Thomas & Mack Center

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Thomas & Mack Center
Thomas & Mack Center by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Location 4505 South Maryland Parkway
Paradise, Nevada 89119
Coordinates 36°6′18″N 115°8′39″W / 36.10500°N 115.14417°W / 36.10500; -115.14417Coordinates: 36°6′18″N 115°8′39″W / 36.10500°N 115.14417°W / 36.10500; -115.14417
Broke ground October 21, 1981[1]
Opened December 16, 1983
Renovated 1999
Owner University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Operator University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Surface Multi-surface
Construction cost $30 million
($71 million in 2014 dollars[2])
Architect John Carl Warneeke and Associates
Domingo Cambeiro Architects
Ellerbe Becket (renovation)[3]
Structural engineer John A. Martin & Associates[4]
General contractor Perini Building Company[5]
Capacity Basketball: 18,776
Arena football: 16,606
Tenants
UNLV Runnin' Rebels (1983–present)
National Finals Rodeo (1984–present)
Las Vegas Americans (MISL) (1984-1985)
Las Vegas Thunder (IHL) (1993–1998)
Las Vegas Flash (RHI) (1994)
Las Vegas Dustdevils (CISL) (1995)
Las Vegas Sting (AFL) (1995)

The Thomas & Mack Center is an arena, located on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in Paradise, Nevada (though the mailing address says Las Vegas). The gala grand opening was held on Dec. 16, 1983, featuring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Diana Ross.[6] The facility hosts numerous events, such as concerts, music festivals, conventions,and boxing cards. For ring events, the capacity is 19,522; for basketball, the capacity is 18,776.[7]

History[edit]

The facility was first opened in the summer of 1983 and underwent a major interior and exterior renovation in 1999. 2008 saw the installation of all new visual equipment, which included a 4-sided new center-hung LED widescreen scoreboard, which includes four LED advertising/scoring boards above it and a LED advertising ring below it to replace the one installed in 1995, a partial LED ring beam display covering 80% of the balcony's rim, a new 50' LED scorer's table display, a new shot clock system for the backboards, six wall-mounted locker room game clocks, two new custom scoreboards with fixed digital scoring and complete player stats and a new outdoor marquee LED video billboard.

The facility is named after two prominent Nevada bankers, E. Parry Thomas and Jerome Mack, who donated the original funds for the feasibility and land studies. In 2001, a smaller arena, Cox Pavilion, was added to the complex; the two arenas are directly connected. Cox Pavilion is used for smaller events; its main tenants are the UNLV women's basketball and volleyball programs.

Its primary tenant is the UNLV men's basketball team. The arena was nicknamed "the Shark Tank" after Jerry Tarkanian, the UNLV coach when it opened, who won a national championship in 1990 and took the team to three other Final Fours.[8] It also hosts the National Finals Rodeo annually. Since 1999, it also hosts the PBR World Finals. The facility also hosted the Las Vegas Thunder of the now defunct International Hockey League. It also hosts the Los Angeles Lakers pre-season games annually in October.

Arena Football[edit]

It was the former home of the Arena Football League's Las Vegas Sting and Las Vegas Gladiators. In 2005 and 2006, the arena hosted the Arena Football League's ArenaBowl.

ArenaBowl XIX and ArenaBowl XX were the first two ArenaBowls to be held at a neutral site arena. In the past, the games had been played at the site of the highest seed in the playoffs.

In ArenaBowl XIX in 2005, the Colorado Crush, owned by John Elway defeated the Georgia Force on a field goal on the final play of the game. The game was ranked as one of the AFL's 20 best games ever in league history. The following year, 2006, the Chicago Rush, owned by Mike Ditka defeated the Orlando Predators 69-61 for the Rush's first championship in franchise history.

Basketball[edit]

The venue hosted the 2007 NBA All-Star Game, marking the first time that this game was held in a city without a National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise. For the first time in NBA history, an on-campus college sports arena served as venue of an NBA All-Star Game. However, the arena had previously hosted home games for two NBA teams, the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers.

Utah used the arena in the mid-1980s, and was where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar broke Wilt Chamberlain's record for points in a career in 1984. The Lakers used the arena in 1992 for Game 4 of their first round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers, which Portland won 102–76. The NBA moved the game as a result of the Los Angeles riots.

The 1994-95 Big West Conference, 1997–99 Western Athletic Conference and 2000-03 Mountain West Conference men's basketball tournaments were held there as well. The Mountain West Conference basketball tournament returned in 2007 and will stay until 2013.[9]

In late 2007, CBS filmed part of the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode, "Bull", at the Thomas & Mack Center, which was hosting the PBR World Finals.

The FIBA Americas Championship 2007 was held at Thomas & Mack Center from August 22 to September 2.

Other[edit]

The gala grand opening was held on Dec. 16, 1983, featuring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Diana Ross.

The facility also hosts numerous other events, such as concerts, music festivals, conventions, boxing cards, MMA cards such as UFC 43 and Pride Fighting Championships 32 & 33 and professional wrestling shows, including WWF No Way Out 2001, WWE Vengeance 2005, and No Way Out (2008).It has then hosted 2 consecutive weeks of Monday Night RAW on June 27, 2011 and July 4, 2011 (the former featured C.M. Punk's infamous shoot promo, and the latter which had the show celebrating the United States Independence Day).

Rock band Mötley Crüe performed on March 16, 1984.

On March 30, 1984, the USA Olympic volleyball team competed in the international competition at Thomas & Mack Center.

Sir Elton John's first performance at the arena was on August 24, 1984.

Other bands such as AC/DC, Van Halen, Metallica, Kiss, and Aerosmith performed in 1986.

On November 14, 1987, comedian Eddie Murphy performed at the arena.

On September 12, 1992, Mexican boxing legend Julio César Chávez faced Hector "Macho" Camacho, and on September 15, 2012, his son Julio César Chávez, Jr. fought against Sergio Gabriel Martínez for the WBC Middleweight Belt.

On January 25, 1992, Guns N' Roses performed at the arena during their Use Your Illusion Tour. It was the largest attendance single performance concert with 17,590 fans in attendance. Later, the record was broken by U2 on November 18, 2001 when U2 sold 17,771 tickets.[10]

Pearl Jam performed at the arena on July 11, 1998.

Rock band Phish performed at the arena on October 30 and 31, 1998. During the Halloween Night performance, the band covered the The Velvet Undergound's "Loaded" album in its entirety during the second set. This performance is available on the band's official live release Live Phish Volume 16. The band returned to the arena for two shows in September 2000 and again for two more shows in February 2003.

On September 11, 2003 – Thomas & Mack Center celebrated its 20th anniversary, hosting R.E.M. in concert.

In September 2004, the World Music Awards was held at the arena, broadcast live on ABC.

The arena has hosted lectures by Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev as part of various UNLV-affiliated lecture series.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Thomas & Mack Center at Wikimedia Commons

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Izod Center
Home of the
Las Vegas Gladiators

2007
Succeeded by
Orleans Arena
Preceded by
Toyota Center
Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

2007
Succeeded by
New Orleans Arena