Pensacola Bay Center

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Pensacola Bay Center
The Hangar (for hockey)
Pensacola FL civic center01.jpg
Former names Pensacola Civic Center (1985-2012)
Location 201 East Gregory Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
Broke ground 1983
Opened January 21, 1985
Owner Escambia County
Operator SMG
Surface 200' x 85' (hockey)
Construction cost $20.5 million
($45 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Lindley Renken[2]
General contractor Dyson Construction, LLC.[2]
Capacity 10,000
Tenants
Pensacola Ice Pilots (ECHL) (1996-2008)
Pensacola Flyers (EISL) (1998)
Pensacola Barracudas (AF2) (2000-2002)
Pensacola Ice Flyers (SPHL) (2009-present)

The Pensacola Bay Center (formerly Pensacola Civic Center) is an indoor arena located in Pensacola, Florida. It is owned by Escambia County and operated by SMG Management. The Bay Center has a capacity of 8,150 for hockey games, and as much as 10,000 for non-hockey events. The arena contains 23,000 square feet (2,100 m2) of space and 10,000 square feet (1,000 m2) of meeting space.

The Escambia County Commission voted to rename the arena the Pensacola Bay Center on October 18, 2012 as part of a city-wide rebranding effort begun by Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward.[3][4]

Sporting events[edit]

The Civic Center opened in January 1985[5] and was used primarily as the home of the Pensacola Ice Pilots hockey team until the team's exit from the ECHL on June 23, 2008. Hockey returned to the Civic Center, however, in fall 2009 when the Pensacola Ice Flyers of the Southern Professional Hockey League began play. Other minor professional teams have used the Civic Center as its home. From 2000 to 2002, the Pensacola Barracudas played in the af2. In 1998, the Pensacola Flyers of the Eastern Indoor Soccer League played for one season. Various sporting events have taken place at PBC, including wrestling and rodeos. It has also been the multiple-time home of the U.S. Roller Skating National Championships.

Concerts[edit]

On February 27, 1990, Janet Jackson opened her Rhythm Nation World Tour in Pensacola. The tour's dress rehearsal at the Pensacola Civic Center Tickets Issued 7.600 to the public as a benefit to local charity, Which sold out in less than an hour.

KISS was the first band to perform at the arena, and continues to make Pensacola a destination on its North American tours.

Perhaps the biggest concert ever at the Pensacola Bay Center never took place. Michael Jackson used the venue to rehearse for his Bad World Tour for nearly a month in 1988, but did not perform a public concert at the venue.

Many other large touring acts, including AC/DC, Page & Plant, David Bowie, Rush & Van Halen have used the arena for pre-tour rehearsals in the past, thanks to the venue's relatively inexpensive rental rates and availability for extended occupation.

On March 9, 1994, the Pensacola Civic Center hosted the largest Rock for Choice concert in history, which was organized by the band L7 and headlined by Pearl Jam.[6]

In March 2000, Britney Spears kicked off her Crazy 2K Tour.

In February 2012, Jeff Dunham appeared performing "Uncontrolled Chaos".

The largest attendance for a concert was over 12,000 for AC/DC in 1988 and Bon Jovi in 1989.

Springfest, an annual music event in downtown Pensacola, used the arena in its final years.

Lynyrd Skynyrd has also performed there and the arena also featured moderately in the music video for "What's Your Name" (with Johnny Van Zant and a newly reformed Lynyrd Skynyrd performing a live concert as part of the music video)

Politics[edit]

The Pensacola Civic Center has also had various guest speakers, including President George W. Bush in 2006. During the 2008 Presidential race, both Sarah Palin and Michelle Obama used the venue for political rallies as the November election drew close. Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney visited the venue for a campaign rally on November 3, 2012 as part of his final push in the 2012 campaign

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 30°24′59″N 87°12′34″W / 30.416485°N 87.209372°W / 30.416485; -87.209372