CenturyLink Center Omaha

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CenturyLink Center Omaha
CenturyLink Center Omaha.jpg
The CenturyLink Center in 2012
Former names Qwest Center Omaha (2003–2011)
Location 455 North 10th Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68102
Coordinates 41°15′45.60″N 95°55′41.54″W / 41.2626667°N 95.9282056°W / 41.2626667; -95.9282056Coordinates: 41°15′45.60″N 95°55′41.54″W / 41.2626667°N 95.9282056°W / 41.2626667; -95.9282056
Owner City of Omaha
Operator Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA)
Capacity 18,975 (center-stage concerts)
18,100 (end-stage concerts)
18,320 (basketball)
17,100 (hockey)[1]
Surface Multi-surface
Broke ground March 1, 2001[2]
Opened September 24, 2003[6]
Expanded 2006
Construction cost $291 million
($373 million in 2015 dollars[3])
Architect DLR Group
Structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti[4]
Services engineer M-E Engineers, Inc.[5]
General contractor Kiewit Construction Co.[6]
Creighton Bluejays men's basketball
Omaha Mavericks men's ice hockey

CenturyLink Center is an arena and convention center facility in the North Downtown neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska. The 1.1 million ft² facility has an 18,975-seat arena, a 194,000-ft² exhibition hall and 62,000 ft² of meeting space.

The arena opened in 2003 as Qwest Center Omaha. It adopted its current name on July 15, 2011[7] as part of a $22 billion buyout of Qwest by CenturyLink (formerly CenturyTel).[8] All signage, inside and outside, was changed to conform to the new arena name; lighting was also switched (from blue to green). The transition was expected to be completed by August 1, 2011; the outside name changes were finally completed on December 20, 2011.

The arena hosts various basketball games, hockey games, professional wrestling events and concerts. Another notable event held there is the annual shareholders' meeting of Omaha-based conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, usually held on the first Saturday of the month of May.

The arena's primary tenants are the Creighton University men's basketball team and the University of Nebraska Omaha men's ice hockey team, although the hockey team plans to move to a new arena for the 2015–16 season.[9]


In 2000, Omaha voters approved a $216 million bond issue to build a new convention center and arena; the remainder of the $291 million project was provided by private organizations and individuals. The facility design was led by architectural firm DLR Group. Naming rights to the arena were purchased by Qwest.

Qwest Center Omaha opened in September 2003 with an initial seating capacity of 17,000 for concerts, 15,500 for basketball, and 14,700 for hockey. In 2006, a $5.7-million expansion of the arena increased capacity by approximately 1,500 seats.

The Qwest Center displaced the 1954 Omaha Civic Auditorium as the premier indoor arena in the city. The venerable Ak-Sar-Ben Coliseum was closed in 2002 and was demolished in 2005.

The arena hosted games in the first and second rounds of the 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, the 2010 NCAA Men's Division I Wrestling Championships, and the 2012 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. It was also home to the WWE Judgment Day 2008 pay-per-view, as well as other events from WWE.

The 2008 USA Swimming Summer Olympic Trials were hosted over eight days at the Qwest Center and on June 29, 2009 it was announced the trials would return again in 2012. The 2008 event averaged more than 12,000 spectators each night.[10]

A portion of the roof, "The Hat", was damaged by a storm on June 27, 2008. There was no structural damage, but the damage caused water to pour into parts of the Qwest Center, flowed down two sets of arena steps and onto the deck of the competition pool for the USA Swimming Summer Olympic Trials. The schedule for the trials went on as planned.[11]

In 2011 it was announced the name would be changed to CenturyLink Center Omaha. Following the name change, Lights were changed from blue to green, and new logos were also changed from Qwest Center Omaha to Century Link Center Omaha.

In 2012, Omaha's mayor announced that the Omaha Civic Auditorium would close in 2014 due to excessive maintenance costs. This eventually led to UNO deciding to build its own new arena to replace the Auditorium, as well as to provide a university-owned home for its hockey and basketball teams. The new facility, tentatively known as UNO Community Arena, is set to open in fall 2015.[9]


Attendance history[edit]

Top 10 Largest Home Crowds at CenturyLink Center Omaha, Creighton History
[citation needed]

Rank Attendance Opponent Result Date
1 18,868[12] Providence W 88-73 March 8, 2014
2 18,859 Georgetown W 76-63 January 25, 2014
3 18,797 Villanova W 101-80 February 16, 2014
4 18,742 Seton Hall W 72-71 February 23, 2014
5 18,735[13] Wichita State L 68–89 February 11, 2012
6 18,613 Wichita State W 91-79 March 2, 2013
7 18,525 Marquette W 67-49 December 31, 2013
8 18,494 Illinois State L 72-75 February 9, 2013
9 18,458 Evansville W 87-70 December 29, 2012
10 18,436[14] Bradley W 73–59 January 28, 2012

Records and milestones[edit]

On the evening of March 8, 2014, the largest crowd to attend a Creighton University basketball game occurred when 18,868 fans witnessed the Creighton men's team defeat Providence on Doug McDermott's career-high senior night performance of 45 points.[12]

On January 13, 2012, the largest crowd to ever watch a hockey game in Nebraska occurred when 16,138 fans attended the game between the University of Nebraska @ Omaha and Minnesota-Duluth.

The CenturyLink Center holds several NCAA attendance records, particularly in college volleyball. Qwest Center owns the top three NCAA tournament attendance record. The highest attendance to ever watch a volleyball match in the United States occurred when 17,340 fans watched the 2008 NCAA National Semifinal match between Penn State and Nebraska. The second highest attendance in NCAA tournament history occurred when 17,209 fans watched Nebraska defeat Stanford for the 2006 NCAA championship. For the 2008 NCAA National Championship, 14,299 people watched Penn State defeat Stanford, the third highest attendance in NCAA tournament history and just two days after the Qwest Center broke the attendance record for the semifinals.[15]

Qwest Center Omaha; view from the northwest corner.
Qwest Center Omaha
Qwest Center Omaha

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://centurylinkcenteromaha.com/Arena/ArenaInformation/Specifications.aspx
  2. ^ "Arena Plans Take Next Step". KETV.com. March 2, 2001. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  3. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  4. ^ http://s3.amazonaws.com/tt_assets/pdf/SportsEntertainmentBrochure.pdf
  5. ^ http://www.reedconstructiondata.com/building-types/arenas/nebraska/projects/1000013367/
  6. ^ a b Broughton, David (November 23, 2003). "City Finishes Qwest for New Arena". SportsBusinessDaily.com. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ Robb, Jeffrey (July 15, 2011). "Qwest Center gets new name". Omaha.com. Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ Boettcher, Ross (March 24, 2011). "New name for Qwest Center". Omaha.com. Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "UNO Community Arena". University of Nebraska Omaha. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 
  10. ^ (nd)
  11. ^ Harris, Beth (June 27, 2008). "Severe storm in Omaha damages swimming arena". USAToday.com. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Associated Press (March 8, 2014). "Creighton's Doug McDermott goes over 3,000 career points in win". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 30, 2014. 
  13. ^ Suellentrop, Paul (February 11, 2012). "WSU blasts Creighton, take control of MVC race". Kansas.com. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  14. ^ Olson, Eric (January 29, 2012). "Struggling Bradley loses 73–59 to No. 15 Creighton". Boston.com. Retrieved January 29, 2012. 
  15. ^ "2008 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship Match Notes". GoPSUSports.com. December 20, 2008. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Omaha Civic Auditorium
Home of
Omaha Mavericks Men's Hockey

2003 – 2015
Succeeded by
UNO Community Arena