Hampton Coliseum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hampton Coliseum
Hampton coliseum.jpg
Former namesHampton Roads Coliseum
Location1000 Coliseum Drive,
Hampton, Virginia, 23666
OwnerCity of Hampton
OperatorCity of Hampton
Capacity13,800 (concerts)
9,777 (basketball)
Broke groundMay 24, 1968
OpenedDecember 1, 1969
Construction cost$8.5 to $9.0 million USD
General contractorMcDevitt and Street Co.
Virginia Squires (ABA) (1970–76)
Tidewater/Virginia Wings (AHL) (1971–75)
Hampton Gulls (SHL/AHL) (1974–78)
Hampton Aces (NEHL/EHL) (1978–81)
Old Dominion Monarchs (NCAA) (part-time, 1970–95)

Hampton Coliseum is a multi-purpose arena in Hampton, Virginia. Construction began on May 24, 1968. The venue held its first event on December 1, 1969, the College of William and Mary vs. North Carolina State University in a college basketball game [1]. On January 31, 1970, the Coliseum formally opened as the first large multi-purpose arena in the Hampton Roads region and the state of Virginia (opening a year before the Norfolk Scope in Norfolk.

With a final estimated cost between $8.5 million to $9 million, the arena was designed by Odell Associates and constructed by McDevitt and Starett, both of Charlotte, North Carolina.[2] The venue capacity is configurable from 9,800 to 13,800 seats.


Hampton Coliseum was one of several former homes of the American Basketball Association Virginia Squires professional basketball franchise. The coliseum was also home to the Virginia Wings in the American Hockey League and Hampton Gulls in the Southern Hockey League and the Hampton Aces of the North Eastern Hockey League and Eastern Hockey League.

The coliseum hosted the Division I men's college basketball ECAC South Region Tournament, organized by the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), in 1980 and 1981.[3][4][5][6] The 1985 Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Tournament and the 1987, 1988, and 1989 Colonial Athletic Association Men's Basketball Tournaments were held in the coliseum. The Old Dominion Monarchs basketball team played occasional games in the coliseum from 1970 to 1995, usually one game a year, although twice the team played several games in the coliseum, in the 1979–80 and 1984-85 seasons.[7] The Hampton Coliseum is the home of the Virginia Duals annual wrestling tournament, hosting invitational college and high school matches.

After being the site of many famed Grateful Dead performances, the coliseum became popular with live music acts, especially jam bands. The Grateful Dead performed their now-famous 1989 shows at the venue. The shows were later commercially released as Formerly the Warlocks because the band was billed under the name The Warlocks.

Elvis Presley performed at the coliseum in April 1972 and again in March of 1974. Both were sold out shows.

The venue remains popular with the rock band Phish, whose multi-night stand in 1998 was released as Hampton Comes Alive as well as choosing Hampton Coliseum as the site of their 2009 reunion shows. The band has performed at the venue 21 times between 1995 and the end of 2018.[8] Owing to Phish's long association with Hampton Coliseum, the band's fans have dubbed the arena "The Mothership".[9][10]

The world's first pay-per-view live broadcast of a rock show was held at the venue on December 18, 1981, when The Rolling Stones American Tour 1981 ended with a two-night stint. Guitarist Keith Richards memorably hit a man who ran onstage with his guitar.[11]

Most recently, the heavy-hitting headlining acts Pretty Lights and Bassnectar have come together to form the two-night annual event known as BassLights. This event took over the Coliseum on the weekend after Christmas and before New Year's Eve from 2012 to 2014. The pair brought along with them major supporting acts such as Big Gigantic, Gramatik, GRiZ, and A-Trak in 2012. 2013 featured yet again Big Gigantic along with Pretty Lights Music godfather Michal Menert, Datsik (musician), and Keys N Krates. 2013 also brought along the Analog Future Band who performed both nights alongside Pretty Lights adding a fresh new take on his music performing it with live instrumentation. 2014 kept the tradition of major opening acts going strong with the return of Beats Antique who was a PrettyNectar alumni from when they played in 2011 in Alpharetta, GA, Exmag, Chromeo (dj set), and Elliot Lipp. This event sold out in record time in 2014 selling out all tickets in the first weekend they went on sale. In 2015 Bassnectar and Pretty Lights came back yet again selling tickets out in two days. The openers for the 2015 event were Marvel Years, Manic Focus, Break Science, and Son of Kick.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "History". Hampton Coliseum.org.
  3. ^ Varsity Pride: ECAC Men's Basketball Tournaments
  4. ^ Varsity Pride: 1980 ECAC Men's Basketball Tournaments
  5. ^ Varsity Pride: 1981 ECAC Men's Basketball Tournaments
  6. ^ sports-reference.com 1980-81 Independent Season Summary
  7. ^ ODU Men's Basketball 2004-05 Media Guide, p. 82.
  8. ^ "Hampton Coliseum- Phish.net". phish.net.
  9. ^ Holtzclaw, Mike. "Phish returning to Hampton for three nights in October". dailypress.com. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  10. ^ "THE RISING TIDEWATER, REVISITED". Landscape Architecture Magazine. 13 September 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Hampton Coliseum (Live 1981)". rollingstones.com. Retrieved 19 February 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°2′5.01″N 76°22′52.82″W / 37.0347250°N 76.3813389°W / 37.0347250; -76.3813389