Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark

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Rimrock Auto Arena
RAA3.JPG
Full name Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark
Former names Montana Entertainment Trade and Recreation Arena (1975-1998)
MetraPark Arena (1999-2007)
Location 308 6th Avenue North
Billings, MT 59101-1500
Owner Yellowstone County
Operator MetraPark
Capacity 12,000
Tenants

Billings Bighorns (WHL) (1977-1982)
Billings Volcanos (CBA) (1980-1983)
Montana Magic (CHL) (1983-84)
Billings Bulls (AWHL, NAHL, NORPAC) (1993-2006; 2007-2010)
Billings RimRockers (IBA) (1998-2001)
Billings Outlaws (IFL, NIFL, UFI) (2000-2010)

Billing Rims (AAPBL) (2005)
Construction
Opened 1975
Renovated 2010-2011 (cost $27 million)
Construction cost $11 million (1975)
Website
www.metrapark.com

Rimrock Auto Arena is a multi-purpose arena in Billings, Montana, USA with capacity for an audience of 12,000.[1] The arena hosts a variety of local sporting, musical, and other events. It has also hosted professional sporting competitions. In 2005, MetraPark Arena marked its 30th anniversary. The arena was renovated in 2010 and 2011 at a cost of 27 million dollars.[2]

History[edit]

The arena after the 2010 Fathers Day Tornado

The arena was completed in 1975 and named the METRA, an acronym that stood for Montana Entertainment Trade and Recreation Arena.[3] Later the entire grounds surrounding the arena was named MetraPark, and the arena became MetraPark Arena. The naming rights were sold to Billings-based Rimrock Auto Group in 2007 and the arena now goes by the name Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark.[4] It is owned by the city of Billings, Montana and Yellowstone County. On June 20, 2010, a tornado dubbed the Father's Day Tornado hit the arena, causing major damage[5] In 2010-2011 the arena was redesigned and rebuilt. The new Rimrock Auto Arena at Metra Park has many new amenities such as improved acoustics, improved seating, more restrooms and concession areas, and easier access from the parking areas. The new arena is an energy efficient building with contemporary aesthetics. On April 10, 2011, with the outer arena still under construction, Elton John played the first concert in the new Rimrock Auto Arena since the tornado.[6][7]

Name change[edit]

On February 21, 2007, Rimrock Auto Group announced a 10-year, US $1 million naming rights deal for the arena. Beginning July 1, 2007 it became known as the Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark.[8]

Events[edit]

The new Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark

Annual[edit]

  • Montana State High School Wrestling Tournament - February
  • M.A.T.E (Montana Agri-Trade Expo) - February
  • Spring Home Improvement Show - March
  • MontanaFair - August
  • Fall Home Improvement Show - September
  • NILE Rodeo - October
  • Chase Hawks Memorial Rough Stock Rodeo - December
  • Every other year MetraPark host a Men's college basketball game between Montana State and Wyoming.

Sporting[edit]

2009 United Bowl

Metrapark has hosted pre-season NBA games on a semi-regular basis. The Arena played host to the first ever game for the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder on October 8, 2008 in a pre-season game against the Timberwolves. The Timberwolves prevailed 88-82.[9]

Metrapark is a longtime tour stop for the PBR's Built Ford Tough Series (known as the Bud Light Cup until 2003), which has visited the arena every year since 1996.

On August 1, 2004, Metrapark hosted Monster Jam Summer Heat, with Wild Bill Rivers defeating Captain's Curse in the racing finals and Grave Digger winning the freestyle event.

In the summer of 2005, Metrapark hosted tryouts for the All-American Professional Basketball League (AAPBL), a new minor basketball league. The tryouts took place from July 11–22, 2005. However, the league folded soon thereafter.

MetraPark has also played host to various WWE, WCW and UWF wrestling events including a live televised WCW Monday Nitro television show on June 19, 2000.

U.S. presidential visits[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°48′00″N 108°28′38″W / 45.800103°N 108.477201°W / 45.800103; -108.477201