Smoothie King Center

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This article is about the multi-purpose arena formerly known as New Orleans Arena. For the arena found in Las Vegas, see Orleans Arena.
Smoothie King Center
Smoothie King Center logo.jpg
New Orleans Arena (NOLA).jpg
Former names New Orleans Arena (1999–2014)
Location 1501 Girod Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70113
Coordinates 29°56′56″N 90°4′55″W / 29.94889°N 90.08194°W / 29.94889; -90.08194Coordinates: 29°56′56″N 90°4′55″W / 29.94889°N 90.08194°W / 29.94889; -90.08194
Owner The State of Louisiana
Operator SMG
Capacity Concerts: 17,805
NBA Basketball/Hockey: 17,003[1]
College basketball/NBA playoff games: 18,500
Arena Football: 16,900
Construction
Broke ground November 30, 1995[2]
Opened October 29, 1999[8]
Construction cost $114 million
($161 million in 2014 dollars[3])
Architect Arthur Q. Davis and Partners
Billes-Manning Architects
Hewitt Washington and Associates
Project manager CS Associates[4]
Structural engineer Walter P Moore[5]
Services engineer Smith Seckman Reid, Inc.[6]
General contractor Manhattan[7]/Gibbs[5]
Tenants
New Orleans Pelicans (NBA) (2002–present)
Tulane Green Wave (Basketball) (1999-present)
New Orleans Brass (ECHL) (1999–2002)
New Orleans VooDoo (AFL) (2004-2005, 2007-2008, 2011-present)

The Smoothie King Center (originally New Orleans Arena)[9] is a multi-purpose indoor arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is located in the city's Central Business District, adjacent to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

It has been home to the New Orleans Pelicans (formerly the Hornets) of the NBA since 2002.

Since February 2004, the New Orleans VooDoo, of the Arena Football League (AFL), played their home games in the arena until the team disbanded in 2008. The VooDoo resumed play at the arena in March 2011.

Arena information[edit]

The arena was completed in 1999 at a cost of $114 million and officially opened on October 19, 1999. The arena seats 17,805 for concerts, 17,003 for Pelicans games and hockey, 18,500 for basketball,[10] and 16,900 for arena football. It has 2,800 club seats and 56 luxury suites.

The arena as a concert venue can seat 7,500 for half-stage shows, 17,221 for end-stage shows and 17,805 for a center-stage shows. For trade shows and conventions the arena features 17,000 square feet (1,600 m2) of space. The ceiling is 65 feet (20 m) to beam and roof, 70 feet (21.5 m) to the top of the arena.

History[edit]

In 1999, the arena's first tenant, the now-defunct New Orleans Brass ice hockey team of the ECHL played their first home game in the arena. The team played in the arena their last three seasons before they folded in 2002. It was caused in part by Hornets management demanding priority use of the arena upon relocating from Charlotte.

The New Orleans Hornets played their first game at the Smoothie King Center versus the Utah Jazz on October 30, 2002.

The New Orleans VooDoo, of the Arena Football League (AFL), began playing their home games in the arena starting in February 2004.

Following Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005, medical operations that had previously been housed in the Superdome were moved to the Arena. Medical personnel had been working in an area of the Superdome with poor lighting, leaking ceilings and soggy carpet. The Arena's design was tested in 1996 by CPP, a wind engineering consulting firm, so it fared far better than the Superdome during the storm and was in better condition to house sensitive medical operations. Thus, unlike the Superdome, the Arena reopened to activities only one month after the storm. On March 8, 2006 the Hornets played their first home game at the arena, since Hurricane Katrina and the start of the 2005-06 season. A sellout crowd of 17,744, watched the Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Hornets, 113–107.

In 2006, the arena installed an LED centerhung video and scoring system from Daktronics out of Brookings, South Dakota. The centerhung installation is made up of two ring displays and eight video displays, as well as scoreboards. This installation is fully integrated with the more than 875 feet of ribbon display technology that was installed in the arena in 2002.[11] In the summer of 2008, new Daktronics "see through" shot clocks were installed, replacing the existing box units.

The New Orleans VooDoo of the Arena Football League resumed play at the arena in March 2011.

In 2013, the arena underwent a significant upgrade. The 2013 renovations were primarily focused for the gameday experience inside the arena. These upgrades include updates to the Suites and Club Levels, expanding the Club Levels, Creating new Loge Boxes, and a new Party Perch. Other upgrades include upgraded concession stands, upgraded LED boards, and other in-house amenities for the teams and performers that use the arena.[12]

In 2014, the arena will have a major cosmetic upgrade to the exterior of the building including adding an overhang and creating a larger entryway into the arena.[13]

On February 5, 2014, it was announced that a 10-year agreement was reached to rename New Orleans Arena the Smoothie King Center prior to the 2014 NBA All Star Game.[14][15]

Events[edit]

Sports[edit]

Major events[edit]

Smoothie King Center hosted the 2008 NBA All-Star Game[16] and the 2014 NBA All-Star Game.

In 2011, the arena hosted the Southeast Regional of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. The arena also hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in 2007 and 2010.

The 2012 Southeastern Conference men's basketball tournament was held at the arena.

The arena hosted the 2004 Women's Final Four and 2013 Women's Final Four. It has also hosted the 2008 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament South Regionals.

The 2002 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Final Four was held at the New Orleans Arena in December 2002.

The arena hosted ArenaBowl XXI in 2007, ArenaBowl XXII in 2008 and ArenaBowl XXV in 2012.

Other events[edit]

Concerts[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Charlotte Coliseum
Home of the
New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans

2002 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
first arena
CenturyTel Center
Home of the
New Orleans VooDoo

2004 – 2005, 2007 – 2008
2011 – present
Succeeded by
last arena
current
Preceded by
Thomas & Mack Center
Toyota Center
Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

2008
2014
Succeeded by
US Airways Center
Madison Square Garden
Preceded by
Madison Square Garden
Home of the
Royal Rumble

2001
Succeeded by
Philips Arena
Preceded by
Thomas & Mack Center
US Airways Center
Host of the
ArenaBowl

ArenaBowl XXI - ArenaBowl XXII
ArenaBowl XXV
Succeeded by
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena
TBA
Preceded by


Pepsi Center
Amalie Arena
NCAA Women's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue

2013
2020
Succeeded by


Bridgestone Arena
TBD