Pensacola Bay Center

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Pensacola Bay Center
The Hangar (for hockey)
Former names Pensacola Civic Center (1985-2012)
Location 201 East Gregory Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
Owner Escambia County
Operator SMG
Capacity 10,000 (8,150 for hockey)
Surface 200' x 85' (hockey)
Broke ground 1983
Opened January 21, 1985
Construction cost $20.5 million
($45.6 million in 2016 dollars[1])
Architect Lindley Renken[2]
General contractor Dyson Construction, LLC.[2]
Pensacola Tornados (CBA) (1985–1991)
Pensacola Ice Pilots (ECHL) (1996–2008)
Pensacola Flyers (EISL) (1998)
Pensacola Barracudas (AF2) (2000–2002)
Pensacola Ice Flyers (SPHL) (2009–present)

Pensacola Bay Center (formerly Pensacola Civic Center) is an indoor arena located in Pensacola, Florida. It is owned by Escambia County and operated by SMG Management. The Bay Center has a capacity of 8,150 for hockey games, and as much as 10,000 for non-hockey events. The arena contains 23,000 square feet (2,100 m2) of space and 10,000 square feet (1,000 m2) of meeting space.

The Escambia County Commission voted to rename the arena the Pensacola Bay Center on October 18, 2012 as part of a citywide rebranding effort begun by Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward.[3][4]

Sporting events[edit]

The Bay Center opened in January 1985.[5] Beginning in the fall of 1996, it was used primarily as the home of the Pensacola Ice Pilots hockey team until the team's exit from the ECHL on June 23, 2008. Hockey returned to the Civic Center, however, in fall 2009 when the Pensacola Ice Flyers of the Southern Professional Hockey League began play. Other minor professional teams have used the Civic Center as its home. From 2000 to 2002, the Pensacola Barracudas played in the af2.The Pensacola Tornados of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA)played at the Civic Center from 1985-1991. In 1998, the Pensacola Flyers of the Eastern Indoor Soccer League played for one season. Various sporting events have taken place at PBC, including wrestling and rodeos. It has also been the multiple-time home of the U.S. Roller Skating National Championships.


On February 27, 1990, Janet Jackson opened her Rhythm Nation World Tour in Pensacola. The tour's dress rehearsal at the Pensacola Civic Center Tickets Issued 7.600 to the public as a benefit to local charity, Which sold out in less than an hour.

KISS was the first band to perform at the arena, and continues to make Pensacola a destination on its North American tours.

Perhaps the biggest concert ever at the Pensacola Bay Center never took place. Michael Jackson used the venue to rehearse for his Bad World Tour for nearly a month in 1988, but did not perform a public concert at the venue.

On 4/9/91 Yes played the first show on their Union tour at The Pensacola Bay Center. This is notable because it was the first show Yes played with the 8 man line up of Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Alan White, Bill Bruford, Trevor Rabin and Tony Kaye, which was just recently elected to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

Many other large touring acts, including AC/DC, Page & Plant, David Bowie, Rush & Van Halen have used the arena for pre-tour rehearsals in the past, thanks to the venue's relatively inexpensive rental rates and availability for extended occupation. (Rush performed there on February 25, 1992 as part of their Roll the Bones Tour.)

On March 9, 1994, the Pensacola Bay Center hosted the largest Rock for Choice concert in history, which was organized by the band L7 and headlined by Pearl Jam.[6]

In March 2000, Britney Spears kicked off her Crazy 2K Tour.

In February 2012, Jeff Dunham appeared performing "Uncontrolled Chaos".

In 2014, Ariana Grande brought her Honeymoon Tour to the Pensacola Bay Center.

The largest attendance for a concert was over 12,000 for AC/DC in 1988 and Bon Jovi in 1989.

Springfest, an annual music event in downtown Pensacola, used the arena in its final years.

Lynyrd Skynyrd has also performed there and the arena also featured moderately in the music video for "What's Your Name" (with Johnny Van Zant and a newly reformed Lynyrd Skynyrd performing a live concert as part of the music video)


The Pensacola Bay Center has also had various guest speakers, including President George W. Bush in 2006. During the 2008 Presidential race, both Sarah Palin and Michelle Obama used the venue for political rallies as the November election drew close. Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney visited the venue for a campaign rally on November 3, 2012 as part of his final push in the United States presidential election Republican candidate Donald Trump visited on January 13, 2016, during the Republican primary. Trump also visited again on September 9, during his presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton.[citation needed]

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 30°24′59″N 87°12′34″W / 30.416485°N 87.209372°W / 30.416485; -87.209372