In 2000, Amusement Business/Billboard Magazine listed the arena as the "#1" facility in the nation for venues seating 10,001 to 15,000 seats. The same magazine ranked the arena as #2 in 2002 and as the #5 facility in 2003. In 2007, the arena was ranked as the #5 facility by Billboard Magazine. Casino san.
In 2013, U-T San Diego named the arena #3 on its list of the 50 most notable locations in San Diego sports history.
Location and access [ edit ]
Naming rights [ edit ]
The venue's original name was the San Diego International Sports Center. The name was later renamed the "San Diego Sports Arena", which it kept until 2004. In the latter year and until 2007, iPayOne, a real estate savings company based in Carlsbad, California, held the arena's naming rights. The deal was worth $2.5 million over five years.
On April 8, 2007, Ernie Hahn II, CEO of Arena Group 2000 which holds the leasing rights to the property, announced that AG2000 has defaulted iPayOne out of the remainder of the contract for non payment.
According to Hahn, iPayOne has been in and out of default in payments - mostly balloon payments - in the last year. In addition, iPayOne appears to be halting operations and is accepting no new listings. As a result, the name was changed back to the San Diego Sports Arena.
On October 12, 2010, it was announced that the arena's name had been changed to the "Valley View Casino Center", under a $1.5 million, 5-year agreement between the arena operator AEG, the San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians and the city of San Diego.
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History [ edit ]
The arena was built in 1966 by Robert Breitbard, a local football hero who played for Hoover High School and San Diego State, for $6.4 million.
The seating capacity could seat 13,000 hockey spectators or 13,700 for basketball games.
The arena opened on November 17, 1966, when more than 11,000 pro hockey fans watched the San Diego Gulls (then a member of the Western Hockey League ) win their season opener, 4–1, against the Seattle Totems.
1972 GOP National Convention [ edit ]
In 1972, the Republican Party considered the arena for its National Convention. With little warning, however, the GOP decided to hold the convention in Miami Beach. To compensate for this blow to local prestige, then mayor Pete Wilson gave San Diego the by-name of "America's Finest City",
which is still the city's official moniker.
Sports franchises and events [ edit ]
The most notable sporting event to take place in the arena was the 1973 Ken Norton – Muhammad Ali fight in which, by split decision, San Diego local Norton won. Irish distance runner Eamonn Coghlan broke the world record for the indoor mile in 1979 and 1981. A photo of his crossing the finish line appeared around the world including the cover of Sports Illustrated. Coghlan's time for the 1981 race is still the world record for the indoor mile.
The San Diego Aviators of WTT relocated from New York prior to the 2014 season and began playing their home matches in the arena.
The arena also hosted UFC on Versus 2 on August 1, 2010, with former champion Jon Jones headlining the event.
Music and entertainment [ edit ]
The Stone Poneys played a date here on Saturday, January 13, 1967 as 'Different Drum' was climbing the national Top 20.
ABBA played here during their 1979 world tour.
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Dio performed during their Sacred Heart Tour on December 6, 1985. The show was recorded and later released as a live album, entitled Intermission .
Diana Ross was scheduled to perform during her Return to Love Tour on August 2, 2000, but the show was cancelled, due to low ticket sales.
The 2011 version of Wrex the Halls was hosted here over two days with headliners Florence and the Machine and Blink-182 headlining respective nights. Both nights were sold out.