Stabler Arena

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Stabler Arena
Location 124 Goodman Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Owner Lehigh University
Operator Lehigh University
Capacity 6,000
Opened May 1979
Lehigh Mountain Hawks (NCAA) (1979-present)
Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (PIFL) (2011-2014)
Lehigh Valley Outlawz (GLIFL/CIFL) (2004-2008)

Stabler Arena is a 6,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Owned and operated by Lehigh University, it is located on the school's Goodman Campus. It was named for Donald B. Stabler, a 1930 Lehigh graduate who was the founder of Stabler Companies Inc. and a member of the university's Board of Trustees for over 30 years. He and his wife Dorothy were the primary donors for the facility.[1] The arena officially opened with Lehigh's Commencement Exercises on May 27, 1979. Its first public event was Holiday on Ice in November later that same year.[2]


Stabler Arena is home to the Lehigh University Mountain Hawks basketball teams, who play in college basketball's Patriot League. The conference has held portions of its men's tournament there three times. From 2011 to 2014, Stabler was also home to the Professional Indoor Football League's Lehigh Valley Steelhawks.

Stabler also has hosted ABC's Wide World of Sports and the U.S. Women's gymnastics finals.


Stabler is a regular stop for many major musical acts. Because of the arena's reputation for exceptional acoustics and lively audiences, some musical acts have kicked off their U.S. concert tours at Stabler. These include: The Cranberries, Grateful Dead, KISS, Bette Midler & The Moody Blues. The Grateful Dead played at the Stabler Arena on September 25, 1981. Nirvana has played at the Stabler Arena on November 9, 1993. Judas Priest kicked off their 1982 World Vengeance Tour at Stabler.

Music videos from Stabler[edit]

Stabler has been the site for four music videos. The video for Whitney Houston's 1987 hit "So Emotional" and two Bon Jovi songs, "Bed of Roses" and "In These Arms", include footage from the artists' respective Stabler concerts. The band Breaking Benjamin used footage of their February 11, 2007, Stabler Arena concert as their music video for "Breath".[3]

Breaking Benjamin DVD from Stabler[edit]

Breaking Benjamin's first live DVD, released with their album, Phobia, features the band's entire February 11, 2007, Stabler Arena concert.

The concert was broadcast on HDNet for the first time on March 4, 2007.

Nirvana bootleg from Stabler[edit]

Nirvana performed at Stabler on November 9, 1993, less than five months before lead singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide at his Lake Washington residence. This show has since become one of the band's most widely circulated bootleg recordings, because of its proximity to Cobain's death, representing one of Nirvana's final U.S. shows.[4]

Kiss bootleg from Stabler[edit]

On October 1, 1992, KISS kicked off their global tour at Stabler Arena, following smaller, warm-up venues in Europe and the U.S. It was the first show to use a giant, pyrotechnic mock up of the Statue of Liberty that became the tour's trademark.

KISS' 1992 Stabler show has since become one of the band's most widely circulated video bootleg recordings, because of its status as a kick-off date for the last tour the group played before their later 1996 and subsequent tours, featuring a return to their trademark make-up and a reuniting of the band's original line up.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°35′4″N 75°21′25″W / 40.58444°N 75.35694°W / 40.58444; -75.35694