The Dome Center
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|The Dome Arena|
|Former names||The Dome Arena, the Dome Center|
|Location||Henrietta, New York|
|Owner||Monroe County Fair and Recreation Association|
|Capacity||4,700 (Dome), 3,000 (Minett Hall)|
|Acreage||25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) (Dome), 23,000-square-foot (2,100 m2) (Minett Hall)|
The Dome Center is a fair and convention complex located in Henrietta, New York, just outside the city of Rochester. It is the former site of the annual Monroe County Fair and comprises the following:
- The Dome Arena, a 4,086-seat indoor arena with 2,164 permanent seats and 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) of exhibit space. It was built in 1972 with what was at the time one of the largest self-supporting wooden roofs in the world, and was the home of the Rochester Zeniths of the Continental Basketball Association from 1979 to 1983. It is the site of concerts, trade shows, indoor sporting events, conventions and other events. The Rochester Raiders indoor football team played there in 2010. Roc City Roller Derby has played there since 2009.
The arena's trademark was the experimental green textile and rubber basketball court, which at the time was billed as the "future of basketball courts", (the "AstroTurf of basketball"). Although it was growing in popularity in Europe, the carpeted playing court never took off as a viable surface in the US, and a generation later "The Rug" remains an icon in the memories of those who recall the Dome Arena's short history as a professional sports venue.
The Dome Arena was the host to one of the most unusual games in basketball history. In January, 1979, the Rochester Zeniths were hosting the CBA All-Stars in the league's annual All-Star game. At halftime, a major blizzard knocked out power in western New York, postponing completion of the game until the following evening. Instead of merely completing the game by playing two more quarters, CBA Commissioner Jim Drucker decided that they would continue the game from the point of the blackout, but play an additional four quarters for the new fans in attendance the second night. Thus, that game would be the only game in professional basketball history to feature six complete 12-minute "quarters". The hometown Zeniths won the game, 182-168, and basketball history was made.
The Zeniths won CBA Championships in 1978–79 and 1980–81 while based out of the Dome Arena. Throughout their six-year tenure, the franchise also played occasional home games at the Rochester War Memorial (1978; '79–80; and '82–83), Community College of the Finger Lakes (1979), Monroe Community College (1980), and Saint John Fisher College (1982).
- Minett Hall, an exhibit hall with 23,000 square feet (2,100 m2) of exhibit space and capacity of up to 3,000. It is also used for banquets, trade shows, conventions and other events.
- A 4,000-seat grandstand with a half-mile clay track, used for circuses, horse shows and other outdoor events.