Rabobank Theater and Convention Center

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Rabobank Theater & Convention Center
View of the Rabobank Theater and Convention Center's Entrance
Rabobank Theater and Convention Center Entrance
Address 1001 Truxtun Ave.
Location Bakersfield, California
Coordinates 35°22′19″N 119°00′47″W / 35.372°N 119.013°W / 35.372; -119.013
Owner City of Bakersfield
Operator SMG
Built 1960 - 1962
Opened November, 1962
Construction cost
$5.5 million
Former names
Civic Auditorium
(1962 - 1980)
Bakersfield Convention Center (1980 - 1998)
Centennial Garden & Convention Center
(1998 - 2005)
Classroom-style seating
27 - 300
Theatre seating
Enclosed space
 • Total space 88,326 sq ft (8,205.8 m2)
 • Exhibit hall floor 29,450 sq ft (2,736 m2)
 • Breakout/meeting 13 Rooms
9,649 sq ft (896.4 m2)
Website rabobankarena.com

The Rabobank Theater and Convention Center (formerly Bakersfield Civic Auditorium and Bakersfield Convention Center) is a performing arts theater and convention facilities located in Bakersfield, California (specifically in the Civic Center, Downtown).


The Civic Auditorium was originally constructed in 1962, to attract the convention trade to the city. The first show at the auditorium was the Ice Capades, which was on November 20, 1962.[1] The structure was one of Bakersfield's first buildings constructed in a definitively modern style.[2] In addition to housing the communities’ musical groups, such as the Bakersfield Symphony, it also contained a scenery loft and an orchestra pit, to facilitate Broadway musicals and ballets.[citation needed]

By 1976, Bakersfield began plans for the facilities first major expansion. The plan would include construction of a convention center, which would be intertwined with the existing theater. It would also include the construction of a hotel directly adjacent and connected to the theater. The convention center was completed in 1980, but budget problems would delay the hotel until 1993. The name was also changed to the Bakersfield Convention Center.[citation needed]

In 1998, the facility was again modified. The parking lot, located east of the facility, was removed for the construction of the 10,000-seat sports arena. The combined complex was renamed the Centennial Garden and Convention Center. Incorporated in the design of the sports complex was a connection to the exhibit hall. This unique feature allows for the convention center to be used as a staging ground or warm-up facility for events being held in the arena. The entire complex was renamed seven years later, when the city signed a 10-year agreement with Rabobank, to name the complex the Rabobank Arena, Theater and Convention Center. The deal is scheduled to expire in 2015.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bailey, Richard. Heart of the Golden Empire. Windsor Publications, Inc. Woodland Hills, California: 1984. ISBN 0-89781-065-1. Page 99.
  2. ^ Maynard, John. Bakersfield: A Centennial Portrait. Cherbo Publishing Group. Encino, California: 1997. ISBN 1-882933-20-6. Page 82-83.

External links[edit]