In the summer of 2015 Mrs OHLAG and I drove across the United States en route to her sister's wedding in Vancouver. I hadn't been planning to stop off in Billings to see a five year curiosity like the MetraPark Arena, but our original plan to spend the day in Yellowstone National Park was 86'ed by a massive snowstorm in the high altitudes (and again, this was a snowstorm on July 17). So with no other brilliant ideas, we availed ourselves of an indoor waterpark in town, went to the mall, and checked out the arena. I couldn't get into the seating bowl (my considerable internet fame doesn't apparently help when no one remembers the Bighorns, or at any other time), but the arena seemed nice enough.
MetraPark is an acronym, short for Montana Entertainment Trade and Recreation Arena, so in full, you have Montana Entertainment Trade and Recreation Arena Park Arena. It occupies a site in the city's fairgrounds and is surrounded by parking. It's a building made of brown brick, concrete, and orange siding, and it reminds me somewhat of Regina's Agridome in terms of construction. I got into the lobby of the building, but no farther - it wasn't open for wandering. With no ice in the arena anyway, I can't say it matters that much, but if I'm ever back in Billings I'd be sure to go back.
What's It Used for Today?
MetraPark Arena was hit by a powerful enough tornado in 2010 to necessitate a massive renovation - check the video on YouTube if you want to see the power of nature. The renovation not only rebuilt the arena but brought it up to modern standards.
MetraPark Arena, or First Interstate Arena as it's now known, is still the main arena for a fairly major city. It hosts concerts, political rallies, trade shows, and pretty much everything else you'd expect. There hasn't been a hockey tenant there since 2006, and at present the only sports team playing there is an indoor football team.
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at and I'll update the guide.