Greensboro Coliseum exterior.jpg

Greensboro Coliseum Complex
Location 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro, North Carolina 27430
Broke ground 1959
Opened 1959
Owner City of Greensboro
Operator City of Greensboro
Tenants UNC Greensboro (Southern Conference) (2009-)
Greensboro Revolution (National Indoor Football League) (2006-2008)
Greensboro Prowlers (af2) (2000–2003)
Greensboro Generals (ECHL) (1999–2004)
Carolina Hurricanes (NHL) (1997–1999)
Carolina Monarchs (AHL) (1995–1997)
Greensboro Monarchs (ECHL) (1989–1995)
Greensboro Generals (EHL / SHL) (1959–1973)
Capacity Basketball: 23,500
Ice hockey: 21,273

The Greensboro Coliseum complex is an indoor arena in Greensboro, North Carolina. The arena was the home of the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League from 1997–1999, and was the long-time home of the Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament. The coliseum also hosted the 1974 NCAA Men's Final Four. Originally built in 1959 as War Memorial Coliseum, it was renamed simply the Greensboro Coliseum in the late 1960s.

As originally built in 1959, it seated 9,200, one of the largest arenas in the South. The arena was heavily renovated in 1993-1994, bring it up to its current configuration, through future expansions are planned. Today, the arena seats 21,273 for ice hockey, and seats up to 23,500 for basketball, the largest in the state of North Carolina (30% larger capacity than Charlotte's Time Warner Cable Arena; 10% larger than the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill).

Owned by the City of Greensboro, the complex features a flexible capacity arena that can accommodate concerts and events for 4,000 to 23,500 fans; a 2,376 seat auditorium for Broadway theatre and concerts; and a 120,000 square foot Special Events Center for trade and consumer shows and 20,000 square feet of space for meetings of all sizes. The Special Events Center also features a 4,300 seat theater set-up for concerts and sporting events. There are roughly 6,000 on site parking spaces.

Hockey[edit | edit source]

The hockey history of Greensboro actually begins in 1959, when the Greensboro Generals of the Eastern Hockey League set up shop and played until the league folded in 1973; the team jumped to the Southern Hockey League for four seasons until that league too ceased operations in January 1977. Greensboro hockey's modern era began with the Greensboro Monarchs of the East Coast Hockey League, who played there from 1989–90 to 1994–1995. When the American Hockey League expanded southward in 1995, it invited Greensboro to join; the new team took the Monarchs nickname, but attempted to draw a more regional fan base by labeling themselves the Carolina Monarchs. When the Carolina Hurricanes announced their move from Hartford, Connecticut in 1997 (when they were known as the Hartford Whalers), they leased the Coliseum for two years while waiting for the Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina to be completed. Subjected to their second major ticket price hike in three years and not willing to support a team that was destined for Raleigh, Greensboro hockey fans rarely sold the Coliseum out for the Hurricanes; In the 1998–99 season, the team actually curtained off most of the upper deck for home games in an effort to artificially create scarcity in the ticket market, force would-be attendees to purchase higher-priced tickets, and hide what national media mocked as "Green Acres" of empty seats.

Once the Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena (now the RBC Center) was completed and the Hurricanes moved out, the plan was that the Monarchs, who spent those two years in New Haven, Connecticut as the Beast of New Haven, would move back into the Coliseum as a Hurricanes affiliate. However, Monarchs owner Bill Black had a different idea; he briefly explored the possibility of selling shares of the Monarchs to the public. After that fell through, he exercised the option to sell the team to the Hurricanes, who promptly folded the deal, as well as the team.

Rather than leave the coliseum without a hockey team for the first time in over 10 years, a new hockey team would be born, returning the city to the East Coast Hockey League. The new team would be called the Greensboro Generals. They played in the arena until 2004, when they were terminated by the ECHL due to poor performance and lackluster support from the community. Increased operating expenses from the ECHL Players Union (that formed during the years hockey was away from Greensboro) and increased overhead costs as a result of recent coliseum renovations significantly affected the Generals' ability to promote within the community. It was revealed that after the team folded, nearly all of the money used to support the team over and above ticket revenues, could have been covered by coliseum advertising revenue that was purchased as a direct result of the hockey team's presence. After the team folded, the coliseum saw a significant revenue drop in local advertising and to this day, the coliseum operations must be supplemented with nearly $2 Million a year from city government.

External links[edit | edit source]

Preceded by
Hartford Civic Center
Home of the
Carolina Hurricanes

1997 – 1999
Succeeded by
Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena
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