Ice Hockey Wiki
BankAtlantic Center
Overhead view
Location 1 Panther Pkwy, Sunrise, Florida 33323
Broke ground October, 1996
Opened October 3, 1998
Owner Broward County
Operator SMG World
Construction cost $185 million
Architect Ellerbe Becket
Former names Broward County Civic Arena (1998)
National Car Rental Center (1998-2002)
Office Depot Center (2002-2005)
Tenants Florida Panthers (NHL) (1998-present)
Florida Pit Bulls (American Basketball Association) (2005-2006)
Florida Bobcats (Arena Football League) (1999-2001)
Florida ThunderCats (National Professional Soccer League) (1998-1999)
Miami Caliente (Lingerie Football League) (2009-present)
Capacity Basketball: 20,737
Ice hockey: 19,250
  • End-Stage Concerts: 15,207 - 21,371
  • Center-Stage Concerts: 22,457

The BB&T Center as viewed from Sawgrass Mills Mall

The BB&T Center (previously known as BankAtlantic Center  Broward County Civic Arena, National Car Rental Center and Office Depot Center) is an arena located in Sunrise, Florida, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, near the popular Sawgrass Mills Mall. The arena is easily accessible from the Sawgrass Expressway at the Oakland Park Boulevard exit. The arena is home to the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League and the Florida Pit Bulls of the American Basketball Association.

The arena was completed in 1998 at a cost of $185 million, almost entirely publicly financed. The arena features 70 suites and 2,300 club seats.


The search for a new arena began in 1993, when H. Wayne Huizenga obtained the new franchise for the Florida Panthers Hockey Team. The search process became a fast-track development strategy when the site in Sunrise, Florida, was selected in June, 1996. In July, 1996, Alex Muxo gathered more than a dozen architects, engineers and contractors for the first major design brainstorming session. Time was of the essence. A state-of-the-art arena had to be built by August 30, 1998, to accommodate the fall 1998 Hockey Season.

Seventy suites were completed with wet bars, closed circuited monitors and leather upholstery. Averaging over 650 square feet, the suites are the largest in the country for this type of facility. All the activity was generated by over 50 subcontractors and 2.3 million man hours without a single injury.

Regular events

The arena is home to the Florida Panthers of the NHL and formerly the Florida Pit Bulls of the American Basketball Association and the Florida Bobcats of the Arena Football League 1998-2001 along with the only season of the Florida ThunderCats. This arena also serves as the host for the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic held every December in conjunction with the Orange Bowl.

The arena has also hosted the 2003 NHL All-Star Game and the 2005–2006 ABA All-Star game.

Future Development

Plans to develop property surrounding the arena are currently in progress. The plan involves removing the parking lot surrounding the building, in order to place high-rise apartments, as well as restaurants and retail businesses. An underground parking garage will be built to accommodate people driving into the arena for events. Concept designs can be found at City Of Oz website.



  • Basketball: 20,737
  • Hockey: 19,250
  • End-Stage Concerts: 15,207 - 21,371
  • Center-Stage Concerts: 22,457
  • 17.000 sq. ft. of arena floor space for trade shows and other events such as circuses and ice shows.

Parking and loading docks

  • Total: 7,045 Spaces (Does not include production or bus/oversized vehicle parking)
  • General Parking: 4,787 Spaces
  • Suite/Club Seat Parking: 1,430 Spaces
  • Garage: 226 Spaces
  • Disabled Parking: 90 Spaces
  • Event Staff: 512 Spaces
  • Truck Doors: 5
  • Waste Removal Docks: 2

Food and novelty concessions

  • Plaza Level: 3 Food Courts and Pantherland Retail
  • Mezzanine Level: 3 Food Courts and two Points of Purchase Kiosks

External links

Preceded by
Miami Arena
Home of the
Florida Panthers

1998 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Staples Center
Host of the
NHL All-Star Game

Succeeded by
Xcel Energy Center

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at BB&T Center. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).