The AIS Arena was opened by the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Fraser, on 26 January 1981. The AIS Arena was originally called the National Indoor Sports Centre and was the inaugural home of the Australian Institute of Sport.
The building was designed by Phillip Cox & Partners. Architectural features include a 1200 tonne suspended concrete panel roof supported by 12 steel masts and 36 mainstay cables. The roof has a span of 100.4 metres.
The stadium is partly set into the ground to reduce its scale and to establish a visual connection between the landscape and the mast and cable structure of the roof.
The AIS Arena has been used for major indoor sports such as basketball, volleyball, netball and ice skating. It was home to the Canberra Cannons who played in the NBL until 2003.