Hersheypark Arena

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Hersheypark Arena
"The Old Barn"[1]
HersheyPark Arena.svg
Hersheypark arena outside1.jpg
Former names Hershey Sports Arena (1936–1972)
Location 100 West Hersheypark Drive
Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033
Coordinates 40°17′17″N 76°39′23″W / 40.28806°N 76.65639°W / 40.28806; -76.65639
Operator Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company
Capacity 7,286
Surface Ice
Construction
Built 1936
Tenants
Hershey Bears (AHL) (1936–2002)[2]
Hershey Impact (NPSL) (1988–1991)
Lebanon Valley College ice hockey (ECAC) (1998–present)
View from ice level

Hersheypark Arena (originally Hershey Sports Arena) is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, managed by Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company. The arena has a seating capacity, for hockey, of 7,286 people and in excess of 8,000, including standing room.[3]

History[edit]

When built in 1936 as the Hershey Sports Arena, the building was the largest monolithic structure in the United States in which not a single seat suffered from an obstructed view.[4] For 66 years it was the home of the Hershey Bears hockey team from 1936 to 2002. The second sport at the arena was basketball. On March 2, 1962, Philadelphia Warriors center Wilt Chamberlain recorded a record-setting 100 points in an NBA game against the New York Knicks, a record that still stands today. It hosted the PIAA basketball and wrestling championships, and it also served as the home of the Hershey Impact, a National Professional Soccer League team from 1988 to 1991. It has also hosted the Ice Capades, Disney on Ice, professional boxing, tennis competitions, and the fifth WWF In Your House pay-per-view in 1995. Previously it hosted the third ever WWF Saturday Night's Main Event on October 31, 1985 (aired November 2) with the main event being a tag-team match featuring WWF Champion Hulk Hogan teaming with André the Giant facing the team of Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy.

On October 13, 1953, the arena also hosted an extravagant birthday celebration for President Dwight D. Eisenhower whose farm and "weekend White House" was located in nearby Gettysburg. Phish performed and recorded their show, on December 1, 1995, which was later released as a live album, entitled Live Phish 12.01.95.

Bears players salute fans after final game at Hersheypark Arena

On September 22, 2012, the arena played host to its only wedding. It was held at center ice.

Roof fire[edit]

On July 5, 2012, a fire damaged the arena, which was in the midst of refurbishment.[5] At about 3:00 PM local time, the fire was upgraded to five alarms.[6] The fire burned for about two hours before being extinguished. The roof was damaged, but reported to not be in danger of collapse. The cause of the fire is still unknown.[7]

Current use[edit]

Hersheypark Arena is the home rink for the Lebanon Valley College ice hockey team. LVC competes in NCAA Division III as of 2016, and previously competed in the ACHA. In addition, the arena hosts the Hershey Junior Bears, a youth team sponsored by the Bears organization. On most weekends during the fall and winter months, the rink is open to the public for ice skating.

Annually, it hosts part of the Music in the Parks competition.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Provided photo. "'The old barn': Hersheypark Arena still draws crowds". PennLive.com. Retrieved 2017-04-25. 
  2. ^ The Hershey Bears currently use the arena as their practice facility.
  3. ^ Bruce C. Cooper. "Hershey Sports Arena: 1936-2002". Hockeyscoop.net. Retrieved 2017-04-25. 
  4. ^ Sennott, Stephen. Encyclopedia of 20th-century architecture: A-F. Volume 1 of Encyclopedia of 20th Century Architecture. Taylor & Francis, 2004. illustrated ed. ISBN 978-1-579-58433-7.
  5. ^ twitter.com/dustinhostetter. "Hersheypark Arena roof is on fire; firefighters have been battling blaze for hours". PennLive.com. Retrieved 2013-03-27. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^   Associated Press (2012-07-05). "Fire erupts at Hersheypark Arena, site of 100-point game | 6abc.com". Abclocal.go.com. Retrieved 2013-03-27. 
Hershey Bears opening night, 1937
Aerial view

External links[edit]