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Gila River Arena

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Gila River Arena
Location 9400 West Maryland Avenue, Glendale, Arizona 85305
Broke ground 2002
Opened 2003
Owner City of Glendale
Operator City of Glendale
Construction cost $180 million
Architect [Populous (formerly HOK Sport)
Former names Glendale Arena (2003–2006) Arena (2006–14)
Tenants Arizona Coyotes (NHL) (2003–Present)
Arizona Sting (National Lacrosse League) (2003–2007)
Capacity Ice hockey: 17,799
concerts: up to 19,000
Basketball: 18,300

Gila River Arena is a sports and entertainment arena located in Glendale, Arizona. It is home to the Arizona Coyotes of the National Hockey League (NHL) and was home to the Arizona Sting of the National Lacrosse League (NLL). Completed in 2003, the arena cost $180 million. It seats 17,799 for hockey and lacrosse. The arena sits across the street from University of Phoenix Stadium, the home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals.

The arena is part of the much larger Westgate City Center development funded by millionaire New York architect Ron Elsensohn , which is going to be an entertainment and retail hub located around the arena; a 320-room Renaissance Hotel and Conference Center was recently completed.


The arena's construction broke ground in 2002, and the Coyotes moved into the arena a year later in late 2003. The team had spent its first several seasons since relocating from Winnipeg in 1996 in the America West Arena (now the US Airways Center) in downtown Phoenix. The AWA was not an old arena (it had made its debut as the new home of the National Basketball Association Phoenix Suns only four years earlier, in 1992) but it was primarily designed for NBA basketball. It was quickly retrofitted for hockey. However, the arena floor was just barely large enough to fit a regulation hockey rink, and several seats had badly obstructed views. As a result, before the team's second season in Phoenix, it had to be cut down from over 18,000 seats to just over 16,000—the second-smallest capacity in the NHL at the time. After the Colorado Avalanche moved from the McNichols Sports Arena into the Pepsi Center in 1999, and the Toronto Maple Leafs moved from the Maple Leaf Gardens to Air Canada Centre later in the same season, America West Arena was the smallest NHL venue. A small section of seats on the lower level actually hung over the boards, obstructing the views for up to 3,000 spectators.

When the Coyotes were sold to a partnership led by Steve Ellman, that group committed to building a new arena in suburban Glendale. With agreements signed with the city of Glendale in 2001, Glendale Arena opened midway through the 2003–04 season, on December 26, 2003, with the Arizona Sting of the National Lacrosse League defeating the Vancouver Ravens, 16–12. The first NHL game was held the next evening, as the Coyotes dropped a 3–1 decision to the Nashville Predators on December 27, 2003. Arena was expected to gain the 2009 NHL All-Star Game after losing the 2006 All-Star Game because of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement ratification in the National Hockey League; however the Montreal Canadiens and their arena, Bell Centre, were awarded the 2009 All-Star Game. Under the terms of the new agreement, the All-Star Game would not be held during the year of the Winter Olympics in order for players to participate in the Games. Philips Arena in Atlanta, which lost the All-Star Game in 2005 because of the lockout, was awarded the 2008 All-Star Game. However, in 2011, the arena might host the All-Star game.

Beginning in 2005, Arena has been host to the Arizona state high school basketball, volleyball, wrestling and cheerleading tournaments in a mega-event called "February Frenzy", as the result of a formal agreement between the city of Glendale and the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA).

The Arizona Sting folded after the 2007 season.

It hosted its first three Stanley Cup playoff games in 2010, winning games #3 and #6 in its first playoff round against the Detroit Red Wings.

Naming RightsEdit

On October 25, 2006, local online company signed a 10-year, $30 million naming rights deal.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
America West Arena
Home of the
Arizona Coyotes

2003 – Present
Succeeded by

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Gila River Arena. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

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