|Former names||Springfield Civic Center
|Location||1277 Main Street
Springfield, MA 01103
|Broke ground||March 18, 1970|
|Opened||September 5, 1972|
|Owner||City of Springfield (1972–1997)
Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (1998–present)
|Construction cost||$10.3 million
($58.1 million in 2014 dollars)
$71 million (renovation)
($85.7 million in 2014 dollars)
|Architect||Catalano Architects Inc.
Sasaki Associates (renovation)
|Capacity||Center Stage: 8,000
Ice Hockey: 6,866
|Public transit access||Springfield Amtrak
|Hartford Whalers (NHL) (1978–1980)
Springfield Indians (AHL) (1972–1993)
Springfield Falcons (AHL) (1994–present)
Springfield Armor (NBDL) (2009–2014)
The MassMutual Center (formerly Springfield Civic Center) is a multi-purpose arena and convention center complex located in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts, USA in the city's Metro Center across from Court Square. The facility opened in 1972 and was at that time the largest arena in the region.
It was owned and operated by the City of Springfield and various management groups until 1997, when the city transferred ownership of the facility to the Massachusetts Legislature. Shortly after, ownership was given to the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) who in turn began working on plans to renovate and expand the facility. The two-year project, which began in 2003, included renovations to the 8,000 seat arena and the addition of a state-of-the-art convention center. Global Spectrum was chosen by the MCCA to operate the venue for 5 years in 2005 and again in 2010.
In 2005, the venue was renamed when Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company entered into a 15 year naming rights agreement for the arena and convention center. Its grand opening as the MassMutual Center occurred on September 29, 2005.
In the fall of 2003, the renovation project was publicly announced and demolition of the bank sitting next to the building, along with the facility's plaza and exhibit hall began. In the fall of 2005, the $71 million renovation project was completed. The renovation included a new arena floor with new pipelines for the ice rink and new chillers installed. Upgrades to the buildings electrical system as well as the heating and air conditioning system with a new dehumidification system were also installed. Audio and Video upgrades were made with a new four-sided center hung scoreboard with video display and a new sound system. The project also included a new seating arrangement with 6,455 permanent seats and 222 club seats. New amenities to the arena include a bar and lounge, clubroom, an executive suite, new larger restrooms, and 11 newly refurbished concession stands. The main entrance was relocated from Main Street to Falcons Way where a new box office and lobby were added. The arena was still operational during the two year project which was funded by city and state tax payers and other state funds.
The main entrance for the arena is located on Falcons Way. The arena has 3 levels:
- Event Level: Comcast Box Office, Administrative Offices, Falcons Office and Team Store.
- Concourse Level: Lower and Upper Bowl Seating, Center Grille Restaurant, Breakaway Bar & Lounge.
- Upper Level: Press Boxes, The Executive Perch.
With renovations to the existing arena, a brand new state-of-the-art convention center was added. With 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2), it is the largest convention center in Western Massachusetts. It includes two exhibition halls, which total over 40,000 sq ft (3,700 m2), 3 ballrooms that total 15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2) with back of house kitchen, 5 meeting rooms that total some 9,000 sq ft (840 m2), and 21,000 sq ft (2,000 m2) of pre-function space. Its unique design connects both the convention center and arena to add an additional 19,000 sq ft (1,800 m2) of floor space. Additionally, the pre-function space overlooks the city skyline, including a viewing area known as the glass alcove which gives panoramic views of downtown. The convention center is able to host galas, weddings, consumer and trade shows, concerts, conventions, conferences, and many other functions of various sizes.
The main entrance for the convention center is located on Main Street and Falcons Way. There are 2 levels:
- Event Level: Meeting Rooms 1–5, Exhibition Halls A & B
- Upper Level: Ballrooms A, B, and C, Glass Alcove
The arena hosted the 16th edition of the World Wrestling Federation's Saturday Night's Main Event (the first episode following Wrestlemania IV, taped on April 22, 1988, aired on April 30). It also hosted the 19th WWF In Your House pay-per-view in 1997. The center has also hosted WWE Monday Night RAW and two WWE SmackDown! shows; the first one was on October 26, 1999 aired for that Thursday and the second was on December 13, 2005 aired for that Friday. The center was also where The Mountie (Jacques Rougeau) defeated Bret "Hitman" Hart for the WWF Intercontinental Championship on January 17, 1992. He would lose the title two days later to Rowdy Roddy Piper at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York at the Royal Rumble.
The building has hosted an American Hockey League franchise, since it opened in 1972. Between the 1972–73 AHL season and 1993–94 AHL season, the building hosted the Springfield Indians franchise. Since 1994, the Center has been the home of the Springfield Falcons, the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The building, located in the "Birthplace of Basketball", has also hosted numerous NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championships, first in 1977, then from 1980–1994, and finally 2006 through 2011. The tournament moved to the Kentucky suburbs of Cincinnati in 2012 and 2013. It also hosted the first six NCAA Women's Division II Basketball Championships from 1982 to 1987.
The UMass Minutemen basketball team, under head coach and Springfield native Derek Kellogg, has used the building for a home game since 2010. In 2011, the Basketball Hall of Fame created the Holiday Showcase which feature the UMass Minutemen basketball team. Brigham Young University visited the UMass Minutemen during the 2013 showcase with a sold out crowd of 7,331.
The Springfield Armor of the NBA D-League joined the building's roster of home tenants in the fall of 2009. The franchise was purchased by the HWS Group in early 2009, and was quickly moved to Springfield for the start of the 2009-2010 season. It was affiliated with the NBA's New York Knicks, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the New Jersey Nets for two years. The New Jersey Nets, now known as the Brooklyn Nets as of 2012, became the sole affiliate of the Armor in the start of the 2011–2012 season. The Armor received their first Eastern Division Championship during the 2011–2012 season under its new head coach Bob MacKinnon. They won their final home game on March 21, 2014 in front of a sold out crowd of 7,111.
The MassMutual Center has hosted numerous events over the years ranging from professional and college sporting events, concert and comedy tours, ice skating and family shows, commencement ceremonies, and other functions both private and public.
- The National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) men's college basketball Division I ECAC New England Region Tournament organized by the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) in 1975 and 1976.
- NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championships (1980-1994, 2006-2011)
- Freestyle Motorcross 2008
- North American Grappling Association East Coast Championship (2010 and 2011)
- Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic 2010
- Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Championships (2012-2014)
- The Who - The Who By Numbers Tour 1975
- Elvis Presley in Concert 1975 and 1976
- Bob Dylan - Rolling Thunder Revue Tour 1975
- Bruce Springsteen - Darkness on the Edge Tour 1978
- KISS - Destroyer Tour 1976 and Alive/Worldwide Tour 1997
- Grateful Dead in Concert 1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1978, January and October in 1979, 1980, and 1985. The '73, '77, and '78 performances are noteworthy in Grateful Dead lore, though all are solid.
- Earth, Wind & Fire in Concert 1978
- The Jacksons - Destiny Tour 1979
- AC/DC- 'Blow Up Your Video' Tour 1988
- Aerosmith - Pump Tour 1989 and 1990 featuring Skid Row
- Nirvana in Concert 1993
- Mötley Crüe - Carnival of Sins Tour 2006
- Celtic Women - A New Journey Tour 2007
- Martina McBride - Waking Up Laughing Tour 2007
- Sugarland - CMT on Tour 2007 featuring Little Big Town and Jake Owen
- Blue Man Group - How to Be a Megastar Tour 2008
- Three Days Grace - Life Starts Now Tour 2010 featuring Chevelle and Adelitas Way
- Avenged Sevenfold - Welcome to the Family Tour 2011 featuring Three Days Grace and Bullet For My Valentine
- Wisin y Yandel - Los Vaqueros:El Regreso Tour 2011
- Wiz Khalifa in Concert 2011
- Mid-West Rock and Roll Express Tour 2013 featuring Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Ted Nugent
- Shinedown in Concert 2013 featuring Bush and Airbourne
- Pitbull in Concert 2013
- Justin Moore - Off the Beaten Path Tour 2014 featuring Josh Thompson and Randy Houser
- Jeff Dunham - Spark of Insanity Tour 2008
- Larry the Cable Guy - 2008
- Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus-various tours
- Disney on Ice-various tours
- Champions on Ice-various tours
- Harlem Globetrotters
- "Ground Broken for Civic Center". The Morning Union (Springfield, Massachusetts). March 18, 1970.
- "Airport Expansion Upsets RI". The Boston Globe. September 10, 1972. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
- "Images by Catalano, Eduardo of Springfield, Massachusetts, United States". North Carolina State University. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- "Don Vitters, AIA". Sasaki Associates. Archived from the original on July 12, 2007. Retrieved July 1, 2007.
- Freebairn, William (September 25, 2005). "MassMutual Center Downtown Springfield's Sparkling New Jewel". The Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts). p. J01.
- Beswick, Michael (December 7, 2013). "For UMass Basketball and Springfield, a Sold-Out Arena and a Very Good Day". The Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- Berry, Conor (March 26, 2014). "A Basketball Goodbye: The Armor Is Leaving Springfield for Michigan". The Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- "1975 ECAC Men's Basketball Tournaments". Varsity Pride. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- "1976 ECAC Men's Basketball Tournaments". Varsity Pride. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
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