Built in 1957, the Bird Arena features an illuminated 190' x 85' ice surface with a seamless Crystaplex dasher board system. Major renovations to the building in 2000-01 included the addition of a wing with four locker rooms, insulation upgrades, new bleachers, thermal windows, enlarged concession stand, and pro shop. The upstairs enclosed mezzanine provides a heated meeting room area. Bird Arena is located next to the Aquatic Center and Grover Center, across Oxbow Trail from the new Baker University Center.
Bird Arena is named in honor of Ossian Clinton Bird. A native of Milwaukee, WI, he was educated at Milwaukee public schools, Oberlin College, Ohio State University, and Harvard University. He was freshman football coach at Ohio State University from 1917 to 1920. He taught physical education in public schools, and was director of physical education. He came to Ohio University as Director of the Division of Physical Welfare in September 1922. As director of Intercollegiate Athletics, his coaches and teams enjoyed phenomenal success in their efforts. He was very active in civic and professional affairs.
Bird, stricken with cancer, died September 5, 1945, at University Hospital in Columbus. He is buried in the West Union Street Cemetery in Athens. Bird Arena was named in honor of Mr. O.C. Bird in 1960.