Giant Center

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Giant Center
Giant Center.svg
GIANT Center. Home the Hershey Bears.jpg
Location 550 West Hersheypark Drive
Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033
Coordinates 40°17′11″N 76°40′9″W / 40.28639°N 76.66917°W / 40.28639; -76.66917Coordinates: 40°17′11″N 76°40′9″W / 40.28639°N 76.66917°W / 40.28639; -76.66917
Owner Derry Township Industrial and Commercial Development Authority
Operator Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company
Capacity 12,500 (concerts)
10,500 (hockey)
Field size 17,000 square feet (1,600 m2)
Broke ground November 8, 2000
Opened October 15, 2002
Construction cost $65 million
($85.5 million in 2016 dollars[1])
Architect Populous
Project manager Reynolds Construction Management, Inc.[2]
Structural engineer Century Engineering[3]
Services engineer Smith Seckman Reid, Inc.[4]
General contractor Hunt/Whiting-Turner[5]
Hershey Bears (AHL) (2002–present)
Harrisburg Stampede (PIFL) (2014)

Giant Center is a 10,500-seat multi-purpose arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania, a census-designated place in the Harrisburg metropolitan area. It is home to the Hershey Bears ice hockey team, the longest-existing member of the American Hockey League since 1938. Giant Center replaced the Hersheypark Arena as the Bears' home venue in 2002.

Giant Center is owned by the Derry Township Industrial and Commercial Development Authority, as much of the money for its construction was provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is operated by Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company, with the naming rights owned by the Giant-Carlisle grocery store chain based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

The GIANT Center has 7,700 seats in the Lower Level and 2,800 seats in the Upper Level. The arena also has 688 Club Seats and 40 Luxury Suites. Wheelchair and companion seating is available on all levels.


In addition to Bears games, Giant Center also hosts an annual concert series and attracts many well-known entertainers. The first performance at the arena was by Cher and has since continued to host a wide variety of popular acts, including American Idol Live! and the Harlem Globetrotters. In 2003, Giant Center held the WWE's Unforgiven.

Giant Center also hosted the Road to Victory rally for Republican Presidential candidate, John McCain, and his running mate, Sarah Palin, on October 28, 2008.[6]

WWE Raw was held at Giant Center with a three-hour Thanksgiving themed episode on November 23, 2009, and returned for a three-hour 'Old School' themed episode on November 15, 2010. WWE has also held several other Raw and WWE Friday Night SmackDown episodes here as well.

The largest crowd in Giant Center history was 11,002, which occurred on June 14, 2010, as the Bears clinched the Calder Cup Championship against the Texas Stars in Game 6 of the Calder Cup finals.

Giant Center and the city of Hershey also hosted the 2011 AHL All-Star Game and Skills Competition on January 30–31, 2011.

In 2014, it was home to the Harrisburg Stampede of the Professional Indoor Football League.

In 2015 Elizabethtown College hosted the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center.

Before the 2015/2016 Hershey Bears Hockey season, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts made a $4.7 million upgrade to the production system, a new four-sided, center-hung HD scoreboard, a new LED standings board and a new LED fascia ribbon surrounding the bowl, manufactured by Daktronics. The new scoreboard's video screens measure 13.52 feet high and 23.92 feet wide. Project was funded with all private funds from HE&R.

Photos of the arena[edit]


In 2007, the Giant Center Food and Beverage Department finalized a deal with PepsiCo, with all food and drink stands in the building switched from Coca-Cola products to Pepsi products. The switch was made to equalize operations with the rest of the Hershey Entertainment Complex.

Giant Center's concessions include traditional fast food items such as chicken tenders, hamburgers, french fries, and hot dogs, as well as various Italian items. Additional concessions available include Common Coffeehouse treats such as flavored coffee and pastries. The Smokehouse offering Smoked Pork BBQ, Burrito Bowls, Chicken and Beef Brisket. Cross Check Cafe offers made-to-order Deitz & Watson Deli Sandwiches, Soup, Salad and Daily Specials for Bears Hockey games. Most locations also offer children meals. Turkey Hill, a local company from nearby Lancaster County, provides its own brand of ice cream products. In 2014 Arooga's Wing Shack (Local Company) opened offering chicken tenders, regular and boneless wings with a variety of different sauces.

And of course, various Hershey's chocolate products are available at most of the concession stands.


  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  2. ^ "GIANT Center". Reynolds Construction Management, Inc. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  3. ^ Century Engineering "Giant Center Arena" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved September 28, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Giant Center". Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. Archived from the original on March 8, 2004. Retrieved January 27, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Special Report: What's On Deck". SportsBusiness Journal. July 30, 2001. Retrieved September 28, 2011. 
  6. ^ Conroy, Scott (October 28, 2008). "Palin Makes 11th Visit to PA". CBS News. Retrieved October 28, 2008. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Hersheypark Arena
Home of the
Hershey Bears

Succeeded by