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|Former names||Wheeling Civic Center (1977–2003)|
|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
($27.7 million in 2017 dollars)
|Architect||Dalton-Dalton Little & Newport|
|Wheeling Thunderbirds/Nailers (ECHL) (1992–present)
Ohio Valley Greyhounds (UIF) (1999–2007)
West Virginia Mountaineers (NCAA) (1999–2000)
Wheeling Wildcats (CIFL) (2009)
WesBanco Arena (originally Wheeling Civic Center) is a multi-purpose arena located 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.
In 2013, it was reported, that the name WesBanco Arena will remain emblazoned across the home of the Wheeling Nailers for at least another decade, as the bank and the downtown venue have agreed to a 10-year, $2.5 million naming rights extension. The arena's previous 10-year deal with WesBanco, struck in 2003, was for $2.3 million. Prior to that, the venue was known as the Wheeling Civic Center.
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.
The Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL have played home games at the arena since 1993. The arena hosted games 3, 4 and 5 of the 2016 Kelly Cup Finals, featuring the hometown Nailers taking on the visiting Allen Americans. Wheeling won game 3 after splitting with Allen in games 1 and 2. The Nailers lost games 4 and 5, giving Allen a 3-2 series lead going back to Allen. Allen would go on to win the series 4-2. The 1993 ECHL All Star Classic was also held at WesBanco.
Many professional wrestling events have taken place at the arena, including WWE, the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling, and WCW's predecessor Jim Crockett Promotions. John Tenta "Earthquake" character made his debut here at the WWF Superstars TV taping on October 2, 1989. Hulk Hogan and André the Giant each performed at the venue, and Kevin Nash debuted as part of the New World Order in 1996. WWE still uses the arena for live events, but the most recent TV taping was in 2006, including the final episode of WWE Velocity.
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 Mountaineers 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.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
- "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.