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American Airlines Center
American Airlines Center

American Airlines Center (AAC) is a multi-purpose arena, located in the Victory Park neighborhood in downtown Dallas, Texas. The arena serves as the home to the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association, and the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League. The arena is also used for concerts and other live entertainment. It opened in 2001 at a cost of $420 million.

History and construction


By 1998, the Dallas Mavericks, then owned by H. Ross Perot, Jr., and the Dallas Stars were indicating their desire for a new arena to replace the Reunion Arena. Dallas taxpayers approved a new hotel tax and rental car tax to pay for a new arena to cover a portion of the funding, with the two benefiting teams, the Mavericks and the Stars, picking up the remaining costs, including cost overruns. The new arena was to be built just north of Woodall Rodgers Freeway near Interstate 35E on the site of an old power plant.[9][10]

On March 18, 1999, American Airlines announced that it would be acquiring the naming rights for the arena for US$195 million.[11][12] American Airlines is headquartered in Fort Worth and is based at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The first event occurred the next day with an Eagles concert. On the next night, the arena hosted the last show of Michael Flatley's Feet of Flames tour. The first sporting event took place on August 19, 2001, with the Dallas Sidekicks of the World Indoor Soccer League taking on the San Diego Sockers.[13]

Design


Principal design work was carried out by David M. Schwarz Architectural Services of Washington D.C. American Airlines Center was designed to be the heart of a new urban, commercial area designed to reinvigorate the city of Dallas called Victory Park. The facility itself features a conservative, traditional design with sweeping brick fa├žades and smooth arches, and has been graced with a number of awards (below). The interior includes retractable seating, public art and a state-of-the-art technological arena. Because of the Quonset hut-like appearance of its roof and the fact that American Airlines holds the naming rights some fans have come to refer to it as "The Hangar".

On the south side of the arena AT&T Plaza (also called Victory Plaza) serves as the principal entrance into the facility, designed by artist Athena Tacha in 2000. The plaza provides an open space with fountains flanked by retail and office buildings. With several high-definition video displays from Daktronics mounted on the side of the arena and office buildings, the plaza is often used for outdoor events and movie showings.[14]

Notable events


The arena also hosted the Junior Gold Championships Opening Ceremony. The Junior Gold championships is an annual bowling tournament every July, for the best youth bowlers in the country and in the world.

  • The AAC was pictured in The Simpsons episode "The Burns and the Bees" as "Dallas Arena".
  • On Tuesday, June 21 and Wednesday, June 22, 2011, it played host to the Dallas audition stages in the first season of the Fox singer search programme The X Factor.
  • Built on and in the shadows of the former Dallas neighborhood of Little Mexico, the beginnings of the Mexican American population in the Dallas area.
  • A few weeks after the first event, it was found that the glass installed in the bathrooms was not the same as what was originally intended. Many who drove by the arena complained they had a clear view into the restrooms. The glass was quickly changed to the correct type the next week.
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