for non-varsity athletes who sought training and recreation.

The Intramural Building housed 4,000 lockers, a main gym with four basketball or tennis courts, 13 squash courts, 14 walled handball courts, a golf driving net, an auxiliary gym, a wrestling room, a boxing room, and a natatorium with a pool. The “athletic plant,” according to a 1941 edition of The Michigan Daily, “rank[ed] second to none in the world.”[5] The construction of the athletic plant spanned the entirety of the 1920s and cost a total of $3,000,000 ($42,898,947.37 in 2017 dollars).[6]

These facilities demonstrated Yost’s commitment to “Athletics for All,” as every student, whether he was a “an athlete, average man or a sluggard,”[7] could use and thrive in these facilities. In an era when many students no longer participated in manual labor, the athletic plant gave the opportunity for physical activity at recreation at Michigan.



[1] "A Toast to Yost from Coast to Coast,” Scrapbook, Box 7 Fielding Harris Yost Papers, University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library, Ann Arbor, MI.

[2] Behee, John Richard. Fielding Yost's Legacy to the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: Distributed by Ulrich's, 1971. Print. p. 179.

[3] The Michigan Daily, January 13, 1923.

[4] "A Toast to Yost from Coast to Coast,” Scrapbook, Box 7 Fielding Harris Yost Papers, University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library, Ann Arbor, MI.

[5] The Michigan Daily, April 30, 1941.

[6] "A Toast to Yost from Coast to Coast,” Scrapbook, Box 7 Fielding Harris Yost Papers, University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library, Ann Arbor, MI.

[7] Ibid.