Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center

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Coordinates: 33°45′50″N 118°11′18″W / 33.76389°N 118.18833°W / 33.76389; -118.18833

Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center
Long beach convention center.jpg
Exterior of venue showcasing the Wyland Whaling Wall
Address 300 E Ocean Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90802-4825
Location Downtown Long Beach
Owner Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau
Operator SMG
Renovated 1994, 2013
Opened 1978
Former names
Long Beach Convention Center (1978-90)
Banquet/ballroom 9,700 (Top of the Lot)
2,272 (Grand Ballroom)
1,466 (Promenade Ballroom)
700 (Seaside Ballroom)
Theatre seating
13,500 (Long Beach Arena)
4,890 (Pacific Room)
3,052 (Terrace Theater)
825 (Center Theater)
Enclosed space
 • Total space 572,387 square feet (53,176.5 m2)
 • Exhibit hall floor 224,000 square feet (20,800 m2)
 • Breakout/meeting 38,757 square feet (3,600.6 m2)
 • Ballroom 178,117 square feet (16,547.6 m2)
Website Official Website


The Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center is a convention center located in Long Beach, California. Built on the former site of the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium; the venue is composed of the Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach Arena and the Long Beach Performing Arts Center.

Venues[edit]

Long Beach Convention Center

  • Promenade Ballroom
  • Top of the Lot - an open air banquet hall, composed at the upper deck of the Terrace Parking Lot
  • Grand Ballroom - largest ballroom at the convention center

Long Beach Arena

  • Long Beach Arena - opened in 1962, connected to the original Long Beach Municipal Auditorium. The auditorium was demolished in 1975 to make way for the convention center.
  • Pacific Room - an event space within the Long Beach Arena. A flying steel truss system converts the arena floor into an intimate space for receptions and concerts. For concerts, the venue can seat 2,990-4,890. It was originally known as the "Pacific Ballroom".

Long Beach Performing Arts Center

Long Beach Arena[edit]

The Wyland Whaling Wall 33, "Planet Ocean", on the exterior of the arena

Long Beach Arena was the first building to be completed in the complex. Capacities are as follows: 11,200 for hockey, 13,609 for basketball and either 4,550, 9,200 or 13,500 for concerts, depending on the seating arrangement.

The arena has hosted various entertainment and professional and college sporting events, most notably the volleyball events of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games.[1]

For trade shows, the arena features 46,000 square feet (4300 m²) of space, with an additional 19,000 square feet (1800 m²) of space in the lobby and 29,000 square feet (2700 m²) in the concourse. Hanging from the arena's 77 foot (23 m) high ceiling is a center-hung scoreboard with four White Way "Mega Color" Animation Screens. There is an 11 by 15 foot SACO Smartvision LED Wall located on the south end of the arena.

The arena was the site of the first NHL game involving a 1967 expansion team, as the Los Angeles Kings and the Philadelphia Flyers, both expansion teams, played on October 14, 1967, the Kings won 4–2. The Kings played in Long Beach for the first half of their expansion season while The Forum was being completed.

In the 70s, the arena hosted several games of the Los Angeles Sharks, of the WHA and regular appearances of the Los Angeles Thunderbirds roller derby team. The Grateful Dead played the arena on December 15th, 1972; the first of thirteen concerts there through 1988.

In 1980-81 the arena was also home to the California Surf of the NASL for one season of indoor soccer.[2]

The arena was home to the former Long Beach Ice Dogs team, which played professional ice hockey in the IHL, WCHL and ECHL. The Ice Dogs ceased operations of the team in 2007.

The Eagles performed during a benefit concert for California Senator Alan Cranston on July 31, 1980, on what has been described as "Long Night at Wrong Beach".[3] Tempers boiled over as Glenn Frey and Don Felder spent the entire show telling each other about the beating each planned to administer backstage. "Only three more songs until I kick your ass, pal," Frey recalls Felder telling him near the end of the band's set.[4] Felder recalls Frey making a similar threat to him during "Best of My Love".[3] "We're out there singing ‘Best of My Love,’ but inside both of us are thinking, 'As soon as this is over, I'm gonna kill him'", recalled Frey.[5] The animosity purportedly developed as a result of Felder's response of "You're welcome – I guess" to Senator Cranston as he was thanking the band for doing the benefit for his reelection. A live recording of their song "Life in the Fast Lane" from this show was included on their live album, entitled Eagles Live. This marked their final live performance, as The Eagles, for 14 years, until April 25, 1994.

Iron Maiden performed four consecutive shows during their World Slavery Tour on March 14–17, 1985. The show on the 15th was recorded and released as a double live-album, entitled Live After Death.

The arena was also one of the sites of the 1986 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship Rounds of 64 and 32. The teams, which played at the arena, included Maryland, Pepperdine & UNLV. Maryland's Len Bias played his final collegiate game at the arena on March 14, 1986, in a loss to UNLV in the Round of 32. The arena was also the site of the Big West Conference men's basketball tournament from 1989-1993. It was the home court for Long Beach State's men's basketball team for several seasons in the 70's and 80's.

Run–D.M.C. performed during their Raising Hell Tour on August 17, 1986, with Whodini, LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys and The Timex Social Club as their opening act. The show made news worldwide when gang fights broke out within the audience, with 42 reported injuries during the incident.

The FIRST Robotics Competition Los Angeles Regional takes place in the Long Beach Arena. [6]

Wyland murals[edit]

Wyland's signature on Long Beach Arena.

Along the exterior wall of the drum-shaped Arena is "Planet Ocean", one of environmental artist Wyland's Whaling Walls, which was dedicated on July 9, 1992, and covers 116,000 square feet (11,000 m²). The mural depicts migratory gray whales and other aquatic life that can be found in the waters off Long Beach.

In celebration of Earth Day in 2009, Wyland touched up the existing Whaling Wall and added a large mural of the earth on the roof of the arena.[7]

Meeting rooms[edit]

There are two ballrooms: the 20,456 square foot (1900 m²) Grand Ballroom (seating up to 2,100) and the 13,200 square foot (1300 m²) Promenade Ballroom (seating up to 1,400) plus 34 meeting rooms totaling 82,823 square feet (7695 m²).

The convention center and theatre part served as host of the fencing competitions during the 1984 Summer Olympics.[1]

Recordings[edit]

The Long Beach Arena has been used to record part or all of several live concert albums and videos, including:

Singer Bruce Dickinson orders the crowd, "Scream for me Long Beach"

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Los Angeles Kings

1967
Succeeded by
The Forum