Cumberland County Civic Center
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2007)|
|Cumberland County Civic Center|
|Location||1 Civic Center Square
Portland, ME 04101
|Opened||March 3, 1977|
|Construction cost||$8 million
($30.8 million in 2013 dollars)
|Architect||Eduardo Catalano Architects
E. Crawley Cooper
|Portland Pirates (AHL) (1993–2013)
Maine Mariners (AHL) (1977–1992)
The Cumberland County Civic Center is a 6,733-seat multi-purpose arena, in Portland, Maine. Built in 1977, at a cost of $8 million, it is home for various trade shows and the Maine Principals' Association high school basketball tournament. There are 6,733 permanent seats in the arena, and it seats up to 9,500 for concerts. Until 2013 it was the home arena for the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League.
The inside consists of one deck rising 24 rows, 14 seats across at its widest, and 30 separated sections around. The arena floor features 34,500 square feet (3,210 m2) of space, making it useful for trade shows and conventions in addition to sports and concerts.
The arena has had a unique history of having locals sponsor individual seats at the arena. Those who pay to sponsor seats at the Civic Center can have their name engraved on their seats or dedicate the seat to someone they know.
The arena's official name is the George I. Lewis Auditorium at Cumberland County Civic Center. The press box is named for sportscasting legend, the late Frank Fixaris.
ZZ Top was the very first act to play the Civic Center, when it opened on March 3, 1977.
Elvis Presley was to have flown from Memphis to Portland on August 16, 1977 for a performance at the Civic Center the following day, but he was found dead at Graceland that morning. A re-enactment of the preparations for the Portland show is featured in the bio film This Is Elvis.
In October 2010, a task force voted to fund renovations costing $27 to $29 million. The renovations will include addition of premium seating, as well as upgrades to the locker rooms and other improvements. If approved by the large Civic Center board, it will be funded by a county bond measure.
The bond was approved by county voters in November 2011. Renovations began after the 2011-12 hockey season. Following completion of the Portland Pirates' 2012-13 season, the arena closed for a second renovation phase, and is scheduled to reopen in January, 2014. The Pirates intended to play the first portion of their 2013-14 season at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée, through at least December 31
Civic Center trustees in 2013 ceased negotiations with the Pirates over terms of a new lease, and further stated they would seek new tenants for the calendar slots originally given to the Pirates. The Pirates then announced on September 26, 2013 that they would play their entire 2013-2014 home schedule at the Colisée in Lewiston over the dispute, instead of just the first 13 games. The dispute is primarily over the share of food and beverage sales the Pirates would receive, though other issues exist. Civic Center trustees stated that they only break even on the presence of the Pirates in the building, and that their expenses would actually be less without them. The Chairman of the CCCC Board of Trustees further criticized the Pirates for demanding more of a "subsidy" for themselves and stated their desired lease agreement would cost county taxpayers money. The Pirates also stated they would continue a lawsuit against the CCCC with the hopes of playing there in the future.  
The United States Lacrosse League announced on December 2nd, 2013 that the Maine Moose Trax would play its home games at the CCCC when the League begins play in the fall of 2014, though Civic Center trustees called the announcement premature and stated no final agreement had been reached. It was the first franchise announced for the League. 
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2013. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Shanahan, Mark (August 28, 1999). "Local & State Reporter's Notebook". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
- Griffin, Mary (April 25, 2002). "Civic Center Opens In 1977 And Has Never Looked Bad". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- Murphy, Edward D. (October 9, 2010). "Civic Center Panel: Overhaul 'Only Way to Go'". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved October 9, 2010.
- "Portland Pirates Announce Six Guaranteed Dates", Portland Pirates news release. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
- Lowe, Mike (September 26, 2013). "Portland Pirates leave Cumberland County Civic Center". Kennebec Journal. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
- Hall, Jessica (August 31, 2013). "Civic Center, Pirates in standoff over concessions". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
- Graham, Gillian (December 2, 2013). "Civic center to become home to new lacrosse team". Kennebec Journal. Retrieved December 2, 2013.