Pershing Center

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Pershing Center
Former names Pershing Auditorium
Location 226 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, Nebraska
Coordinates 40°48′42″N 96°41′55″W / 40.81167°N 96.69861°W / 40.81167; -96.69861Coordinates: 40°48′42″N 96°41′55″W / 40.81167°N 96.69861°W / 40.81167; -96.69861
Owner City of Lincoln
Operator SMG
Capacity 4,526
Opened March 10, 1957
Closed August 7, 2014
No Coast Derby Girls (WFTDA) (1995–2014)
Lincoln Capitals (NIFL) (1999–2006)
Lincoln Haymakers (CPIFL) (2013–2014)
Website (offline)

The Pershing Center (originally known as Pershing Auditorium) was a 4,526-seat multi-purpose arena in Lincoln, Nebraska. Although still physically in place, it is no longer in use.

The arena was home to the Lincoln Capitols NIFL indoor football team Lincoln Thunder ABA basketball team and the No Coast Derby Girls Women's Flat Track Derby Association league.[1] In 2013, it was home to the Lincoln Haymakers of the Champions Professional Indoor Football League.

Pershing Center mural & front entrance

It was also a host site for the NSAA boys and girls state basketball, as well as the NSAA girls volleyball championships. It has hosted the national roller-skating championships 28 times, beginning in 1962 though the final 2014 meet, called Last Lap At Pershing.[2] It has held many events in the past, including concerts and WWE/TNA house show wrestling events. The Grateful Dead's performance, on February 26, 1973, was recorded and makes up half of their live album, entitled Dick's Picks Volume 28. The exterior and marquee of the arena are also featured in the 1981 film, This is Elvis, as it hosted one of Elvis Presley's final concerts in 1977. Phish played the arena in 1995.

Pershing Center, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

In 2008/2009, discussions began to build a new, larger arena for Lincoln due to mid-sized arenas no longer able to meet the demands of most tours. According to Pershing General Manager Tom Lorenz "the music and entertainment industry has pulled back on midlevel tours, reducing the number of shows likely to come to Pershing. Normally, Pershing has six to eight concerts annually, but this year will have three or four".[3] A subsidy to cover a budget shortfall of $150,000 was passed by the Lincoln City Council because the situation was so dire, only "10 months into the fiscal year." [2]

The Pinnacle Bank Arena in the West Haymarket is a "15,000 seat arena that is the new home to the UNL Men's and Women's basketball programs and is adaptable to a variety of floor configurations for concerts, volleyball, wrestling tournaments, rodeos, trade shows and other events. The arena features premium suites, and club seating. Nearby facilities will include a 250-room hotel, and three parking garages with built-in retail space."[4]

The final major event, a concert by Goo Goo Dolls was held at the Pershing Center August 6, 2014.[5] The last usage of the building was a roller derby match August 23, 2014 between the No Coast Derby Girls and the Kansas City Roller Warriors,[6] it was won by the Kansas City Roller Warriors. A RFP was sent out by the City of Lincoln looking for reuse plans for the Pershing Center, but none of the proposals were acceptable due to cost. Demolition may be in the building's future if an alternate use is not found.[7] The contents of the Pershing Center were auctioned off in January - February 2015 [8]

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