Gila River Arena

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Coordinates: 33°31′55″N 112°15′40″W / 33.53194°N 112.26111°W / 33.53194; -112.26111

Gila River Arena
Gila River Arena logo.svg
Gila River Arena Gate 4 Entrance.jpg
Gila River Arena in 2020
Former namesGlendale Arena
(2003–2006)
Jobing.com Arena
(2006–2014)
Address9400 W Maryland Ave
LocationGlendale, Arizona
OwnerCity of Glendale
OperatorASM Global [1]
CapacityIce hockey: 17,125
Max: 19,000
Construction
Broke groundApril 3, 2002 (2002-04-03)
OpenedDecember 26, 2003 (2003-12-26)
Construction costUS$220 million[6]
($317 million in 2020 dollars[7]
ArchitectHOK Sport[2]
Project managerICON Venue Group[3]
Structural engineerMartin/Martin Consulting Engineers, Inc.
Services engineerSyska Hennessy[4]
General contractorPerini Building Company[5]
Tenants
Arizona Coyotes (NHL) (2003–present)
Arizona Sting (NLL) (2003–07)
Arizona State Sun Devils men's ice hockey (NCAA) (2015–present, some games)
Website
Venue Website

Gila River Arena (originally Glendale Arena and formerly Jobing.com Arena), home of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, is a multi-purpose entertainment arena located at Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue. The arena anchors the 223-acre, $1 billion development Westgate Entertainment District.

Located about 12.5 miles (20.1 km) northwest of downtown Phoenix, the arena was built east of Arizona Loop 101 (Agua Fria Freeway) and on the north side of West Maryland Avenue at a construction cost of $220 million. Owned by the City of Glendale and managed by ASM Global, Gila River Arena is home to the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Arizona Coyotes (since 2003) and also hosts concerts and other entertainment acts throughout the year. Gila River Arena has a seating capacity of 17,125 for hockey, 18,300 for basketball and about 19,000 for concert events. The arena has 3,075 club seats and 87 luxury suites.

Gila River Arena has hosted numerous notable concerts and events since opening in December 2003. These acts include Prince, Rod Stewart, Toby Keith, Britney Spears, U2, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, UFC 263, Rage Against the Machine, Billie Eilish, Kenny Chesney, Motley Crue, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, The Eagles, Taylor Swift, The Weekend, Harry Styles, Celine Dion, Eric Church, Justin Bieber, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, Sam Smith, Bon Jovi, Khalid, Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Mayer, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and many more.

Gila River Arena has also hosted a variety of live entertainment in recent years including UFC 263, Travis Pastrana’s Nitro Circus, WWE Smackdown, Smuckers Stars on Ice, Athleta Presents Gold Over America Tour, Street League Skateboarding, Nuclear Cowboyz, Professional Bull Riding (PBR), World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC). The arena has also hosted a number of traveling family-oriented shows including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Nickelodeon Story Time Live!, Sesame Street Live!, the Harlem Globetrotters and Cirque du Soleil.

The arena hosted UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori 2 on June 12, 2021 which was the highest grossing event in venue history hosting 17,208 guests in attendance and grossing $4,281,800 in revenue.

History[edit]

Gila River Arena before a Coyotes game; from south end, looking north

After the Phoenix Coyotes relocated from Winnipeg in 1996, they spent their first 7+ seasons playing at America West Arena. Although not an old facility – it had opened as the new home of the NBA's Phoenix Suns only four years earlier – America West Arena was primarily designed for basketball and had to be quickly retrofitted for hockey. The arena floor was barely large enough to fit an NHL regulation size hockey rink and several seats on the upper level actually hung over the boards. That obstructed the views for up to 3,000 spectators. As a result, before the team's second season in Phoenix, its hockey seating capacity was cut down from 18,000+ seats to 16,210 — then the second-smallest capacity in the NHL. After the Colorado Avalanche moved from McNichols Sports Arena into the Pepsi Center in 1999 and the Toronto Maple Leafs from Maple Leaf Gardens into the Air Canada Centre later in the same season, America West Arena was the smallest NHL venue.

When the Coyotes were sold to a partnership led by Phoenix real estate developer Steve Ellman, that group committed to build a new arena in the neighboring Phoenix suburb of Glendale. With a lease agreement signed with the City of Glendale in 2001, construction began on the new facility on April 3, 2002, and the venue was officially opened midway through the 2003–04 NHL season as Glendale Arena. The National Lacrosse League's Arizona Sting hosted the very first sporting event in the new arena, a 16–12 2004 NLL season opening victory against the Vancouver Ravens on December 26, 2003. The very next evening, the Phoenix Coyotes hosted their first game before a standing room-only crowd of 19,052 in their new home, that resulting a 3–1 loss against the Nashville Predators. Their first win in Glendale was on December 31, 2003, with a 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

Gila River Arena has hosted numerous concerts and events of note since opening in December 2003. A string of concerts in the arena’s inaugural year included performances by Prince, Rod Stewart, Toby Keith, Britney Spears, and Usher.

Between 2004 and 2013, the PBR's Built Ford Tough Series (formerly the Bud Light Cup) bull riding tour was held at Gila River Arena (except 2006 at Chase Field).

Since 2005, the arena has been the host venue for the Arizona state high school basketball, volleyball, wrestling and cheerleading tournaments in an event called "February Frenzy", resulting from a formal agreement between the City of Glendale and the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA).

Gila River Arena has hosted major acts and numerous sell-outs since opening in 2003 including U2, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, UFC 263, Rage Against the Machine, Billie Eilish, Kenny Chesney, Motley Crue, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, and Eagles. Many more A-list acts have played the venue as well, including Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Harry Styles, Celine Dion, Eric Church, Tame Impala, Justin Bieber, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, Sam Smith, Bon Jovi, Khalid, Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Mayer, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

The arena hosted UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori 2 on June 12, 2021 which was the highest grossing event in venue history hosting 17,208 guests in attendance and grossing $4,281,800 in revenue.

On August 19, 2021, the city of Glendale agreed to not renew their operating agreement for Gila River Arena after the 2021-22 season, putting the franchise's future in Arizona into question. The Coyotes announced they would be seeking to build a new venue in Tempe in response. [8]

Naming rights[edit]

Naming rights to the arena were initially held by Jobing.com — a Phoenix-based employment website — under a 10-year, $30 million contract established in October 2006.[9]

The Coyotes terminated their agreement with Jobing.com and then immediately announced a new 9-year naming rights and sponsorship deal on August 13, 2014 with Gila River Casinos — a group of tribal casinos that are controlled by the Gila River Indian Community. Now-former Coyotes President/CEO and Alternate Governor Anthony LeBlanc described the new agreement as the "most significant deal" made by the team under its new IceArizona ownership.[10] With it, the Gila River community became the first federally recognized Native American tribe to hold a naming rights deal with a venue for one of the major North American professional sports leagues.[11]

About ASM Global[edit]

ASM Global was formed in October 2019 from the merger of AEG Facilities and SMG. ASM Global is a venue management corporation that spans five continents and operates more than 300 venues globally.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Coyotes Purchased by IceArizona, Will Change Name to Arizona Coyotes After Next Season". New England Sports Network. August 5, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  2. ^ Jobing.com Arena Archived October 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine architect: Populous
  3. ^ "Jobing.com Arena". ICON Venue Group. December 26, 2003. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  4. ^ "Creating Exceptional Environments". Syska Hennessy Group, Inc. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  5. ^ "Jobing.com Arena". Ballparks.com. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  6. ^ Flannery, Pat (December 27, 2003). "Today's the Day. This Is Just the Beginning: A Milestone in West Side's Rise". The Arizona Republic. Phoenix. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  7. ^ 1634 to 1699: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy ofthe United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700-1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How much is that in real money?: a historical price index for use as a deflator of money values in the economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  8. ^ https://www.abc15.com/sports/city-of-glendale-decides-not-to-renew-operations-agreement-with-arizona-coyotes
  9. ^ "Jobing.com, Glendale Arena deal confirmed". Phoenix Business Journal. American City Business Journals. October 25, 2006. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  10. ^ "With New Naming Rights to Their Arena, Arizona Coyotes Make Economic Statement". Bleacher Report. August 13, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  11. ^ "An Arizona tribe is going to be the first to have naming rights to a professional sports arena". Washington Post. August 14, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2014.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
America West Arena
Home of the
Arizona Coyotes

2003 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent