The Iowa State Center began as the dream of James H. Hilton, who graduated from Iowa State University in Dairy Science and served as University President from 1953-1965. He proposed the idea of an educational/cultural/athletic complex at the 1954 fall faculty convocation.

The James H. Hilton Coliseum 14,092-seat multi-purpose arena in Ames, Iowa opened in 1971. It is home to the Iowa State University Cyclones basketball, wrestling, gymnastics and volleyball teams. Iowa State has a great homecourt dominance in Men's Basketball and Wrestling at Hilton, and it is considered one of the louder home courts in the nation.

The arena hosted the 1972 NCAA basketball tournament Midwest Regionals, as well as the 1982, 1988 and 1993 NCAA wrestling championships. It has also hosted commencements, concerts, conventions and of course is the keystone to the GOP presidential campaign.

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