BB&T Arena

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BB&T Arena
The Bank of Kentucky Center
BB&T Arena also referred to as "The Bank"
Former names The Bank of Kentucky Center (2008–2015)
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
($71.2 million in 2016 dollars[1])
Architect 360 Architecture
GBBN Architects
Structural engineer THP Limited Inc.[2]
General contractor Turner Construction[3]
Northern Kentucky Norse (NCAA) (2008–present)
Cincinnati Bearcats (men) (NCAA) (2017–2018)
Northern Kentucky River Monsters (UIFL/CIFL) (2011, 2014)

BB&T Arena, formerly The Bank of Kentucky Center, is a 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Highland Heights, Kentucky, that was completed in 2008.

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. A grand opening ceremony was held on September 22, 2008.

The NKU men's and women's basketball teams are the main tenants, [4] 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.[5] It was again set to host the Division II 2013 Elite Eight,[5] 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).[6] On May 10, 2011, The Bank of Kentucky Center hosted WWE live. Other artists/performers that have visited the arena 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 basketball teams play Louisville on November 8, 2008.[7]

The arena hosted the KHSAA Girls' Sweet Sixteen in high school basketball in 2016 and 2017,[8] and will host it again in 2018, with the event then moving to Rupp Arena in Lexington.[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]

In 2015, the name of the arena was changed to the BB&T Arena after BB&T Corp. bought out The Bank of Kentucky.


Beginning in spring of 2011, BB&T Arena 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 arena, so there will be an expansion team placed there, the Kentucky Monsters.

BB&T Arena also played host to the Black-n-Bluegrass Roller Girls, starting in 2012.[11] The home dates for the league in 2012 were: May 19, June 16, July 21, August 18, September 22, and October 20.

The Cincinnati Bearcats from the University of Cincinnati are scheduled to play home games at BB&T Arena during the 2017–18 season while Fifth Third Arena undergoes renovation.[12]

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.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  5. ^ a b "NCAA selects NKU as host for 2012 and 2013 Division II Elite Eight for men's basketball" (Press release). Northern Kentucky University Athletics. June 11, 2010. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Division II Elite Eight to be played at Louisville's Freedom Hall in 2013" (Press release). NCAA. August 23, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  7. ^ "NKU ticket information". Archived from the original on 2008-07-31. 
  8. ^ "Board of Control Approves Future Championship Sites, Football Alignment" (Press release). Kentucky High School Athletic Association. May 12, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Board of Control Addresses Championship Sites for Football, Girls' Basketball, Dance" (Press release). Kentucky High School Athletic Association. May 10, 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  10. ^ Hassert, Dan (2005-02-19). "Battles over taxes on several fronts". The Kentucky Post. E. W. Scripps Company. Archived from the original on 2006-02-28. 
  11. ^ Erpenbeck, Kevin (7 December 2011). "Roller derby takes over BOKC – The Northerner". The Northerner. Retrieved 13 September 2017. 
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links[edit]

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