|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2011)|
|Former names||Wheeling Civic Center|
|Location||2 14th Street
Wheeling, West Virginia 26003
|Owner||Wheeling Municipal Auditorium Board|
|Operator||Wheeling Municipal Auditorium Board|
5,406 (Ice Hockey)
|Broke ground||August 31, 1975|
|Opened||April 19, 1977|
|Construction cost||$7 million
($27.2 million in 2015 dollars)
|Architect||Dalton-Dalton Little & Newport|
|Wheeling Nailers (1992–present)|
WesBanco Arena (originally Wheeling Civic Center) is a multi-purpose arena in Wheeling, West Virginia. It was built in 1977 at a cost of $7 million. It is home to the Wheeling Nailers ice hockey team and the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference wrestling tournament.
It can also be used for conventions, trade shows, concerts, banquets and other events. It features 23,684 square feet (2,200 m2) of space plus 7,500 square feet (700 m2) of meeting room space. These meeting rooms can accommodate parties from ten to several hundred people. The largest meeting room is named "Health Plan Pavilion." The in-house catering department is capable of catering any size event for any needs. The meeting rooms host area Civitan, Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary and Serra's clubs lunches and meetings weekly. During Nailers hockey games and some other events the "Health Plan Pavilion" is open to all ticketed patrons featuring a full-service restaurant and bar.
It features a 46-foot (14 m)-high ceiling. The Robert C. Byrd Intermodal Transportation Center can accommodate cars for the arena's maximum capacity. The back parking lot offers parking to guests at some events and parking for trucks, trailers and buses of acts and offers direct stage access load-in through the large elephant door.
It offers access for handicap patrons, including direct access from handicap parking, an elevator, direct access to multiple concessions and restroom areas and handicap seating available from different spots throughout the arena.
Many professional wrestling events have taken place at the arena from both WWE and the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling, as well as WCW's predecessor Jim Crockett Promotions. It was host of the WWF Superstars TV taping on October 2, 1989. This particular episode of Superstars was notable in the fact that John Tenta made his debut as Earthquake. In addition the arena has hosted WWF Monday Night Raw, WWE Friday Night Smackdown and a few WCW Monday Nitro events throughout the late '90s and '00s, with Hulk Hogan making appearances at the venue, with the debut of Kevin Nash in 1996 as part of the would-be New World Order (nWo) as a major event that occurred on the program in the arena. The legendary André the Giant has also made appearances. WWE still uses the arena for live events, though it held a TV taping there for SmackDown as recent as 2006, which included the final episode of WWE Velocity; WWE now encourages fans in the area to attend events in Pittsburgh or Columbus for TV tapings. Ring of Honor made its debut in the Wheeling area at the arena on September 27, 2014 for a taping of Ring of Honor Wrestling.
The outer hallways are lined with display cases as the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. These cases display memorabilia from all schools past and present in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference, as well as memorabilia from Ohio Valley natives, who have gone on to professional sports careers, including Bill Mazeroski, Bobby Douglas, Chuck Howley, Phil Niekro and Joe Niekro, among others. The arena also hosts the conference's annual Banquet of Champions, the largest high school athletic banquet in the United States.
It also played host to the West Virginia University basketball team for one season in the 1999-2000 season due to construction at the team's normal venue. Other sporting events such as high school basketball, college hockey, indoor football and others have hosted games at the arena on a regular basis. The Harlem Globetrotters have become a favorite of residents making yearly appearances at the arena.
Comedians such as Larry the Cable Guy and Jeff Dunham have appeared at the arena. Stage shows such as Cats, Chicago, Lord of the Dance and Blue Man Group, have also packed the arena. This arena has also played host to high action entertainment events such as Monster Jam, Thunder Nationals, Freestyle Motocross, PBR and others every year.
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
- "Wheeling Zooms Past City In Convention Center Race". Pittsburgh Press. September 6, 1975. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "Listen to the Music". Observer–Reporter (Washington, PA). April 19, 1977.