Tony’s Pizza Events Center
|Bi Center, Mid-America's Meeting Place|
|Former names||Salina Bicentennial Center (1979–2017)|
|Location||800 The Midway
Salina, Kansas 67401
|Owner||City of Salina|
|Opened||June 2, 1979|
|Kansas Cagerz (USBL) (1999–2007)
Salina Rattlers (IBA) (2000–2001)
Salina Bombers (CPIFL/CIF) (2013–2015)
Salina Liberty (CIF) (2016–present)
Salina Saints (ABA) (2016–present)
Tony’s Pizza Events Center, formerly the Bicentennial Center, is located in Salina, Kansas. It includes a 7,583-seat multipurpose arena, meeting rooms and Heritage Hall, an 18,000 square foot convention center. It is home of the Salina Liberty of the Champions Indoor Football league, and is nicknamed Mid-America's Meeting Place. On February 22, 2017, it was announced that the name of the Bicentennial Center would be changed to the Tony's Pizza Events Center, effective immediately.
The City of Salina is the primary owner of the center. Spectra manages the center as well as more than 100 other public assembly facilities around the world.
A variety of events are held at the events center, including concerts, family shows, sport events, trade shows, and conventions. Annual events include: Salina Invitational Basketball Tournament, Salina Home & Leisure Show, Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) 4A Wrestling, Basketball and Volleyball State Tournaments, National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Women's Division I Basketball National Championship, Mid-America Farm Expo, Shrine Circus, Tri-Rivers Fair, and commencements for Salina Area Technical College, Brown Mackie College, and USD 305.
The arena has been home to five professional sports franchises: the Kansas Cagerz of the United States Basketball League (1999–2007), the Salina Rattlers of the International Basketball Association (2000–2001), the Salina Bombers of the Champions Indoor Football league (2013–2015), the Salina Liberty, also of the CIF (2016–present), and the Salina Saints of the American Basketball Association (2016–present).
The first concert at the center was the Osmonds, on June 2, 1979. The concert sold out, and there was a crowd of 7,300.
On August 26, 1990, the rock band KISS performed at the arena as part of their Hot in the Shade Tour. During the show, the band's enormous stage set overloaded the arena's power supply causing a transformer to explode outside the building and cutting electricity inside the arena. This abruptly ended the show before the band could complete their set. A short time later, band member Paul Stanley phoned a local radio station and promised to return to Salina to make up for the shortened show. This phone call was recorded and played on the air. To date, KISS has never returned.
On February 22, 2017, the center was renamed from Salina Bicentennial Center to Tony's Pizza Event Center, described as "the largest pizza facility in the world.” A food service subsidiary of Schwan Food Company paid $1,200,000 to receive comprehensive naming rights for 15 years.
- "SALINA DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION: STAR BOND PROJECT PLAN" (PDF). salina-ks.gov. City of Salina. June 21, 2016. p. 125. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
- Curran, Julie (January 25, 1979). "Motels grow to meet expected demand created by BiCenter". The Salina Journal. Salina, Kansas. p. 25. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
- Demuth, Gary (February 22, 2015). "As Salina ages, the Bicentennial Center gets a facelift". Salina Journal. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
- Montague, Sharon (February 22, 2017). "BiCenter to be called Tony's Pizza Events Center". Salina Journal. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
- Jenkins, Nate (September 19, 1999). "20 YEARS OF SALINA BICENTENNIAL CENTER: Concerts have made center popular". Newspapers.com. Salina, Kansas. p. 5. Retrieved February 26, 2017.