|DCU Center Arena & Convention Center|
|Location||50 Foster St, Worcester, Massachusetts|
|Owner||City of Worcester, MA|
|Operator||City of Worcester, MA, SMG|
|Former names||Centrum In Worcester (1982-1997)|
Worcester's Centrum Centre (1997-2004)
|Tenants||Worcester Sharks (AHL) (2006-present)|
New England Surge (Continental Indoor Football League) (2007-2009)
New England Blazers (Major Indoor Lacrosse League) (1989-1991)
Massachusetts Marauders (Arena Football League) (1994)
Worcester IceCats (AHL) (1994-2005)
|Capacity||14,800, (7,230 With Curtain System)|
The DCU Center, formerly known as The Centrum, Centrum in Worcester and Worcester's Centrum Centre, is an indoor arena and convention center complex located in downtown Worcester, Massachusetts. The facility hosts a variety of events including concerts, sporting events, family shows, conventions, trade-shows and meetings. The DCU Center is owned by the City of Worcester and managed by SMG, a private management firm for public assembly facilities.
The naming rights were purchased in 2004 by DCU, Digital Federal Credit Union.
Centrum in Worcester, as it was then known, opened in September 1982 after years of construction delays with a capacity of roughly 12,000, marked by a Frank Sinatra concert. The arena was expanded to 14,800 seats in 1989 with the addition of the 300-level balconies. The convention center addition was completed along with a renovation of arena infrastructure in 1997. This upgrade resulted in the facility's name change to Worcester Centrum Centre. The venue received further updates with the DCU naming rights purchase, including new signage both inside and outside the facility, and a new center-hung video scoreboard for the arena bowl.
The DCU Center's primary tenant is the worcester railers, owned and operated by its NHL affiliate San Jose Sharks. Prior to this, the venue was home to the Worcester IceCats, also of the AHL. The New England Surge of the Continental Indoor Football League also called the Center home for two seasons, but after the 2008 season the team ceased all operations. They were the second indoor football team to do so, after the Massachusetts Marauders of the Arena Football League. Boston area teams use the arena as an occasional home venue for pre-season games. Worcester has been host to the Boston Celtics every few years but the most recent Celtics game resulted in a tense situation when play was called off due to condensation from the ice forming on the court
The DCU Center also hosted the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic on January 29, 2009. The PlanetUSA All stars defeated Team Canada 14-11, in the highest scoring AHL All Star game in history.
Expansion, Convention Center
The facility expanded in 1997 with the opening of an attached state-of-the-art convention center that features panoramic views of downtown Worcester. The complex, described as an architectural gem, added 50,000 square feet of exhibit space, 11 meeting rooms, a 12,144 square foot ballroom (the largest in Central Massachusetts) and a state-of-the-art kitchen. The facility’s 100,000-plus square feet of exhibit space is filled by consumer shows, trade shows, conventions, conferences, and other public and private functions year-round. An additional headquarters hotel for the facility, the Hilton Garden, opened in October 2006 doubling the number of rooms previously available in the facility’s other headquarters hotel, the Crowne Plaza.
It was announced on June 3, 2009 that the DCU Center would undergo a series of major renovations, starting in June 2009 and going through to September. There will be 3 or 4 phases to the renovations, and to avoid delays and conflict, work will be done only in the summer months, so it does not interfere with the Worcester Sharks AHL season which begins in October. Work on the arena is expected to last 3 to 4 summers, thus making a completion date of somewhere during the summer of 2011 or 2012.
Some of the major improvements mentioned for the summer 2009 phase include a new electrical system, new ice chillers, and a completely new ice floor all of which are original to the arena which opened in 1982. Other improvements to the arena during phase 1 will include a new dasher board system, and a new seamless glass system which are often found in new arenas.
Other improvements slated for future phases include, but are not limited to, an improved concourse, improved concessions, new and improved restrooms and the addition of suites and club seats. There are several other things that will be worked on, but have not been finalized yet by the City of Worcester and SMG.
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