BB&T Center (Sunrise, Florida)
The BB&T Center (previously known as the National Car Rental Center, Office Depot Center, and BankAtlantic Center) is an indoor arena located in Sunrise, Florida. It is the home venue for the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Florida Panthers. It was completed in 1998, at a cost of US$185 million, almost entirely publicly financed, and features 70 suites and 2,623 club seats.
|Former names||National Car Rental Center (1998–2002)|
Office Depot Center (2002–2005)
Bank Atlantic Center (2005–2012)
|Address||1 Panther Parkway|
|Parking||7,045 total spaces|
|Owner||Broward County, Florida|
|Operator||Arena Operating Company, Ltd.|
Ice Hockey: 19,250 (17,040 with seat tarps)
Arena Football: 19,779
*End stage 180°: 15,207
*End stage 270°: 19,119
*End stage 360°: 21,371
*Center stage: 22,457
*Theatre: 3,000 
|Field size||872,000 square feet (81,000 m2)|
|Broke ground||November 8, 1996|
|Opened||October 3, 1998|
|Construction cost||US$185 million|
($296 million in 2018 dollars)
|Project manager||Upton & Partners|
|Structural engineer||Walter P. Moore & Associates|
|General contractor||Arena Development Company (A joint venture of Centex Rooney/Huber, Hunt & Nichols/Morse Diesel)|
|Florida Panthers (NHL) (1998–present)|
Florida ThunderCats (NPSL) (1998–99)
Florida Bobcats (AFL) (1999–2001)
Florida Pit Bulls (ABA) (2005–06)
Miami Caliente (LFL) (2009–10)
In 1992, Wayne Huizenga obtained a new NHL franchise that would eventually become the Florida Panthers. Until the team had an arena of their own, they initially played at the now-demolished Miami Arena, sharing the venue with the NBA's Miami Heat. Sunrise City Manager Pat Salerno made public a $167-million financing and construction plan for a civic center near the Sawgrass Expressway in December 1995, and Broward County approved construction in February 1996. In June 1996, the site was chosen by the Panthers, and in July, Alex Muxo gathered more than a dozen architects, engineers and contractors for the first major design brainstorming session. Architects Ellerbe Becket were given 26 months to build the arena, which had to be ready by August 30, 1998, to accommodate the 1998–99 NHL season. Despite never having designed a facility that had taken less than 31 months from start to finish, they accepted the job.
Seventy suites were completed with wet bars, closed circuit monitors and leather upholstery. Averaging over 650 square feet (60 m2), the suites are the largest in the country for this type of facility. All the activity was generated by over 50 subcontractors and 2.3 million man hours without a single injury. Known as Broward County Civic Center during construction, the naming rights were won in July 1998 by National Car Rental—a company purchased by Huizenga in January 1997—leading to the venue being named the National Car Rental Center. A certificate of occupancy was given on September 12, and the arena opened on October 3 with a Celine Dion concert. The next day, Elton John performed, and on October 9 the Panthers had their first home game at the new arena.
As NRC's new parent company ANC Rental went bankrupt in 2002, the Panthers sought a new sponsor for the arena. It later became the Office Depot Center in the summer of 2002, and the BankAtlantic Center on September 6, 2005. As BB&T purchased BankAtlantic in July 2012, two months later the arena was rebranded as BB&T Center.   In February 2019, it was announced that BB&T is merging with SunTrust Banks, with a name change expected for the merged banks.
BB&T Center is currently the largest arena in Florida and second-largest in the Southeastern United States, behind Greensboro Coliseum. During the 2011 offseason, the BB&T Center replaced the original green seats in the lower bowl with new red seats, as a part of the Panthers' "We See Red" campaign.
In October 2012, Sunrise Sports and Entertainment completed installation of the Club Red seating sections encompassing the center ice seats during hockey games. It is an all-inclusive nightclub experience following the trend of other sports and entertainment venues in incorporating high-end seating sections and clubs.
The ADT Club located on the club level offers food and beverage. The Duffy's Sky Club at the BB&T Center encompasses approximately 8,000 square feet and caters to approximately 500 guests. The Penalty Box offers fans another seating and dining option inside the BB&T Center. The Legends Lounge is a restaurant located on the Lexus Suite Level and offers sit down service.
The BB&T Center is also the home for private lounge box seating.
In addition to the Panthers, the arena was formerly home to the Florida Pit Bulls of the American Basketball Association, the Miami Caliente of the Lingerie Football League, and the Florida Bobcats of the AFL, along with the only season of the Florida ThunderCats. This arena also serves as the host for the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic held every December in conjunction with the namesake college football game.
The arena has also hosted the 2003 NHL All-Star Game and the 2006 ABA All-Star game.
|Date||Artist||Opening act(s)||Tour / Concert name||Attendance||Revenue||Notes|
|October 3, 1998||Celine Dion||André-Philippe Gagnon||Let's Talk About Love World Tour||—||—||Arena's inaugural event|
|March 30, 1999||Marilyn Manson||Jack Off Jill||Rock Is Dead Tour||—||—||Homecoming concert|
|December 5 & 6, 1999||Backstreet Boys||-||Into the Millennium Tour||-||-||Originally scheduled for September 14 & 15, 1999, but was postponed due to Hurricane Floyd|
|December 31, 1999||Bee Gees||—||—||—||—||It was to be their last full arena concert as a group|
|October 4, 2000||Sarah Brightman||—||La Luna World Tour||—||—||The concert was recorded and released for PBS as well as video in VHS and later on DVD, entitled La Luna: Live in Concert.|
|January 22–24, 2001||Backstreet Boys||Myra
|Black & Blue Tour||—||—|
|March 24 & 26, 2001||U2||The Corrs||Elevation Tour||37,969 / 37,969||$3,032,028||These two shows were the opening dates of the Elevation Tour.|
|July 20, 2001||Dave Matthews Band||Junior Brown||—||—||—||There was a power interruption during the performance; they have not returned to the venue since.|
|August 14–15, 2001||Madonna||—||Drowned World Tour||31,572 / 31,572||$3,603,573|
|May 18–19, 2002||Paul McCartney||—||Driving World Tour||—||—|
|September 30, 2004||Phil Collins||—||First Final Farewell Tour||—||—||This was the final stop on the North American leg of the tour.|
|July 28–29, 2004||Madonna||—||Reinvention World Tour||28,208 / 28,208||$3,834,522|
|August 26, 2005||Green Day||—||American Idiot World Tour||—||—|
|November 20, 2006||The Who||—||The Who Tour 2006-2007||—||—||Recorded a live CD as part of the Encore Series|
|July 22, 2007||Beyoncé||—||The Beyoncé Experience||—||—|
|April 26, 2008||Bon Jovi||—||Lost Highway Tour||18,307 / 18,307||$1,554,550||The concert was delayed several hours when someone called in a bomb threat, which turned out to be a hoax.|
|August 3, 2008||George Michael||—||25 Live||—||—||It was his first South Florida concert appearance in 20 years|
|November 2, 2008||Tina Turner||—||Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour||12,769 / 12,769||$1,468,461|
|June 29, 2009||Beyoncé||—||I Am... World Tour||12,629 / 13,209||$1,015,893|
|September 5, 2009||Depeche Mode||—||Tour of the Universe||12,665 / 12,665||—||The show was recorded for the group's live albums project Recording the Universe|
|September 25, 2010||Shakira||—||The Sun Comes Out World Tour||12,994 / 12,994||$1,138,788|
|January 20, 2011||Linkin Park||—||A Thousand Suns Tour||10,150 / 10,150||$550,558|
|May 7, 2011||Kylie Minogue||—||Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour||4,000 / 4,441||$253,756|
|February 25, 2013||P!nk||The Hives||The Truth About Love Tour||13,732 / 13,732||$979,399|
|April 20, 2013||Rihanna||ASAP Rocky||Diamonds World Tour||13,959 / 13,959||$1,042,363|
|July 9, 2013||Beyoncé||Luke James||The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour||12,269 / 12,269||$1,328,330|
|September 15, 2013||Depeche Mode||—||Delta Machine Tour||10,760 / 10,760||$683,192|
|May 4, 2014||Lady Gaga||Lady Starlight||ArtRave: The Artpop Ball||12,977 / 12,977||$1,173,695||Gaga was also going to perform on March 15, 2013, for her Born This Way Ball, but the show was cancelled due to her hip injury|
|May 17, 2014||Cher||Cyndi Lauper||Dressed to Kill Tour (Cher)||12,178 / 12,178||$1,348,709|
|July 2, 2014||Katy Perry||Capital Cities
|Prismatic World Tour||12,888 / 12,888||$1,382,655|
|July 18, 2015||Ariana Grande||N/A||Honeymoon Tour||N/A||N/A|
|February 24, 2016||Iron Maiden||The Raven Age||The Book of Souls World Tour||12,478 / 12,478||$954,111|
|April 8, 2016||Pearl Jam||—||Pearl Jam 2016 North America Tour||—||—|
|April 13, 2016||Pentatonix||Us The Duo
|Pentatonix World Tour 2016||4,609 / 7,008||$250,805|
|July 1, 2016||Demi Lovato
|Marshmello||Future Now Tour||7,251 / 10,314||$400,809|
|July 2, 2016||Twenty One Pilots||Mutemath
|Emotional Roadshow World Tour||11,705 / 11,916||$393,775|
|April 15, 2017||Panic! at the Disco||MisterWives||Death of a Bachelor Tour||N/A||N/A|
|February 1, 2018||Lana Del Rey||Kali Uchis||LA to the Moon Tour||TBA||TBA|
|April 25, 2018||P!nk||Kidcutup||Beautiful Trauma World Tour||15,999 / 15,999||$2,184,919|
|June 9, 2018||Harry Styles||Kacey Musgraves||Harry Styles: Live on Tour||TBA||TBA|
|August 15, 2018||Shakira||N/A||El Dorado World Tour||TBA||TBA|
|October 5, 2018||Phil Collins||N/A||Not Dead Yet Tour||TBA||TBA|
|November 23, 2018 - 16 March 2019||Elton John||N/A||Farewell Yellow Brick Road||TBA||TBA|
|March 1, 2019||P!nk||Julia Michaels||Beautiful Trauma World Tour||14,883 / 14,883||$2,463,165||Beginning of the tour's second North American leg due to high demmand. Biggest single night gross of the venue's history.|
- The Florida Panthers hosted the 2001 NHL Entry Draft & 2015 NHL Entry Draft at the arena.
- The arena served as the site for the 2003 NHL All-Star Game on February 2, 2003. The Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference, 6-5, in a shootout victory. It marked the first "official" shootout in the NHL.
Boxing, mixed martial artsEdit
The arena has held boxing and mixed martial arts events such as EliteXC: Heat featuring the main event of Seth Petruzelli and Kimbo Slice took place on October 4, 2008. On February 15, 2009, a lightweight bout between Nate Campbell and Ali Funeka took place in the arena.
- WCW Bash At The Beach - July 11, 1999
- WWF Armageddon – December 12, 1999
- WWE Armageddon – December 15, 2002
The Professional Bull Riders brought their Built Ford Tough Series tour to the BB&T Center in September 2005 for a bull riding event, which was won by Kody Lostroh (who ultimately became the Rookie of the Year that same year).
- On May 23, 2008, Senator Barack Obama held a rally as part of his presidential primary campaign.
- Several months later on October 29, Obama returned to the arena to hold a rally as part of his presidential campaign, and addressed the nation live on several television networks.
- On August 10, 2016, Donald Trump held a rally as part of his presidential campaign, and addressed the nation live on several television networks.
- On February 21, 2018, the venue hosted a CNN town hall meeting on gun control in response to the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that occurred a week earlier; it was attended by 7,000 people, including survivors of the shooting and relatives of the victims.
- On June 27, 2018, rapper XXXTentacion's fan memorial and public funeral was held at the arena.
- Basketball: 20,737
- Hockey: 19,250
- End-Stage Concerts: 15,207 – 23,000
- Center-Stage Concerts: 25,000
- 17,000 square feet (1,600 m2) of arena floor space for trade shows and other events such as circuses and ice shows.
Parking and loading docksEdit
- Total: 7,045 Spaces (Does not include production or bus/oversized vehicle parking)
- General Parking: 4,787 Spaces
- Suite/Club Seat Parking: 1,430 Spaces
- Garage: 226 Spaces
- Disabled Parking: 90 Spaces
- Event Staff: 512 Spaces
- Truck Doors: 5
- Waste Removal Docks: 2
Food and novelty concessionsEdit
- Plaza Level: 3 Food Courts and Pantherland Retail
- Mezzanine Level: 3 Food Courts and two Points of Purchase Kiosks
- "Google Groups". groups.google.com. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
- "Facts and Figures". BB&T Center. Archived from the original on February 8, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2007.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
- "History". BB&T Center. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
- "Panthers History: Arenas". National Hockey League. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- Lapointe, Joe (December 11, 1992). "N.H.L. Is Going to Disneyland, and South Florida, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- "Sunrise Gets Serious About Arena". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale. December 16, 1995. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- "Prospects Good For Broward Arena". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale. February 1, 1996. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
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- Talalay, Sarah (August 16, 2002). "Panthers Want Car Rental Name Taken Off Arena". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- "BB&T Center Naming Rights Headline Long-term Florida Panthers-BB&T Partnership". NHL.com (Press release). Florida Panthers. September 10, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
- Richards, George (September 11, 2012). "Florida Panthers' Arena Now BB&T Center". The Miami Herald. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- "SunTrust, BB&T have their names on sports". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. February 7, 2019. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
- "Panthers See Red In BankAtlantic Center Lower Bowl". National Hockey League. July 25, 2011. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- Valverde, Miriam (January 29, 2013). "Club Red elevates experiences at BB&T Center". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- Nolin, Robert (May 14, 2013). "County to Fund New Scoreboard for Panthers Arena". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- Davis, Craig (October 11, 2013). "Huizenga Joins Viola to Christen New Panthers Era Before 6-3 Win". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- "Tour: 2001 summer". DMB Almanac. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
- Haas, Brian; Gollan, Jennifer (April 27, 2008). "Cell Phone Bomb Threat Delays Bon Jovi Concert". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- "Harry Styles Expands Tour Into 2018". Billboard. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
- "Strikeforce to Florida in 2010 with Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos and Herschel Walker". mmajunkie.com. 2009-11-19. Archived from the original on 2012-10-13. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
- "UFC on FX 3 heads to Fort Lauderdale's BankAtlantic Center on June 8". MMAJunkie.com. April 5, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-04-07. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Man, Anthony; Barszewski, Larry (February 21, 2018). "Rubio is jeered as CNN town hall meeting about Florida school shooting turns angry". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
- Halle, Kiefer. "XXXTentacion Fans Invited to Open Casket Memorial at Florida Panthers Stadium". Vulture.com. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
- "XXXTentacion fans queue to pay respects at Florida service". BBC News. June 28, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2018.