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Hibbing Memorial Building

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Hibbing Memorial Building is centrally located to Minnesota’s Iron Range communities. The multi-use facility annually hosts: MHSL sporting events, USFSA sanctioned figure skating competitions, concerts and music festivals, conventions, banquets, receptions, celebrations, special events such as weddings, business, industry, trade fairs, car shows, and rodeos.[1]

The arena seat 5,460 people, and is handicap accessible throughout. Sound, lighting, and convenient media centers are built info the facility. Dressing rooms, seven athletic team locker rooms with showers are available for competitive events.[2]

In the year 1993, the Minnesota State Horseshoe tournament was held in the Memorial Building Arena.[3]

Johnny Cash performed in the arena on May 4, 1993 at 8 PM, and about 2,000 people attended.[4]

There is an auditorium in the Memorial Building as well called the Little Theater. The theater was built in the 1930s and preserves the historical ambiance of stage performances from past decades, for instance, Bob Dylan performed in the Little Theater. In 2001, Pam’s School of Dance held it’s annual recital in the Little Theater as well. It seats 260 people.[5]

Also inside the building are banquet and kitchen facilities. The Lower-Level Dining Room can be utilized for groups up to 250 people. Complete kitchen facilities are also available for preparation and serving banquet-style meeting for up to 300 people.[6]

In 1935, the Memorial Building was rebuilt after the fire. It was dedicated to the war veterans and for civic and community use. The Memorial Building was Hibbing’s entertainment center, including curling, ice skating, and bowling. Originally, there was a small bowling center in the basement where the museum is located now.[7]

Hibbing Memorial Building was completed in 1925, and it was dedicated to World War 1 veterans. On December 28, 1933 a fire completely destroyed the building. [8] It was rebuilt and completed by 1935. The Memorial Building was re-dedicated to World War I veterans on November 20, 1935. [9]

There were many accommodations for veterans in the Memorial Building. The canteen was the veterans’ bar. It is now used as a meeting room, and no alcohol is served.[10] The veteran’s quarters was a recreational area for veterans; it includes pool tables. A mural of World War I is on the wall in the veteran’s quarters. The mural depicts the time, how things looked, what the uniforms were like, and some traditions of the era.[11] In the veterans’ quarters is an entertainment room where dances were held. Hibbing Winter Frolic is held there as well. A portion of the veterans’ quarters is now used by senior citizens.[12]

During World War II, U.S. Army Air Corps cadets trained in the Hibbing Memorial Building. [13]

Senator John F. Kennedy appeared at the Hibbing Memorial Arena on October 3, 1960 campaigning for the upcoming presidential election.[14]

John Edwards, the 2004 vice presidential candidate, visited the Hibbing Memorial Building on Tuesday, October 19, 2004.[15]

Also, Senator Hillary Clinton was at the Memorial Building in the year 2008 campaigning for presidential candidate Barack Obama.[16]


[1] City of Hibbing, 2010. “Memorial Building Arena.” www.hibbing.mn.us/index.asp, December 10, 2010.

[2] City of Hibbing, “Hibbing Memorial Arena.”


[3] “Tossing Those Shoes.” Hibbing Daily Tribune. 5 August 1993.


[4] Fink, Stan. Personal interview. December 17, 2010.


[5] City of Hibbing, “Hibbing Memorial Arena.”


[6] City of Hibbing, “Hibbing Memorial Arena.”


[7] Fink, Stan. Personal interview. 17 December 2010.


[8] Description of Hibbing Memorial Building Fire, Memorial Building lobby. December 17, 2010.


[9] “Hibbing Celebrated Dedication Ten Years Ago.” Hibbing Daily Tribune Memorial Building Edition. 19 November 1935. Page 12.

[10] Fink, Stan. Personal interview. December 17, 2010.


[11] Painting, “Message From the Heart” By P. Jones. (October 2002), December 17, 2010.


[12] Fink, Stan. Personal interview. December 17, 2010.


[13] “Memorial Building Drafted.” Hibbing Daily Tribune. 23 September 1943.


[14] “Huge Crowd.” Hibbing Daily Tribune. 4 October 1960.


[15] Thornton, Patrick. “Arena Magic,” Hibbing Daily Tribune. 20 October 2004.

[16] Fink, Stan. Personal interview. 17 December 2010.

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