|This article relies on references to primary sources. (May 2009)|
|Full name||George M. Sullivan Sports Arena|
|Location||1600 Gambell Street
Anchorage, AK 99501
|Owner||Municipality of Anchorage|
|Capacity||Ice Hockey: 6,290 (seated), 6,490 (with standing room)
Concert: up to 8,751
|Surface||200' x 100' (ice hockey)|
|Broke ground||August 1981|
|Opened||February 8, 1983|
|Construction cost||$25 million
($59.2 million in 2014 dollars)
|Architect||The Luckman Partnership Inc.
Harold Wirum & Associates
|Project manager||Hanscomb Heery, Inc.|
|Services engineer||Skogland, Inc.|
|General contractor||Kissee Contractors|
|Alaska Aces (ECHL) (1995–present)
Alaska Fighting Championship (2004–present)
Alaska School Activities Association
Alaska Wild (IFL)
Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves (1983–present)
American Wrestling Association (1985)
World Eskimo Indian Olympics (2007)
WWF/WWE (irregular, 1986–present)
The George M. Sullivan Sports Arena (commonly shortened to the "Sullivan Arena" and often referred to colloquially as "The Sully") is an arena in Anchorage, Alaska. The arena opened in 1983 and has a seating capacity of 8,700 for basketball, 6,251 for hockey. It is home to the Alaska Aces ECHL ice hockey team, the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves hockey team (WCHA), the Great Alaska Shootout basketball tournament, and the Alaska Fighting Championship mixed martial arts events. In 2007 it became home to the Alaska Wild of the Indoor Football League. The Arena is often criticized for its poor acoustics and thus is rarely used for concert acts. Heavy Metal band Metallica used the Arena for their only shows in Alaska in 1989, 1992, and 1999. Country music star Taylor Swift used the Arena for, to date, her only Alaska show in 2011, part of her Speak Now World Tour. It's also used to host local high school and University of Alaska Anchorage graduation ceremonies. Sullivan Arena was also used, in 1984, as the site of Billy Graham's Alaska Crusade; Graham's Sullivan Arena attendance record still stands over 25 years later.
It is east of Mulcahy Stadium across a parking lot.
For hockey, the Sullivan Arena offers 6,251 seats with a standing room capacity of 6,451. If areas designated for wheel chairs are included, the arena can seat 6,290, plus standing room, during hockey games. The arena is known for its international-specification (Olympic-sized) ice rink (61 m × 30 m / 200 ft × 98.5 ft) instead of the more traditional NHL specifications (200 ft × 85 ft / 61 m × 25.9 m). The arena contains 32,000 square feet of floor space.
Sullivan Arena contains a 1980s-style center hung scoreboard with a black-and-white matrix screen on each side. The original scoreboard was installed in 1983 by American Sign and Indicator, and was replaced in the mid-2000s (decade) by a Daktronics scoreboard. Unlike the original AS&I scoreboard, the Daktronics scoreboard, presently in use, features a shots-on-goal indicator. Also in the mid-2000s (decade) Daktronics also installed the ProStar LED videoscreen found at the stage end of the arena. The arena's main concourse had been expanded in 1998 by 7,320 square feet.
A new arena for the Seawolves basketball team and the Great Alaska Shootout is currently being planned. Additionally, Sullivan Arena will undergo its largest improvement project in its history. As part of a $24.6 million plan to improve the adjacent sports complex, the arena and the adjacent Ben Boeke Ice Arena will undergo a combined $6.1 million renovation aimed at replacing the original ice machine at the arena, solving the venue's acoustical problems, and upgrading its scoreboards, among other improvements. The new center-hung scoreboard, with four 8-by-8-foot video screens and a wraparound LED display system, was previously installed at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California and is made by ColosseoEAS a European company specializing in stadium and arena LED and entertainment technology. But while the new scoreboard will be used for all events, including concerts, the 50,000-watt, 50-speaker center-hung sound system, also purchased from the Cow Palace, will be used for sporting events, wrestling, and other non-musical events, meaning that major concert tours will continue to rent PA systems from outside contractors whenever playing Sullivan Arena. These improvements are expected to be completed in the fall of 2014. In the second phase of renovations, projected for 2015, Mulcahy Stadium would be demolished and rebuilt to its west in order to create 400 new parking spaces.
- Lindback, John (June 30, 1981). "Interest in Bids for Sports Arena May Grow". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
- "Luckman Firm Named for Anchorage Project". Los Angeles Times. January 11, 1981. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Stabler, David (February 8, 1983). "70 More Tickets Available for Show". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Sullivan Arena concourse expansion at UnitCompany.com
- Doogan, Sean. "Game, Set, Match? After back-and-forth, Anchorage Assembly finally passes tennis deal," Alaska Dispatch, December 17, 2013
- [http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140308/new-scoreboard-will-bring-sullivan-arena-video-age Doogan, Sean. "New scoreboard will bring Sullivan Arena into the video age," Alaska Dispatch, March 8, 2014.
- Kelly, Devin. "City, boosters eye moving Mulcahy ballpark for new Sullivan Arena parking," Anchorage Daily News, December 25, 2013