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Time Warner Cable Arena
TWArenalogo.jpg
Time Warner Cable Arena
Former names Charlotte Bobcats Arena (2005–2007)
Location 333 East Trade Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
Coordinates 35°13′30″N 80°50′21″W / 35.225°N 80.83917°W / 35.225; -80.83917Coordinates: 35°13′30″N 80°50′21″W / 35.225°N 80.83917°W / 35.225; -80.83917
Broke ground July 2003
Opened October 21, 2005
Owner City of Charlotte
Operator Charlotte Bobcats
Construction cost USD $ 260 million (estimated)
Architect Ellerbe Becket[1]
Capacity Basketball: 19,026 (expandable to 20,200)
ECHL Hockey: 14,100
Pro-Wrestling: 20,200 (maximum)
Concerts:
  • End stage 180 degrees: 13,376
  • End stage 270 degrees: 15,236
  • End stage 360 degrees: 18,249
  • Center stage: 18,504
  • Theatre: 4,000–7,000
Tenants
Charlotte Bobcats (NBA) (2005–present)
Charlotte Checkers (AHL) (2010-future)
Charlotte Checkers (ECHL) (2005–2010)
Charlotte Sting (WNBA) (2006–2007)
Charlotte 49ers (occasional)
Davidson Wildcats (occasional)
2008 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament
2010 Socon men and womens basketball tournement

The Time Warner Cable Arena (also known locally as "TWC Arena"), is an entertainment and sports venue located in the Uptown (downtown) area of Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. Its primary use is as the home court of the Charlotte Bobcats of the NBA. It made its grand opening in October 2005 for a concert by The Rolling Stones and hosted its first Bobcats game on November 5, 2005. The arena's center-hung Daktronics video screens measure 16 feet by 28 feet, making them the largest of any indoor arena. The arena is owned by the city of Charlotte, but operated by the Bobcats. It is also currently the youngest arena in the NBA.

The arena opened in 2005 as the Charlotte Bobcats Arena. On April 8, 2008, the Bobcats announced a naming rights deal with Time Warner Cable, the area's largest cable television provider, to rename the arena. As part of the deal, the Bobcats ended a somewhat restrictive deal that kept them off satellite and regional cable television.[2] The change became effective immediately, with printed tickets for the Bobcats' April 8, 2008, game against the Minnesota Timberwolves reflecting the arena's new name and the game airing on FSN South.[3] Time Warner Cable will also get a dedicated concourse gallery to showcase its products. It is believed to be the first simultaneous naming rights/broadcast rights deal in the history of North American professional sports.[4]

The arena seats 19,026 for most NBA games, but can be expanded to seat up to 20,200 for college basketball games (and presumably NBA playoff games).

The arena also serves as home to the Charlotte Checkers, a minor-league hockey team that plays in the ECHL. When the Checkers play there, capacity is reduced to 14,100.

Contents

Sports

Charlotte Bobcats Arena logo (2005-2007)
The arena during a game

Though the arena was constructed with the Bobcats in mind, the arena hosts many types of sports and entertainment events. As North Carolina is a hotbed for college basketball, it is expected that the arena will host many NCAA basketball games; indeed, the venue has already been chosen as a men's regional site for the 2008 NCAA Tournament, and the Charlotte 49ers have tentatively agreed to play several high-profile games there over the next several seasons. The 2008 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament was played here as well. The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), the oldest collegiate association of historically black colleges and universities in the United States, will hold their annual Men's and Women's conference basketball tournament at the venue beginning in 2006 and will continue to hold the event there until at least 2009 (the dates of the event will be late February to early March). The Southern Conference will hold the semifinals and finals of its 2010 men's and women's basketball championships in the arena.

In addition to the Bobcats, the arena currently has one other permanent tenant. The Charlotte Checkers of the ECHL vacated historic Bojangles Coliseum to play in the new arena in the fall of 2005. The Charlotte Sting of the WNBA moved, along with the Bobcats, from the old Charlotte Coliseum to the new venue in 2005 and played for one season and then folded due to low attendance.

The NASCAR Nextel All-Star Pit Crew Challenge, part of the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge, is held on the Wednesday night of the race week at the arena, creating an indoor atmosphere so the pit competition will occur, rain or shine.

In January 2007, the Professional Bull Riders association hosted a Built Ford Tough Series event at this venue. The event was known as the "Dale Jr. PBR Clash", named after NASCAR driver and longtime PBR fan Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who teamed up with the PBR to put this event together.

Entertainment

The arena is used for more than just sporting events, with musical acts, family productions, and many other large entertainment performances such as concerts, circuses, and professional wrestling.

The following is a partial list of the concerts and other entertainment events that have taken place there:

Controversy

The arena was originally intended to host the Charlotte Hornets, the city's original NBA team. In 2001, a non-binding public referendum for an arts package, which included money to build the new uptown arena, was placed on the ballot for voters. This was done in order to demonstrate what was believed to be wide public support for construction of a new uptown venue. The arts package would be funded with the issuance of bonds by the city.

There was opposition to the referendum, with many feeling that the city shouldn't fund a new arena at all. Mayor Pat McCrory vetoed a living wage ordinance just days before the referendum. As a result, Helping Empower Local People, a grass-roots organization supporting a living wage, launched a campaign to oppose the arena. It argued that it was immoral for the city to build a new arena when city workers didn't earn enough to make a living.[5] Many of the city's black ministers switched sides in the arena deal and urged their parishioners to oppose it. The referendum failed with 43 percent for building the arena and 57 percent opposed.

City leaders then devised a way to build a new arena in a way that didn't require voter support, but let it be known that they would not even consider building it unless the Hornets' owner George Shinn sold the team. While even the NBA acknowledged that Shinn had alienated fans, NBA officials felt such a statement would anger owners.[6] As it turned out, the NBA approved the Hornets' application to move to New Orleans. However, the league promised that the city would get a new team—what became the Bobcats—as part of the deal.

As of 2005, the total cost of the arena to Charlotte and Mecklenburg County was not known, but estimated at around $260 million. The construction was approved by the city council, which did not opt to present another referendum to the public. In early 2006, the arena was again the center of controversy as the Bobcats charged a $15,000 fee to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for graduations. The fee was eventually waived following a story in the Charlotte Observer concerning the fees.

Some schools in the area have moved graduations to Bojangles' Coliseum because of the costs.

References

External links

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