Thomas & Mack Center

Coordinates: 36°6′18″N 115°8′39″W / 36.10500°N 115.14417°W / 36.10500; -115.14417
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Thomas & Mack Center
The Shark Tank
Thomas & Mack Center, October 19, 2011
Thomas & Mack Center is located in Nevada
Thomas & Mack Center
Thomas & Mack Center
Location in Nevada
Thomas & Mack Center is located in the United States
Thomas & Mack Center
Thomas & Mack Center
Location in the United States
Address4505 S. Maryland Parkway
LocationParadise, Nevada
Coordinates36°6′18″N 115°8′39″W / 36.10500°N 115.14417°W / 36.10500; -115.14417
OwnerUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas
OperatorUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas
CapacityBasketball: 17,923
Boxing: 18,645
Arena football: 16,606
*End stage 180°: 14,729
*End stage 270°: 15,736
*End stage 360°: 18,069
*Center stage: 18,574
*Theatre: 9,413[1]
Broke groundOctober 21, 1981; 42 years ago (1981-10-21)[2]
OpenedDecember 16, 1983; 40 years ago (1983-12-16)
Construction cost$30 million
ArchitectW2C Architects, John Carl Warnecke and Associates and
Cambeiro & Cambeiro Ltd. (Artturo Cambeiro, AIA and Domingo Cambeiro)
Ellerbe Becket (renovation)[3]
Structural engineerJohn A. Martin & Associates[4]
General contractorPerini Building Company[5]
UNLV Runnin' Rebels (NCAA) (1983–present)
UNLV Lady Rebels (NCAA) (1983–2001)
Las Vegas Americans (MISL) (1984–1985)
Las Vegas Silver Streaks (WBL) (1988–1990)
Las Vegas Thunder (IHL) (1993–1999)
Las Vegas Flash (RHI) (1994)
Las Vegas Dustdevils (CISL) (1995)
Las Vegas Sting (AFL) (1995)
Las Vegas Silver Bandits (IBL) (1999–2001)
Las Vegas Gladiators (AFL) (2003–2006)
Las Vegas Sin (LFL) (2014)
Las Vegas Outlaws (AFL) (2015)
NBA Summer League (2004–present)

The Thomas & Mack Center is a multi-purpose arena located on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Paradise, Nevada. It is home of the UNLV Runnin' Rebels basketball team of the Mountain West Conference.


The facility first opened in the summer of 1983. The gala grand opening was held on December 16, 1983, featuring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Diana Ross.[6] The facility hosts numerous events, such as concerts, music festivals, conventions and boxing cards. For ring events, the capacity is 19,522; for basketball, the capacity is 18,000.[6] The facility is named after two prominent Nevada bankers, E. Parry Thomas and Jerome D. Mack, who donated the original funds for the feasibility and land studies.

The arena underwent a major interior and exterior renovation in 1999. 2008 saw the installation of all new visual equipment, which included a 4-sided new center-hung LED widescreen scoreboard, which includes four LED advertising/scoring boards above it and a LED advertising ring below it to replace the one installed in 1995, a partial LED ring beam display covering 80% of the balcony's rim, a new 50' LED scorer's table display, a new shot clock system for the backboards, six wall-mounted locker room game clocks, two new custom scoreboards with fixed digital scoring and complete player stats and a new outdoor marquee LED video billboard.

In 2001, a smaller arena, Cox Pavilion, was added to the complex; the two arenas are directly connected. Cox Pavilion is used for smaller events; its main tenants are the UNLV women's basketball and volleyball programs.

The center's primary tenant is the UNLV men's basketball team since 1983. The arena was nicknamed "the Shark Tank" after UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian, whose nickname was Tark the Shark. He won a national championship in 1990 and took the team to three additional Final Fours (four Final Fours overall).[7] The arena ranked 4th highest in college basketball attendance during the 2012-2013 season.

The facility also hosted the Las Vegas Thunder of the now defunct International Hockey League. It was also hosted the Las Vegas Flash of the RHI in the 1993-94 season pre-season games annually in October through 2013. In 2014 and 2015 their games were played at MGM Grand, and from 2016 onward at T-Mobile Arena.

Arena Football[edit]

It was the former home of the Arena Football League's Las Vegas Sting, Las Vegas Gladiators, and Las Vegas Outlaws. In 2005 and 2006, the arena hosted the Arena Football League's ArenaBowl.

ArenaBowl XIX and ArenaBowl XX were the first two ArenaBowls to be held at a neutral site arena. In the past, the games had been played at the site of the highest seed in the playoffs.

In ArenaBowl XIX in 2005, the Colorado Crush, owned by John Elway defeated the Georgia Force on a field goal on the final play of the game. The game was ranked as one of the AFL's 20 best games ever in league history. The following year, 2006, the Chicago Rush, owned by Mike Ditka defeated the Orlando Predators 69-61 for the Rush's first championship in franchise history.



The venue hosted the 2007 NBA All-Star Game, marking the first time that this game was held in a city without a National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise. For the first time in NBA history, an on-campus college sports arena served as venue of an NBA All-Star Game. However, the arena had previously hosted home games for two NBA teams, the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Utah Jazz used the arena in the mid-1980s, and it was where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar broke Wilt Chamberlain's record for points in a career in 1984. After the Rodney King riots, the Lakers used the arena in 1992 for Game 4 of their first round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers, which Portland won 102–76. The NBA moved the game as a result of the Los Angeles riots.

Date Winner Score Loser Game type Attendance
November 23, 1983 Chicago Bulls 128–117 Utah Jazz Regular season 13,176
November 29, 1983 Utah Jazz 114–110 Phoenix Suns Regular season 7,143
December 9, 1983 San Antonio Spurs 126–117 Utah Jazz Regular season 7,258
January 4, 1984 Utah Jazz 116–111 Houston Rockets Regular season 8,190
January 24, 1984 Dallas Mavericks 123–115 Utah Jazz Regular season 7,752
January 31, 1984 Utah Jazz 98–94 Seattle SuperSonics Regular season 7,148
February 7, 1984 San Diego Clippers 109–103 Utah Jazz Regular season 7,015
March 13, 1984 Utah Jazz 124–119 Portland Trail Blazers Regular season
March 23, 1984 Golden State Warriors 115–104 Utah Jazz Regular season 6,241
April 5, 1984 Los Angeles Lakers 129–115 Utah Jazz Regular season 18,389
April 10, 1984 Utah Jazz 135–120 Denver Nuggets Regular season 7,357
November 2, 1984 Utah Jazz 107–101 Seattle SuperSonics Regular season 3,955
December 9, 1984 Utah Jazz 123–120 Kansas City Kings Regular season 4,070
May 3, 1992 Portland Trail Blazers 102–76 Los Angeles Lakers Playoffs 15,478
February 18, 2007 Western 153–132 Eastern 2007 NBA All–Star Game 15,694


The 1994-95 Big West Conference, 1997–99 Western Athletic Conference and 2000-03 Mountain West Conference men's basketball tournaments were held there as well. The Mountain West Conference men's and women's basketball tournaments have both been played annually at the arena since 2007.[8]


The FIBA Americas Championship 2007 was held at Thomas & Mack Center from August 22 to September 2.

Date Opponent Score Home Attendance
August 22, 2007 Uruguay  88-44 (OT)  Panama -
Puerto Rico  89-100  Mexico -
Brazil  75-67  Canada -
Venezuela  69-112  United States -
August 23, 2007 Argentina  90-69  Uruguay -
Panama  67-108  Puerto Rico -
Venezuela  73–80  Canada -
Virgin Islands  59–123  United States -
August 24, 2007 Panama  75–87  Argentina -
Uruguay  82–79  Puerto Rico -
Virgin Islands  83–93  Canada -
Brazil  101–75  Venezuela -
August 25, 2007 Uruguay  82–79  Puerto Rico -
Argentina  104–83  Mexico -
Canada  63-113  United States -
Virgin Islands  89–93  Brazil -
August 26, 2007 Uruguay  91-82  Mexico -
Panama  92–109 (OT)  Argentina -
Venezuela  100–90  Virgin Islands -
Brazil  76–113  United States -
August 27, 2007 Uruguay  88–95  Canada -
Argentina  98–63  Venezuela -
Brazil  75–97  Puerto Rico -
Mexico  100-127  United States -
August 28, 2007 Venezuela  89–79  Uruguay -
Argentina  85-70  Canada -
Brazil  104-90  Mexico -
Puerto Rico  78–117  United States -
August 29, 2007 Mexico  80-97  Canada -
Venezuela  63–92  Puerto Rico -
Argentina  86–79  Brazil -
Uruguay  79–118  United States -
August 30, 2007 Mexico  101–91  Venezuela -
Brazil  96–62  Uruguay -
Puerto Rico  72–66  Canada -
Argentina  76-91  United States -
September 1, 2007 Argentina  91–80  Brazil -
 Puerto Rico 91-135  United States -
September 2, 2007 Brazil  107–111  Puerto Rico -
Argentina  81–118  United States -


In late 2007, CBS filmed part of the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode, "Bull", at the Thomas & Mack Center, which was hosting the PBR World Finals.
Since 1985, the Thomas & Mack Center has hosted the National Finals Rodeo annually each December.[9] It also hosted the PBR World Finals from 1999 to 2015 before the event moved to the new T-Mobile Arena from the 2016 season onward;[10] the PBR returned in 2018 to host their annual "Last Cowboy Standing" event.[11] As a surprise during the 2018 PBR World Finals in November, CEO Sean Gleason announced that the PBR Last Cowboy Standing event would be hosted at Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming starting in 2019. This move to the world's largest outdoor rodeo expanded on a growing partnership.[12][13]

Martial arts[edit]

The venue hosted multiple professional boxing fights, including:

The venue also hosted mixed martial arts events such as UFC 43 in 2003, Pride 32 in 2006 and Pride 33 in 2007.

Other sports events[edit]

On March 30, 1984, the USA Volleyball Olympic team competed in the international competition at Thomas & Mack Center.

Numerous WWE PPV events have been held at the Thomas and Mack Center including No Way Out (2001), Vengeance (2005), No Way Out (2008), , and the finals of the all women's Mae Young Classic (2017) tournament, as well as episodes of WWE Raw, WWE SmackDown, WWE ECW, WWE Heat, WWE Velocity, WWE Superstars, WWE NXT, WWE Main Event and WWE Superstars of Wrestling.

Other events[edit]

The facility also hosts numerous other events, such as concerts, music festivals and conventions.

The gala grand opening was held on December 16, 1983, featuring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Diana Ross. Rock band Mötley Crüe performed on March 16, 1984.

Sir Elton John's first performance at the arena was on August 24, 1984.

Other bands such as AC/DC, Van Halen, Metallica, Kiss, and Aerosmith performed in 1986.

On November 14, 1987, comedian Eddie Murphy performed at the arena.

On January 25, 1992, Guns N' Roses performed at the arena during their Use Your Illusion Tour. It was the largest attendance single performance concert with 17,590 fans in attendance. Later, the record was broken by U2 on November 18, 2001 when U2 sold 17,771 tickets.[14]

Pearl Jam performed at the arena on July 11, 1998.

Rock band Phish performed at the arena 10 times. The first time on November 13, 1997 as their Fall tour opener. They also played on October 30 and 31, 1998. During the Halloween Night performance, the band covered The Velvet Underground's "Loaded" album in its entirety during the second set. This performance is available on the band's official live release Live Phish Volume 16. The band returned to the arena for two shows in September 2000 on the 29th and 30th and again for two more shows in February 2003 on the 15th and 16th. They also played three shows in 2004 on April 15, 16 and 17th.

On September 11, 2003, Thomas & Mack Center celebrated its 20th anniversary, hosting R.E.M. in concert.

In September 2004, the World Music Awards was held at the arena, broadcast live on ABC.

On January 28, 2007, High School Musical: The Concert performed with over 10,000 people attending.

The arena has hosted lectures by Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev as part of various UNLV-affiliated lecture series.

On October 19, 2016, the arena hosted the final Presidential Debate for the 2016 presidential election.[15]

On June 15, 2022 Dave Matthews Band performed for the culmination of the 2022 Cisco Live! conference. [16]

On July 22-24, 2022, Monster Jam made its debut at the arena. This marked the show's first trip to Las Vegas since the 2019 All-Star Challenge at Sam Boyd Stadium. Monster Jam returned the following year.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Thomas & Mack Center" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Timelines - University Building Completions". Archived from the original on 2013-04-09.
  3. ^ "University of Nevada - Las Vegas, Sports Renovations & Improvements". Ellerbe Becket. Archived from the original on 2012-07-30.
  4. ^ "John A. Martin & Associates". Archived from the original on 2010-09-23.
  5. ^ "Richard Rizzo Vice Chairman of Perini Building Co". Las Vegas Sun. June 28, 2007. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "UNLVREBELS.COM - University of Nevada Las Vegas Official Athletic Site".
  7. ^ Rhoden, William C. (1991-07-01). "Built on Big-Time Basketball, U.N.L.V. Tries to Scrub Its Image". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-04-06.
  8. ^ Murray, Chris (2023-09-26). "The MW basketball tournament will be held at Thomas & Mack in 2024. What about the future?". Nevada Sports Net. Retrieved 2024-03-29.
  9. ^ "Thomas & Mack Center Extends Rodeo Contract". VenuesNow. August 11, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  10. ^ "Looking Back At The Thomas & Mack". Professional Bull Riders. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  11. ^ "PBR and WCRA join forces to produce major rodeos". Professional Bull Riders.
  12. ^ "PBR Last Cowboy Standing to be held at Cheyenne Frontier Days in 2019". Professional Bull Riders. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  13. ^ "PBR Last Cowboy Standing - Cheyenne Frontier Days". Professional Bull Riders. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  14. ^ Center, Thomas & Mack. "Thomas & Mack Center" (PDF).
  15. ^ "2016 Presidential Debate Home - 2016 Presidential Debate - University of Nevada, Las Vegas". 18 October 2016.
  16. ^ [bare URL]

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by Home of the
Las Vegas Gladiators

Succeeded by
Preceded by Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

Succeeded by