The Bank of Kentucky Center

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The Bank of Kentucky Center
The Bank of Kentucky Center
The Bank of Kentucky Center
Location 500 Nunn Drive
Highland Heights, KY 41099
Owner Northern Kentucky University
Operator SMG
Capacity 9,400 (Basketball)
7-8,000 (Concerts)
Broke ground May 20, 2006
Opened May 10, 2008
Construction cost $64 million
($70.1 million in 2015 dollars[1])
Architect 360 Architecture
GBBN Architects
Structural engineer THP Limited Inc.[2]
General contractor Turner Construction[3]
Northern Kentucky Norse men's & women's basketball, women's volleyball (2008-present)
Northern Kentucky River Monsters (CIFL) (2011, 2014)
KHSAA Girls' Sweet Sixteen (2016–2017)

The Bank of Kentucky Center is a 10,000 seat multi-purpose arena in Highland Heights, Kentucky that was completed in 2008. (The definite article is part of the venue's official name; the naming rights are owned by a local bank, The Bank of Kentucky.)

The arena, on the campus of Northern Kentucky University, was topped off on June 21, 2007 and the first event held there was NKU's graduation ceremony on May 10, 2008.

The box office is open Monday through Friday from 10:00am–5:30pm.[4] A grand opening ceremony was held on September 22, 2008 from 4-8pm.

The NKU men's and women's basketball teams are the main tenants, [5] but many outside events are booked at the Center. Among the first were country music star Carrie Underwood, comedian Jeff Dunham, and the cast of the reality television show So You Think You Can Dance as well as Cirque du Soleil, and the Walking With Dinosaurs live production. It hosted the Elite Eight of the NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Tournament in 2012.[6] It was again set to host the Division II 2013 Elite Eight,[6] but the NCAA moved the event to Freedom Hall in Louisville as NKU joined Division I (the NCAA would later go further by only holding the Elite Eight and Final Four matchups in Louisville; the Division II championship game was moved to Atlanta, Georgia's Philips Arena with the Division III championship game as part of the celebration of 75 years of the men's Division I tournament, the Final Four of which was held in the Georgia Dome).[7] On May 10, 2011, The Bank of Kentucky Center hosted WWE live. Other artists/performers that have visited the "BOK Center" include Alan Jackson with Jana Kramer, Barry Manilow, Bill Engvall, Jeff Foxworthy, and Larry The Cable Guy, Blake Shelton, Bob Dylan, Dane Cook, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Martina McBride, Trace Adkins, Jay-Z, REO Speedwagon, and Styx among others.

The first basketball event at the arena saw the NKU men's and women's teams play Louisville on November 8, 2008.[8]

The Center will also host the KHSAA Girls' Sweet Sixteen in high school basketball in 2016 and 2017.[9]


The Bank of Kentucky agreed to cover 10 percent of the cost of the arena, up to $6 million, in exchange for naming rights. It will also get a luxury suite, access to premium tickets and free use of the facility rent free for one special event each year.[10]


Beginning in spring of 2011, The Bank Of Kentucky Center was home to the Northern Kentucky River Monsters of the Ultimate Indoor Football League. After the season, the River Monsters agreed to part ways with the UIFL. The UIFL still had rights to place a team in the BOKC, so there will be an expansion team placed there, the Kentucky Monsters.

The Bank of Kentucky Center will also play host to the Black-n-Bluegrass Roller Girls, starting in 2012. The home dates for the league in 2012 were: May 19, June 16, July 21, August 18, September 22, and October 20.


Due to the pre-existing roadways on the Northern Kentucky University Campus, parking and traffic have had some issues. Not following the signage can cause you to have to loop back and try again, since all the streets are divided. There is a roundabout which most people in the area are unfamiliar with, which causes a large backup. Several shows have already delayed starting on time due to the traffic situation, and solutions are in planning.

Name change[edit]

According to a report by Clayton Castle of The Northerner, The Bank of Kentucky Center will change its name as early as the 2015-16 school year to reflect the recent buyout of The Bank of Kentucky by BB&T Corporation. [11]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°01′56″N 84°27′32″W / 39.032273°N 84.458864°W / 39.032273; -84.458864