RP Funding Center

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RP Funding Center
The Lakeland Center logo
Former names Lakeland Civic Center (November 1974–June 1994)
The Lakeland Center (June 1994–May 2017)
Location 701 West Lime Street,
Lakeland, Florida 33815
Coordinates 28°02′28″N 81°57′49″W / 28.041053°N 81.963619°W / 28.041053; -81.963619Coordinates: 28°02′28″N 81°57′49″W / 28.041053°N 81.963619°W / 28.041053; -81.963619
Owner City of Lakeland
Operator City of Lakeland
Capacity Jenkins Arena: 8,178
Youkey Theatre: 2,296, 100,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space
Opened November 1974
Tenants
Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) (1983–1984)
Lakeland Loggerheads (WHA2) (2003–2004)
Lakeland Thunderbolts (NIFL/AIFA) (2005–2007)
Florida Marine Raiders (UIFL/XLIF) (2012–2015)
Central Florida Jaguars (AIF) (2016)
Florida Tropics SC (MASL) (2016–present)
Lakeland Magic (NBA G League) (2017–present)
Florida Tarpons (AAL) (2018–)

The RP Funding Center (originally Lakeland Civic Center, and later The Lakeland Center) is a convention and entertainment complex in Lakeland, Florida, comprising a convention center, arena and theater. Currently, it is home to the Florida Tropics SC of the Major Arena Soccer League. Beginning in the fall of 2017, it will be home to the Lakeland Magic, the Orlando Magic's affiliate in the NBA G League.[1]

The logo of arena until 2017.

It was home to the Lakeland Loggerheads of the World Hockey Association 2 during the 2003–04 season, the Lakeland Thunderbolts of the National Indoor Football League and later the American Indoor Football Association from 2005 until 2007, the Lakeland Raiders of the Ultimate Indoor Football League (later to be known as the Florida Marine Raiders of X-League Indoor Football) from 2012 until 2015, and the Central Florida Jaguars of the American Indoor Football in 2016. In 2018, the Florida Tarpons of the American Arena League relocated to Lakeland to use the arena for its home games.[2]

The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the defunct North American Soccer League used the arena for indoor soccer on several occasions including three of their sixteen home games during the 1983-84 indoor season. This would also prove to be the league's final indoor campaign before suspending operations following the 1984 outdoor season.[3]

In 1975 and 1976 the arena hosted National Hockey League exhibition matches between the Minnesota North Stars and the Atlanta Flames. Atlanta won both matches by the scores of 3–2 and 5–2, respectively.[4][5] Beginning with their inaugural season (1992–93), the Tampa Bay Lightning used the center for training camp and exhibition games for several years. On September 23, 1992, hockey history was made as Manon Rhéaume became the first woman to play in an NHL exhibition game as the Tampa Bay Lightning played against the St. Louis Blues.[6]

The Grateful Dead performed at the arena on May 21, 1977. The show makes up half of the archival live album, Dick's Picks Volume 29.[citation needed]

Bon Jovi performed two back to back, sold-out shows at the arena in September 1989 as part of their New Jersey Syndicate Tour. The shows were recorded and some tracks released as B-Sides.

Performances[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]