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BB&T Center (Sunrise, Florida)

Updated: 2017-06-26T02:34Z
BB&T Center
BB&T Center logo.jpg
The BB&T Center located in Sunrise, Florida
Former namesBroward County Civic Arena (construction/planning)
National Car Rental Center (1998–2002)
Office Depot Center (2002–05)
BankAtlantic Center (2005–12)
Address1 Panther Parkway
LocationSunrise, Florida
Coordinates26°9′30″N 80°19′32″W / 26.15833°N 80.32556°W / 26.15833; -80.32556Coordinates: 26°9′30″N 80°19′32″W / 26.15833°N 80.32556°W / 26.15833; -80.32556
Parking7,045 total spaces
OwnerBroward County
OperatorArena Operating Company, Ltd.

Basketball: 20,737
Ice Hockey: 19,250
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 [1]
Field size872,000 square feet (81,000 m2)
Broke groundNovember 8, 1996 (1996-11-08)
OpenedOctober 3, 1998 (1998-10-03)
Construction costUS$185 million[2]
($283 million in 2016 dollars[3])
ArchitectEllerbe Becket
Project managerUpton & Partners[4]
Structural engineerWalter P. Moore & Associates
General contractorArena Development Company (A joint venture of Centex Rooney/Huber, Hunt & Nichols/Morse Diesel)[4]
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)

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 home to the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League. 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.[2]


An overhead view of BB&T Center

In 1992, Wayne Huizenga obtained a new NHL franchise that would eventually become the Florida Panthers.[5] 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.[6] 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,[7] and Broward County approved construction in February 1996.[8] 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.[5]

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.[4] 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.[9] 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.[10]

As NRC's new parent company ANC Rental went bankrupt in 2002, the Panthers sought a new sponsor for the arena.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14]

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.[citation needed]

The BB&T Center is also the home for private loge box seating.

On May 14, 2013, Broward County voted to fund a new scoreboard for the county-owned BB&T Center[15] On October 11, 2013, the scoreboard made its debut for the Panthers' 2013–14 home opener.[16]

Regular events

Inside the BB&T Center during a Florida Panthers game.

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.


DateArtistOpening act(s)Tour / Concert nameAttendanceRevenueNotes
October 3, 1998Celine DionLet's Talk About Love World TourArena's inaugural event
March 30, 1999Marilyn MansonJack Off JillRock Is Dead TourHomecoming concert
December 31, 1999Bee GeesIt was to be their last full arena concert as a group
January 22–24, 2001Backstreet BoysMyra
Krystal Harris
Black & Blue Tour
March 24 & 26, 2001U2The CorrsElevation Tour37,969 / 37,969$3,032,028They were the opening dates of the Elevation tour bringing fans from all over the world to South Florida.
July 20, 2001Dave Matthews BandJunior BrownThere was a power interruption during the performance; they have not returned to the venue since.[17]
August 14–15, 2001MadonnaDrowned World Tour31,572 / 31,572$3,603,573
July 28–29, 2004MadonnaReinvention World Tour28,208 / 28,208$3,834,522
August 26, 2005Green DayAmerican Idiot World Tour
November 20, 2006The WhoThe Who Tour 2006-2007Recorded a live CD as part of the Encore Series
April 26, 2008Bon JoviLost Highway Tour18,307 / 18,307$1,554,550The concert was delayed several hours when someone called in a bomb threat, which turned out to be a hoax.[18]
August 3, 2008George Michael25 LiveIt was his first South Florida concert appearance in 20 years
September 5, 2009Depeche ModeTour of the Universe12,665 / 12,665The show was recorded for the group's live albums project Recording the Universe
May 7, 2011Kylie MinogueAphrodite: Les Folies Tour
September 15, 2013Depeche ModeDelta Machine Tour10,760 / 10,760$683,192
May 4, 2014Lady GagaLady StarlightArtRave: The Artpop Ball12,977 / 12,977$1,173,695Gaga 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, 2014CherCyndi LauperDressed to Kill Tour (Cher)12,178 / 12,178$1,348,709
July 2, 2014Katy PerryCapital Cities
Prismatic World Tour12,888 / 12,888$1,382,655
February 24, 2016Iron MaidenThe Raven AgeThe Book of Souls World Tour
April 8, 2016Pearl JamPearl Jam 2016 North America Tour
April 13, 2016PentatonixUs The Duo
AJ Lehrman
Pentatonix World Tour 20164,609 / 7,008$250,805
July 1, 2016Demi Lovato
Nick Jonas
MarshmelloFuture Now Tour7,251 / 10,314$400,809
July 2, 2016Twenty One PilotsMutemath
Emotional Roadshow World Tour11,705 / 11,916$393,775
April 15, 2017Panic! at the DiscoMisterWivesDeath of a Bachelor Tour

Notable events


Boxing, mixed martial arts

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.

Strikeforce MMA made their debut at the arena on January 30, 2010, with the Strikeforce: Miami event on Showtime.

UFC on FX 3 took place at the arena on June 8, 2012. It was the first UFC event ever held at the arena.

Pro Wrestling


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).

Other events

  • On May 23, 2008, Senator Barack Obama held a rally as part of his presidential campaign.
  • On October 29, 2008, Senator Barack Obama held a rally as part of his presidential campaign, and addressed the nation live on several television networks.

Arena information


  • Basketball: 20,737
  • Hockey: 21,500
  • 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.[2]

Parking and loading docks

  • 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[2]

Food and novelty concessions

  • Plaza Level: 3 Food Courts and Pantherland Retail
  • Mezzanine Level: 3 Food Courts and two Points of Purchase Kiosks[2]


  1. ^ BankAtlantic Center
  2. ^ a b c d e "Facts and Figures". BB&T Center. Archived from the original on February 8, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2007. 
  3. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c "History". BB&T Center. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Panthers History: Arenas". National Hockey League. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  6. ^ Lapointe, Joe (December 11, 1992). "N.H.L. Is Going to Disneyland, and South Florida, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Sunrise Gets Serious About Arena". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale. December 16, 1995. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Prospects Good For Broward Arena". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale. February 1, 1996. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  9. ^ Snell, Alan; Fleshler, David (July 11, 1998). "Huizenga's National Car Rental To Be Name Gracing Hockey Arena". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  10. ^ Nolin, Robert (September 12, 1998). "Sunrise Arena Ok'd For Occupancy". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  11. ^ Talalay, Sarah (August 16, 2002). "Panthers Want Car Rental Name Taken Off Arena". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  12. ^ Richards, George (September 11, 2012). "Florida Panthers’ Arena Now BB&T Center". The Miami Herald. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Panthers See Red In BankAtlantic Center Lower Bowl". National Hockey League. July 25, 2011. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  14. ^ Valverde, Miriam (January 29, 2013). "Club Red elevates experiences at BB&T Center". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  15. ^ Nolin, Robert (May 14, 2013). "County to Fund New Scoreboard for Panthers Arena". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ "Tour: 2001 summer". DMB Almanac. Retrieved June 11, 2009. 
  18. ^ 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. 

External links

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Miami Arena
Home of the
Florida Panthers

1998 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Staples Center
Host of the
NHL All-Star Game

Succeeded by
Xcel Energy Center
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