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The Decade in NBA and NHL Arenas

Chase Center

With the impending close of this decade, a busy period for new NBA and NHL arenas is coming to an end. We look back at the new arenas that opened during this decade and their impact on the industry.

Overall, the 2010s was a robust decade for new NBA and NHL arenas, with a total of nine venues opening between 2009 and 2010. From Amway Center and PPG Paints Arena in 2010 to Chase Center in 2019, each facility has carved out its own place in the sports and entertainment world, which we will note here. Our list runs in chronological order, beginning with 2010 and concluding with 2019.

Amway Center (2010)—Orlando Magic, NBA

The replacement for the similarly named Amway Arena, Amway Center gave the Magic a modern home upon its opening. It also proved to be the beginning of a sports facilities boom in Orlando during the decade, which included major renovations to Camping World Stadium for college football and other events, and the opening of Exploria Stadium for MLS and NWSL action.

PPG Paints Arena (2010)—Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL

After years of searching for a new facility, the Penguins were finally able to replace the venerable Civic Arena with a new venue built in its parking lot. First opening as Consol Energy Center—it underwent a name change when PPG Paints took over as the naming-rights partner in 2016—the arena solidified the future of the franchise in Pittsburgh, while becoming the first NHL arena to earn LEED Gold certification. 

Barclays Center (2012)—Brooklyn Nets, NBA; New York Islanders, NHL

After years of delays, Barclays Center opened in 2012 to facilitate the move of the Nets to Brooklyn, marking the first time a major sports franchise had played in the borough since MLB’s Brooklyn Dodgers in 1957. The Islanders arrived in 2015, but their stay will not be permanent, as they are working to open a new arena at Belmont Park by the 2021-22 NHL season. Even with the departure of NHL, Barclays Center will still be an active venue with concerts, NBA and WNBA action, and more.

Golden 1 Center (2016)—Sacramento Kings, NBA

The Kings spent considerable time searching for a new arena—and at one point even appeared as though they could leave Sacramento—before settling on plans for a new downtown venue that would become Golden 1 Center. While billed as the anchor of a larger downtown redevelopment initiative, Golden 1 Center has also been noted for its environmental sustainability and technology features, which the Kings have been diligent about updating since the arena opened.

T-Mobile Arena (2016)—Vegas Golden Knights, NHL

T-Mobile Arena has ultimately succeeded in adding a new layer to Las Vegas’s entertainment scene, first by welcoming major touring shows and then adding the NHL expansion Golden Knights to its slate in 2017. Ultimately, both the team and arena have been the standard bearers in the ever-evolving Las Vegas sports scene, which in the years since T-Mobile Arena opened has seen the addition of a $150-million Minor League Baseball ballpark in suburban Summerlin and a new NFL facility—Allegiant Stadium—set to open for the relocating Oakland Raiders in 2020.

Rogers Place (2016)—Edmonton Oilers, NHL

Years of often contentious debate led up to the planning of Rogers Place, which allowed the Oilers to leave the aging Rexall Place and move into a new downtown venue. Rogers Place has stabilized the future of the NHL in Edmonton and anchored the Ice District, an ongoing development initiative in downtown Edmonton.

Little Caesars Arena Red Wings

Little Caesars Arena (2017)—Detroit Pistons, NBA; Detroit Red Wings, NHL

Originally planned for the Red Wings, the specifications for Little Caesars Arena were modified during the construction process in order to accommodate the Pistons, who announced in 2016 that they would leave The Palace of Auburn Hills to move into the new arena. It has been billed as the anchor of a larger redevelopment initiative and, while some development in the surrounding area has taken place, it is hoped that more will unfold over the coming years.

Fiserv Forum (2018)—Milwaukee Bucks, NBA

The Bucks spent years lobbying for the new arena, which was also planned as the anchor of a larger downtown redevelopment initiative, reflecting a trend that played out several times between the NBA and NHL arenas built during this decade. Thus far, the new development has included an adjacent entertainment block and could expand over the coming years. In addition to hosting NBA action, Fiserv Forum has been successful in drawing major events to downtown Milwaukee, with the 2020 Democratic National Convention on tap for next summer.

Chase Center (2019)—Golden State Warriors, NBA

Built as part of a large-scale private development in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, Chase Center gives the Warriors a new home while providing the city with the major indoor sports and entertainment venue it had long lacked. Going into the next decade, the arena could prove to be influential in the areas such as design, technology and environmental sustainability, while surrounding development could make the area a year-round destination once it is fully realized.

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