Bojangles' Coliseum
The Big I/The Old Coliseum
Bojangles Coliseum.png
Former names Charlotte Coliseum (1955–1988)
Independence Arena (1988–2001)
Cricket Arena (2001–2008)
Bojangles Coliseum (2008–)
Location 2700 East Independence Blvd
Charlotte, North Carolina 28205
Opened 1955
Renovated 1988, 2015
Expanded 1992
Owner City of Charlotte
Operator Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority
Construction cost $4 million for Coliseum and Ovens Auditorium[1]
Architect A.G. Odell and Associates of Charlotte, NC[2]
Structural engineer Severud, Elstad and Krueger of New York, NY[2]
General Contractor Thompson and Street Company of Charlotte, NC[2] Structural Steel Fabrication and Erection
Southern Engineering Company of Charlotte, NC[2]
Capacity 9,605
(Future) Charlotte Checkers (AHL) (2015)
Carolina Cougars (1969–1974)
Charlotte 49ers (1976–1988, 1993–1996)
Charlotte Cobras (MILL) (1996)
Charlotte Checkers (ECHL) (1993–2005)
Charlotte Krunk (2005)
Arena Racing USA (2006–2008)
Charlotte Roller Girls (2008)
Carolina Speed (SIFL) (2009, 2011-2013)
Charlotte Copperheads (PLL) (2012-Present)

Bojangles' Coliseum (originally Charlotte Coliseum and formerly Independence Arena and Cricket Arena) is a 9,605-seat multi-purpose arena located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which also oversees the Ovens Auditorium and the Charlotte Convention Center. The naming-rights sponsor is Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

It was opened and dedicated in 1955, as Charlotte Coliseum. At the time, it was the largest unsupported steel dome in the world. After the new Charlotte Coliseum opened in 1988, the name was changed to Independence Arena (named for its location on Independence Boulevard in Charlotte) and it underwent an extensive renovation. In 2001, the arena was renamed Cricket Arena in a naming rights arrangement with Cricket Communications. In 2008, Bojangles Restaurants, Inc., based in Charlotte, bought the naming rights.

The venue was also the home of minor league hockey in Charlotte from 1956, when the first Baltimore Clippers moved to Charlotte to become the early Checkers, to 1977, when the first version of the Checkers folded. When the Checkers were revived in 1993, they played there until 2005 until they moved to Time Warner Cable Arena. However, the arena would have been available should Kelly Cup Playoff games be needed because of the unavailability of Time Warner Cable Arena as ECHL rules regarding playoff games and time frames are compact and may force a game to be moved.

2015: The Checkers Return[edit | edit source]

On November 24, 2014, the Charlotte Checkers announced a tentative agreement with the Charlotte Regional Visitors' Authority to return to Bojangles' Coliseum for the 2015-16 season. The agreement is pending a Charlotte City Council vote to approve $16 million in funding for renovations to the arena.[4] On December 8, 2014, the City approved the $16 million in renovations needed for the Checkers to return to Bojangles Coliseum. The renovations will include a new video board, ribbon boards, new seats, and other amenities. [5]

Future[edit | edit source]

In 2005, the Charlotte Checkers departed for the new Time Warner Cable Arena, and Bojangles Coliseum was left with no major tenant. It remained open as a venue for medium-sized concerts and stage shows which would not be suitable for TWC Arena and also high school and some college sporting events, along with local attractions. The Southern Conference played the first two rounds of their basketball tournaments in 2010, then moved the semifinals and finals to TWC Arena.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Charlotte - A Good Place to Live, A Good Place To Do Business, The Charlotte News, 1954, pg 23.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Hanks, Edmund E.. "Steel in the Round." Steel Construction Digest, American Institute of Steel Construction Vol 11, No 4, Fourth Quarter, 1954 14-15.
  3. GOTTAWANNANEEDAGETTAHAVA" New name? Two Charlotte Originals - together at last. (November 25, 2008). Retrieved on 2 December 2010.
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