Valley View Casino Center

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Valley View Casino Center
The Sports Arena
San Diego Sports Arena.jpg
Former names San Diego International Sports Center
San Diego Sports Arena
(1970–2004; 2007–2010)
iPayOne Center
Location 3500 Sports Arena Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92110
Coordinates 32°45′19″N 117°12′44″W / 32.75528°N 117.21222°W / 32.75528; -117.21222Coordinates: 32°45′19″N 117°12′44″W / 32.75528°N 117.21222°W / 32.75528; -117.21222
Owner Arena Group 2000
Operator Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG)
Capacity Arena football: 12,000
Ice hockey: 12,920
Basketball: 14,500
Concerts: 14,800
Circus: 13,000
Mixed martial arts: 16,100
Broke ground November 18, 1965[1]
Opened November 17, 1966
Construction cost US$6.4 million
($47.2 million in 2016 dollars[2])
Architect Mark L. Faddis[3]
Structural engineer Richard Bradshaw[3]
General contractor Trepte Construction Company[3]
San Diego Gulls (WHL) (1966–74)
San Diego State Aztecs (NCAA) (1966–97)
San Diego Rockets (NBA) (1967–71)
Golden State Warriors (NBA) (1971–72, six games)
San Diego Conquistadors/Sails (ABA) (1972–75)
San Diego Mariners (WHA) (1974–77)
San Diego Friars (WTT) (1975–78)
San Diego Clippers (NBA) (1978–84)
San Diego Sockers (NASL/MISL I/CISL) (1980–96)
San Diego Friars/Buds (TT) (1981–85)
San Diego Gulls (IHL) (1990–1995)
San Diego Barracudas (RHI) (1993–96)
San Diego Gulls (WCHL/ECHL) (1995–2006)
San Diego Sockers II (WISL/MISL II) (2001–04)
San Diego Riptide (AF2) (2002–05)
San Diego Seduction (LFL) (2009–10)
San Diego Sockers (MASL) (2012–present)
San Diego Aviators (WTT) (2014)
San Diego Gulls (AHL) (2015–present)

Valley View Casino Center (formerly San Diego Sports Arena and iPayOne Center) is an indoor arena located at Sports Arena Blvd in Point Loma, San Diego, California.

The arena seats 12,000 for arena football, 12,920 for ice hockey, 14,500 for basketball and tennis, 5,450 for amphitheater concerts and stage shows, 8,900-14,800 for arena concerts, 13,000 for ice shows and the circus and 16,100 for boxing and mixed martial arts.[4]

In 2000, Amusement Business/Billboard Magazine listed the arena as the "#1" facility in the nation for venues seating 10,001 to 15,000 seats. The same magazine ranked the arena as #2 in 2002 and as the #5 facility in 2003. In 2007, the arena was ranked as the #5 facility by Billboard Magazine.[5] In 2013, U-T San Diego named the arena #3 on its list of the 50 most notable locations in San Diego sports history.[6]

Location and access[edit]

The arena is located at 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., which is slightly southwest of the interchange of Interstate 5 and Interstate 8. This places it in the Midway neighborhood, approximately 10 minutes away from San Diego International Airport by car[7] and about a mile away from the Old Town Transit Center by foot.[8]

Naming rights[edit]

The venue's original name was the San Diego International Sports Center. The name was later renamed the "San Diego Sports Arena", which it kept until 2004. In the latter year and until 2007, iPayOne, a real estate savings company based in Carlsbad, California, held the arena's naming rights. The deal was worth $2.5 million over five years.

The sign as seen from the drive-thru of the Chick-fil-A in the parking lot

On April 8, 2007, Ernie Hahn II, CEO of Arena Group 2000 which holds the leasing rights to the property, announced that AG2000 has defaulted iPayOne out of the remainder of the contract for non payment.[9] According to Hahn, iPayOne has been in and out of default in payments – mostly balloon payments – in the last year. In addition, iPayOne appears to be halting operations and is accepting no new listings. As a result, the name was changed back to the San Diego Sports Arena.

On October 12, 2010, it was announced that the arena's name had been changed to the "Valley View Casino Center", under a $1.5 million, 5-year agreement between the arena operator AEG, the San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians and the city of San Diego.[10]


The arena was built in 1966 by Robert Breitbard, a local football hero who played for Hoover High School and San Diego State, for $6.4 million.[11][12] The seating capacity could seat 13,000 hockey spectators or 13,700 for basketball games.[12]

The arena opened on November 17, 1966, when more than 11,000 pro hockey fans watched the San Diego Gulls (then a member of the Western Hockey League) win their season opener, 4–1, against the Seattle Totems.[11]

1972 GOP National Convention[edit]

In 1972, the Republican Party considered the arena for its National Convention. With little warning, however, the GOP decided to hold the convention in Miami Beach. To compensate for this blow to local prestige, then mayor Pete Wilson gave San Diego the by-name of "America's Finest City",[13] which is still the city's official moniker.[14]

Sports franchises and events[edit]

Lakers exhibition game in October 2010 with arena in basketball configuration

The most notable sporting event to take place in the arena was the 1973 Ken NortonMuhammad Ali fight in which, by split decision, San Diego local Norton won. At the San Diego Indoor Track Meet, Irish distance runner Eamonn Coghlan broke the world record for the indoor mile in 1979 and 1981. A photo of his crossing the finish line appeared around the world including the cover of Sports Illustrated. Coghlan's time for the 1981 race is still the world record for the indoor mile.[11]

It was the home of the San Diego Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1967 to 1971, the San Diego Conquistadors and San Diego Sails of the American Basketball Association from 1974 to 1976, the San Diego Mariners of the World Hockey Association from 1974 to 1977, the San Diego Friars of World Team Tennis (WTT) from 1975 to 1978, the San Diego Clippers of the NBA from 1978 to 1984, the San Diego State University Aztecs basketball teams, off and on, from 1966 to 1997, the San Diego Sockers indoor soccer team which won 10 titles in the arena, as well as other small sports franchises. The San Diego Sockers made their return to the arena in 2012 for their fourth season in the PASL-Pro from the Del Mar Arena.[15] The San Diego Aviators of WTT relocated from New York City prior to the 2014 season and began playing their home matches in the arena.[16] On December 29, 2014, the Aviators announced that the team would move its home matches to the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in nearby Carlsbad for the 2015 season.[17]

San Diego Gulls Pregame in October 2015 after renovations with arena in hockey configuration

The venue hosted the 1971 NBA All-Star Game and the 1975 NCAA men's basketball Final Four, where UCLA was victorious in John Wooden's final game.

The Boston Bruins, whose home ice was of the same dimensions, used the San Diego Gulls as a farm team in the 1960s and 1970s.

The arena also hosted UFC on Versus 2 on August 1, 2010, with former champion Jon Jones headlining the event.[18] The UFC returned on July 15, 2015 for UFC Fight Night: Mir vs. Duffee.

In 2015, the Anaheim Ducks relocated their American Hockey League affiliate to San Diego to become another iteration of the San Diego Gulls and using the Valley View Casino Center for their home games.[19]

On August 7, 2016, the arena played host to the Arena Football League's Los Angeles Kiss as they faced the Cleveland Gladiators in the first round of the AFL Playoffs. The game was moved to San Diego due to the Kiss' home arena, the Honda Center in Anaheim hosting the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus that weekend. The Kiss would lose to the Gladiators 56-52 in front of a crowd of 4,692.[20] It was the first AFL game ever to be played at the arena and the first arena football game played there since 2005, when the af2's San Diego Riptide played their home games at the arena from 2002 to 2005.

Music and entertainment[edit]

The Grateful Dead played a highly regarded show here on November 14, 1973, including noteworthy versions of 'Here Comes Sunshine,' 'The Other One,' and 'Wharf Rat.'

The Stone Poneys played a date here on Saturday, January 13, 1967 as 'Different Drum' was climbing the national Top 20.

Jimi Hendrix recorded his 13-minute jam version of "Red House" here, on May 24, 1969.

The gatefold photograph inside KISS' album, Alive II, was shot here in 1977.

The Bee Gees played to a sold-out crowd on July 5, 1979 during their Spirits Having Flown Tour.

ABBA played here during their 1979 world tour. The German heavy metal rock group The Scorpions performed there during their 1984 World Wide live tour. Dio performed during their Sacred Heart Tour on December 6, 1985. The show was recorded and later released as a live album, entitled Intermission.

Metallica performed two consecutive shows, during their Wherever We May Roam Tour, on January 13–14, 1992. The shows were recorded and later released on VHS/DVD, entitled Live Shit: Binge & Purge on November 23, 1993.

Nirvana performed during their In Utero tour on December 29, 1993.

Diana Ross was scheduled to perform during her Return to Love Tour on August 2, 2000, but the show was cancelled, due to low ticket sales.

Tina Turner was scheduled to perform during her Twenty Four Seven Tour on December 2, 2000, with Joe Cocker as her opening act, but the show was cancelled.

U2 performed at the venue for the first two shows of their Vertigo Tour on March 28 and 30th, 2005.

Eric Clapton performed at the venue on March 17, 2007 with special guests JJ Cale, Doyle Bramhall II, Derek Trucks and Robert Cray. Nine years later, Clapton released the audio recording of the show in honor of Cale who died in 2013 on the live album Live in San Diego.

Madonna played a date here on October 29, 2015, during her Rebel Heart Tour.

Muse (band) played a date here on January 7, 2016, on their Drones World Tour.

Jason Aldean will play a date here late in 2016, on his Six-String Nation Tour, with Kid Rock as his opening act.

Justin Bieber played a date here on March 29, 2016 as a part of his Purpose World Tour .

The arena has hosted several WWE events, including Vengeance (2001), which saw the unification of the WCW Championship and WWE Championship, Taboo Tuesday (2005) and One Night Stand (2008).

The 2011 version of Wrex the Halls was hosted here over two days with headliners Florence and the Machine and Blink-182 headlining respective nights. Both nights were sold out.

The exterior of the arena and its parking lot are featured in an early scene of Cameron Crowe's 2000 film, Almost Famous.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c "San Diego Stadium and Arena". Western construction. King Publications. 42 (1): 76. January 1967. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Arena rankings, quoted in San Diego Sports Arena's web site's History page [1]; Amusement Business Magazine folded in 2006 so the primary source cannot be accessed [2].
  6. ^ Maffei, John (July 6, 2013). "Sports site No. 3: San Diego Sports Arena". U-T San Diego. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  7. ^
  8. ^,+San+Diego,+CA+92110&hl=en&geocode=%3BFfvN8wEdzHsD-Q&mra=ls&dirflg=w&sll=32.754185,-117.205796&sspn=0.008752,0.014656&ie=UTF8&ll=32.753499,-117.205689&spn=0.008752,0.014656&t=h&z=16
  9. ^ "iPayOne taking no new listings". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b c San Diego Sports Arena's web site, History page
  12. ^ a b Engstrand, Iris (2005). San Diego: California's Cornerstone. Sunbelt Publications. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-932653-72-7. 
  13. ^ San Diego Historical Society website, Time Line Section
  14. ^ City of San Diego's official web page
  15. ^
  16. ^ "San Diego Aviators Secure Valley View Casino Center as Home Venue for Mylan World TeamTennis 2014 Season". World TeamTennis. February 4, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  17. ^ "San Diego Aviators Confirm 2015 Season Venue at the Prestigious Omni La Costa Resort & Spa". San Diego Aviators. December 29, 2014. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ LA KISS Eliminated From Postseason With Loss To Cleveland, LA KISS website, August 7, 2016

External links[edit]