The Recreation/Athletic Facility has served as the home of Southwest Minnesota State basketball since the 1996-97 season. The 4,000-seat arena, which opened in the summer of 1996, is twice the capacity of the Physical Education Gym, which was the home of SMSU basketball from 1968-96.
During the summer of 2008, the R/A Facility received an upgrade as new scoreboards and video boards were added. In addition to the two new video boards on the north and south walls of the R/A Facility, the center scoreboard was upgraded, while two smaller scoreboards were added on the east and west ends of the facility.
The $6.8 million facility gives SMSU one of the best home basketball facilities not only in the conference but in the region as well. Regarded as one of the best basketball atmospheres in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, the R/A Facility yearly ranks among the top in attendance not only in the NSIC, but nationally as well. The SMSU men's basketball team has has ranked among the Top 10 in Division II in average attendance several times including ranking fifth during the 2016-17 season.
The arena attendance record for SMSU basketball was set on March 17, 2009, when 3,689 fans packed the R/A for SMSU's NCAA Central Region Championship game against Augustana, which the Mustangs won, 73-60.
The R/A Facility is one of the largest arenas in the region and is an ideal site for concerts, commencements and many other activities in addition to basketball, volleyball and wrestling.
The SMSU fitness center and weight room, which are located just outside the R/A Facility, have greatly enhanced the opportunities for Mustang student-athletes that use the facility. The 4,059-square foot facility added more space, which increased the number of workstations available, allowing for more intense lifting periods.
In 2011, The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities, named the arena as one of three facilities in the country to earn the Distinguished Indoor Multi-Purpose Facilities Award. Awards are presented each year to facilities built by ASBA members, which best exemplify construction excellence. Awards are presented in various categories: Tennis Courts, Running Tracks, Sports Fields and Indoor Multi-Purpose Facilities. The organization also recognized the R/A Facility as the Indoor Multi-Purpose Tennis Facility of the Year.