CenturyLink Center Omaha

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CenturyLink Center Omaha
Former names Qwest Center Omaha (2003–2011)
Location 455 North 10th Street
Omaha, NE 68102-1151
Coordinates 41°15′45.60″N 95°55′41.54″W / 41.2626667°N 95.9282056°W / 41.2626667; -95.9282056Coordinates: 41°15′45.60″N 95°55′41.54″W / 41.2626667°N 95.9282056°W / 41.2626667; -95.9282056
Broke ground March 1, 2001[1]
Opened September 24, 2003[2]
Expanded 2006
Owner City of Omaha
Operator Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA)
Surface Multi-surface
Construction cost $291 million
($363 million in 2013 dollars[3])
Architect DLR Group
Structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti[4]
Services engineer M-E Engineers, Inc.[5]
General contractor Kiewit Construction Co.[2]
Capacity 18,975 (center-stage concerts)
18,100 (end-stage concerts)
18,320 (basketball)
17,100 (hockey)[6]
Website www.centurylinkcenteromaha.com
Creighton Bluejays men's basketball
Omaha Mavericks men's ice hockey

CenturyLink Center is an arena and convention center facility in the North Downtown neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska. The 1.1 million ft² facility has an 18,975-seat arena, a 194,000-ft² exhibition hall and 62,000 ft² of meeting space.

The arena opened in 2003 as Qwest Center Omaha. It adopted its current name on July 15, 2011[7] as part of a $22 billion buyout of Qwest by CenturyLink (formerly CenturyTel).[8] All signage, inside and outside, was changed to conform to the new arena name; lighting was also be switched (from blue to green). The transition was expected to be completed by August 1, 2011; the outside name changes were finally completed on December 20, 2011.

The arena hosts various basketball games, hockey games, professional wrestling events and concerts. Another notable event held there is the annual shareholders meeting of Omaha-based conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway. The arena's primary tenants are the Creighton University men's basketball team, and beginning in 2013 the University of Nebraska-Omaha's men's hockey team will call the arena home.

History[edit source | edit]

In 2000, Omaha voters approved a $216 million bond issue to build a new convention center and arena; the remainder of the $291 million project was provided by private organizations and individuals. The facility design was led by architectural firm DLR Group. Naming rights to the arena were purchased by Qwest.

Qwest Center Omaha opened in September 2003 with an initial seating capacity of 17,000 for concerts, 15,500 for basketball, and 14,700 for hockey. In 2006, a $5.7-million expansion of the arena increased capacity by approximately 1,500 seats.

The Qwest Center displaced the 1954 Omaha Civic Auditorium as the premier indoor arena in the city. The venerable Ak-Sar-Ben Coliseum was closed in 2002 and was demolished in 2005.

The arena hosted games in the first and second rounds of the 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, the 2010 NCAA Men's Division I Wrestling Championships, and the 2012 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. It was also home to the WWE Judgment Day 2008 pay-per-view, as well as other events from WWE.

The 2008 USA Swimming Summer Olympic Trials were hosted over eight days at the Qwest Center and on June 29, 2009 it was announced the trials would return again in 2012. The 2008 event averaged more than 12,000 spectators each night.[9]

A portion of the roof, "The Hat", was damaged by a storm on June 27, 2008. There was no structural damage, but the damage caused water to pour into parts of the Qwest Center, flowed down two sets of arena steps and onto the deck of the competition pool for the USA Swimming Summer Olympic Trials. The schedule for the trials went on as scheduled.[10]

In 2011 it was announced the name would be changed to CenturyLink Center Omaha.

Tenants[edit source | edit]

Attendance history[edit source | edit]

Top 10 Largest Home Crowds at CenturyLink Center Omaha, Creighton History
[citation needed]

Rank Attendance Opponent Result Date
1 18,735[11] Wichita State L 68–89 February 11, 2012
2 18,613 Wichita State W 91-79 March 2, 2013
3 18,458 Evansville W 87-70 December 29, 2012
4 18,436[12] Bradley W 73–59 January 28, 2012
5 18,111 Bradley W 75-58 February 2, 2013
6 18,073 Drake W 91-61 January 8, 2013
7 17,954[13] Wichita State W 68–56 December 28, 2008
8 17,694 Indiana State W 79–66 January 5, 2013
9 17,676[14] Northwestern W 87–79 December 22, 2011
10 17,665 Missouri State L 65–77 December 28, 2011

Records and milestones[edit source | edit]

On the evening of February 11, 2012, the largest crowd to attend a Creighton University basketball game occurred when 18,735 fans witnessed the Creighton men's team play Wichita State.[11][15] This crowd was also the largest crowd to witness a Missouri Valley Conference regular season men's basketball game.[citation needed]

On January 13, 2012, the largest crowd to ever watch a hockey game in Nebraska occurred when 16,138 fans attended the game between the University of Nebraska @ Omaha and Minnesota-Duluth.

The CenturyLink Center holds several NCAA attendance records, particularly in college volleyball. Qwest Center owns the top three NCAA tournament attendance record. The highest attendance to ever watch a volleyball match in the United States occurred when 17,340 fans watched the 2008 NCAA National Semifinal match between Penn State and Nebraska. The second highest attendance in NCAA tournament history occurred when 17,209 fans watched Nebraska defeat Stanford for the 2006 NCAA championship. For the 2008 NCAA National Championship, 14,299 people watched Penn State defeat Stanford, the third highest attendance in NCAA tournament history and just two days after the Qwest Center broke the attendance record for the semifinals.[16]

Qwest Center Omaha; view from the northwest corner.
Qwest Center Omaha
Qwest Center Omaha

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ "Arena Plans Take Next Step". KETV.com. March 2, 2001. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Broughton, David (November 23, 2003). "City Finishes Qwest for New Arena". SportsBusinessDaily.com. Retrieved January 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2013. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  4. ^ http://s3.amazonaws.com/tt_assets/pdf/SportsEntertainmentBrochure.pdf
  5. ^ http://www.reedconstructiondata.com/building-types/arenas/nebraska/projects/1000013367/
  6. ^ http://centurylinkcenteromaha.com/Arena/ArenaInformation/Specifications.aspx
  7. ^ Robb, Jeffrey (July 15, 2011). "Qwest Center gets new name". Omaha.com. Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ Boettcher, Ross (March 24, 2011). "New name for Qwest Center". Omaha.com. Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  9. ^ (nd) [1]
  10. ^ (nd) Severe storm in Omaha damages swimming arena Retrieved 7/1/2008.
  11. ^ a b Suellentrop, Paul (February 11, 2012). "WSU blasts Creighton, take control of MVC race". Kansas.com. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  12. ^ Olson, Eric (January 29, 2012). "Struggling Bradley loses 73–59 to No. 15 Creighton". Boston.com. Retrieved January 29, 2012. 
  13. ^ Associated Press (December 28, 2008). "Creighton 68, Wichita St. 56". ESPN. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Northwestern Wildcats vs. Creighton Bluejays – Box Score". ESPN. December 22, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  15. ^ Pivovar, Steven (February 11, 2012). "Hot-shooting Shockers hand Jays third straight loss". Omaha.com. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  16. ^ "2008 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship Match Notes". GoPSUSports.com. December 20, 2008. Retrieved January 29, 2012. 

External links[edit source | edit]

Preceded by
Omaha Civic Auditorium
Home of
Creighton Bluejays Men's Basketball

2003 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Omaha Civic Auditorium
Home of
UNO Mavericks Men's Hockey

2003 – present
Succeeded by