Time Warner Cable Arena

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Time Warner Cable Arena
The Hive, The Cable Box
TWArenalogo.jpg
TWCArena2012.JPG
Former names
  • Charlotte Bobcats Arena (2005–2008)
Location 333 East Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
Coordinates 35°13′30″N 80°50′21″W / 35.22500°N 80.83917°W / 35.22500; -80.83917Coordinates: 35°13′30″N 80°50′21″W / 35.22500°N 80.83917°W / 35.22500; -80.83917
Public transit CTC/Arena
Owner City of Charlotte
Operator Charlotte Coliseum Authority/Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Capacity

Basketball: 19,077 (expandable to 20,200)
Ice Hockey: 14,100
Pro-Wrestling: 20,200 (maximum)
Concerts:

  • End stage 180 degrees: 13,376
  • End stage 270 degrees: 15,236
  • End stage 360 degrees: 18,249
  • Center stage: 18,504
  • Theatre: 4,000–7,000
Surface Multi-surface
Construction
Broke ground July 29, 2003
Opened October 21, 2005
Construction cost $260 million
($314 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Ellerbe Becket[2]
Odell Associates, Inc.
The Freelon Group, Inc.
Project manager PC Sports[3]
General contractor Hunt/R.J. Leeper[4]
Tenants
Charlotte Hornets (NBA) (2005-present)
Charlotte Checkers (AHL) (2010–present)
Charlotte Sting (WNBA) (2006)
2008 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament
2012 Democratic National Convention

Time Warner Cable Arena (originally Charlotte Bobcats Arena and commonly The Hive, Time Warner Arena, or The Cable Box), is an entertainment and sports venue, located in center city Charlotte, North Carolina. It is owned by the city of Charlotte, and operated by the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA. It made its grand opening in October 2005 as the Charlotte Bobcats Arena, with a concert by The Rolling Stones and hosted its first Bobcats game on November 5, 2005. The arena's center-hung video screen, known as "Hornets TV", measures 16 feet by 28 feet, the largest of any indoor arena.

On April 8, 2008, the Hornets, then known as the Bobcats, announced a naming rights deal with Time Warner Cable, the area's largest cable television provider, to rename the arena. As part of the deal, the Bobcats ended a somewhat restrictive deal that kept them off satellite and regional cable television.[5] The change became effective immediately, with printed tickets for the Bobcats' April 8, 2008 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves reflecting the arena's new name and the game airing on FSN South.[6]

The arena seats 19,077 for most NBA games, but can be expanded to seat up to 20,200 for college basketball games (and presumably NBA playoff games). The arena also serves as home to the Charlotte Checkers, an ice hockey team that plays in the AHL. When the Checkers play there, capacity is reduced to 14,100 (though 4,000 of those seats have obstructed views).

On February 1, 2011, it was announced that Time Warner Cable Arena would be the venue for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, to be held in Charlotte.[7]

Sports[edit]

Charlotte Bobcats Arena logo
(2005-2007)
The arena during a game in 2005

Though the arena was built with the Bobcats/Hornets in mind, the arena hosts many types of sports and entertainment events. As North Carolina is a hotbed for college basketball, it is expected that the arena will host many NCAA basketball games. The venue hosted early-round NCAA Tournament games in 2008 and 2011, and the Charlotte 49ers have tentatively agreed to play several high-profile games there over the next several seasons. The 2008 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament and 2010 Southern Conference men's basketball tournament was played here as well. The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), the oldest historically black collegiate conference in the United States, has held its men's and women's basketball tournaments at the arena since 2006. The Southern Conference held the semifinals and finals of its 2010 men's and women's basketball championships in the arena.

In addition to the Hornets, the arena currently has one other permanent tenant. The Charlotte Checkers of the ECHL vacated historic Bojangles Coliseum to play in the new arena in the fall of 2005. When the ECHL Checkers gave way to an AHL team with the same name, the AHL team remained at the arena. The Charlotte Sting of the WNBA moved, along with the Bobcats, from the old Charlotte Coliseum to the new venue in 2005 and played for one season and then folded due to low attendance.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Pit Crew Challenge, part of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, is held on the Wednesday night of the race week at the arena, creating an indoor atmosphere so the pit competition will occur, rain or shine.

In January 2007, the Professional Bull Riders association hosted a Built Ford Tough Series event at this venue. The event was known as the "Dale Jr. PBR Clash", named after NASCAR driver and longtime PBR fan Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who teamed up with the PBR to put this event together. The PBR will visit Time Warner Cable Arena once again in the fall of 2011.[8]

Controversy[edit]

The arena in 2008, with its first logo as Time Warner Cable Arena

The arena was originally intended to host the Charlotte Hornets, the city's original NBA team. In 2001, a non-binding public referendum for an arts package, which included money to build the new uptown arena, was placed on the ballot for voters. This was done in order to demonstrate what was believed to be wide public support for construction of a new uptown venue. The arts package would have been funded with the issuance of bonds by the city.

There was opposition to the referendum, with many feeling that the city shouldn't fund a new arena at all (the Charlotte Coliseum, since demolished, was just 13 years old at the time). Mayor Pat McCrory vetoed a living wage ordinance just days before the referendum. As a result, Helping Empower Local People, a grass-roots organization supporting a living wage, launched a campaign to oppose the arena. It argued that it was immoral for the city to build a new arena when city workers didn't earn enough to make a living.[9] Many of the city's black ministers switched sides in the arena deal and urged their parishioners to oppose it. The referendum failed with 43 percent for building the arena and 57 percent opposed.

City leaders then devised a way to build a new arena in a way that didn't require voter support, but let it be known that they would not even consider building it unless the Hornets' owner George Shinn sold the team. While even the NBA acknowledged that Shinn had alienated fans, NBA officials felt such a statement would anger owners.[10] As it turned out, the NBA approved the Hornets' application to move to New Orleans. However, the league promised that the city would get a new team—what became the Bobcats—as part of the deal.

As of 2005, the total cost of the arena to Charlotte and Mecklenburg County was not known, but estimated at around $260 million. The construction was approved by the city council, which did not opt to present another referendum to the public. In early 2006, the arena was again the center of controversy as the Bobcats charged a $15,000 fee to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for graduations. The fee was eventually waived following a story in The Charlotte Observer concerning the fees.

Some schools in the area have moved graduations to Bojangles' Coliseum because of the costs.

Entertainment[edit]

The arena is used for more than just sporting events, with musical acts, family productions and many other events, such as concerts, circuses and professional wrestling.

Other events[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ "Ellerbe Becket - Time Warner Cable Arena". 
  3. ^ =Charlotte Arena - Quick Facts
  4. ^ Carolina Character
  5. ^ Cranston, Mike (April 7, 2008). "Time Warner gets naming rights for Bobcats Arena". WCNC-TV. Associated Press. Retrieved April 7, 2008. 
  6. ^ George, Jefferson; Bonnell, Rick (April 9, 2008). "Deals Widen Bobcats' TV Reach". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved April 16, 2008. 
  7. ^ Spanberg, Erik (February 1, 2011) "Charlotte to follow Denver as host city of Democratic National Convention", Denver Business Journal. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  8. ^ http://www.pbrnow.com/release/?id=6771
  9. ^ "World Class City, Third World Paycheck". Creative Loafing Charlotte – Archives. 
  10. ^ "Council willing to amend 'new owner' statement". ESPN.com. Associated Press. February 16, 2002. 

External links[edit]