Roanoke Civic Center

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Roanoke Civic Center
Location 710 Williamson Road Northeast
Roanoke, VA 24016
Broke ground 1969
Opened October 3, 1971
Renovated 2007 (Performing Arts Center and Special Events Center addition)
2012-16 (arena renovations)
Owner City of Roanoke
Operator Global Spectrum
Surface Multi-surface
Construction cost $14 million
($81.5 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Smithey & Boynton[2]
Frantz & Chappelear[2]
Thompson & Payne[2]
General contractor Nello L. Teer Company[3]
Capacity Basketball: 9,828
Ice Hockey: 8,642
End Stage: 10,500
Center Stage: 10,600
Eclipse: 4,276
Tenants
Virginia Tech Hokies Ice Hockey
Roanoke College Ice Hockey
Radford University ice hockey
Roanoke Valley Rebels (EHL) (1971-1973)
Roanoke Valley Rebels (SHL) (1973-1976)
Roanoke Express (ECHL) (1993-2004)
Roanoke Valley Vipers UHL (2005-2006)
Roanoke Dazzle (NBDL) (2001-2006)
Virginia Squires (ABA) (1971-1976)
Roanoke Steam (af2) (2000-2002)

Roanoke Civic Center is a 9,828-seat multi-purpose arena located in the Williamson Road neighborhood of Roanoke, Virginia. It was built in 1971. It was the former home to the Roanoke Dazzle basketball team, as well as the Roanoke Express and Roanoke Valley Vipers ice hockey teams. Currently, it is the home of the Virginia Tech, Radford University and Roanoke College men's ice hockey teams. The Arena is also the home of the annual boys basketball games between Roanoke's two city high schools, Patrick Henry High School and William Fleming High School.

History[edit]

Opened in October 1971, the Roanoke Civic Center was also the former home of the American Basketball Association (1967-1976) professional basketball franchise Virginia Squires. The Squires played there (in addition to the Norfolk Scope, Richmond Coliseum and Hampton Coliseum; all within the state of Virginia) from 1971 to 1972. The Virginia Squires used the Civic Center for only one season due to low attendance. The Squires folded four years later, in 1976. It hosted WCW Fall Brawl in 1994 and Monday Nitro on March 31, 1997. The WWE has also held multiple events including Monday Night Raw on December 1st, 1997 and May 6th, 2013. The 1977-1981 Southern Conference men's basketball tournaments were held there as well.

From 2001 to 2006, professional basketball was active again at the Roanoke Civic Center, with the National Basketball Association's D-League franchise, the Roanoke Dazzle. College basketball was also recently contested there, in the form of the Big South Conference men's basketball tournaments in 2001 and 2002. The Metro Conference men's basketball tournament was held here in 1991. When both the Dazzle and Vipers folded after the 2005-06 season, the Roanoke Civic Center was left with 60 open dates to fill for the upcoming fall and winter.[4]Eventually, nearly two-thirds of these open dates were awarded to the Virginia Tech, Radford University and Roanoke College hockey clubs, the arena's current primary tenants.

Overview[edit]

Built at the same time as the Scope and Richmond Coliseum, the Roanoke Civic Center is the area's premier sports and entertainment venue. However, the facility is showing its age on both the exterior and interior giving a look that it was built many decades ago. There are eight restrooms and six concession stands at the arena, which has a 60-foot (18 m) ceiling height and ten spotlights as well as a portable stage that is no larger than 60-by-40 feet. There are 8,372 permanent seats at the arena; the arena floor measures over 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2). The Eclipse forms the Coliseum's half-house configuration. The arena recently began a $6.2 million renovation project expected to last until 2016. The arena's heating system has been replaced, and plans call for upgrades to the arena's electrical system and to all arena entrances, as well as for all seats to be replaced.

Adjacent are a 14,396-square-foot (1,337.4 m2) exhibit hall with 10,000 square feet (930 m2) of column-free space, and a 2,440-seat theatre that can be used for concerts, Broadway shows, the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and other special events. The theatre features a 55-foot (17 m)-by-105-foot stage; 1,625 seats in the theatre are in the orchestra level, 295 in the loge and 520 in the balcony. After recent renovations, the facility became known as the Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre.

A 46,000-square-foot (4,300 m2) special events center was added to the Civic Center in 2007; it is be used for trade shows, meetings, conventions and other special events. It can hold up to 3,066 seated, 5,850 standing. The ceiling height is 32 feet.

The interior of the arena with its hockey configuration in place for a Virginia Tech Hokies ice hockey game.
Preceded by
Hampton Coliseum
Home of the
Virginia Squires

1971 – 1976
Succeeded by
last arena
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Roanoke Express

1993 – 2004
Succeeded by
last arena
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Roanoke Dazzle

2001 – 2006
Succeeded by
last arena
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Roanoke Valley Vipers

2005 – 2006
Succeeded by
last arena

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Consulting Engineer, Volume 36. Technical Publishing Company. 1971. 
  3. ^ Specifying Engineer, Volume 41. Cahners Publishing Company. 1979. 
  4. ^ Scott, Jon C. (2006). Hockey Night in Dixie: Minor Pro Hockey in the American South. Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd. p. 4. ISBN 1-894974-21-2. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°16′49″N 79°56′08″W / 37.280171°N 79.935669°W / 37.280171; -79.935669