Sullivan Arena

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Sullivan Arena
The Sully
Full name George M. Sullivan Sports Arena
Location 1600 Gambell Street
Anchorage, AK 99501
Owner Municipality of Anchorage
Operator SMG
Capacity Ice Hockey: 6,290 (seated), 6,490 (with standing room)
Basketball: 7,987
Concert: up to 8,751
Boxing/Wrestling: 8,935
Surface 200' x 100' (ice hockey)
Broke ground August 1981
Opened February 8, 1983[4]
Construction cost $25 million[1]
($59.2 million in 2014 dollars[2])
Architect The Luckman Partnership Inc.[3]
Harold Wirum & Associates[1]
Project manager Hanscomb Heery, Inc.[1]
Services engineer Skogland, Inc.[1]
General contractor Kissee Contractors[1]
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.[1] 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.

The arena is named after former Anchorage mayor George M. Sullivan. It is owned by the Municipality of Anchorage and operated by SMG, a nationwide property management company.

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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

Coordinates: 61°12′20″N 149°52′21″W / 61.20556°N 149.87250°W / 61.20556; -149.87250


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