Santander Arena
Former names Sovereign Center (2001–2013)
Location 700 Penn Street
Reading, PA 19602
Broke ground June 1999
Opened September 6, 2001[1]
Owner Berks County Convention Center Authority
Operator SMG
Surface Multi-surface
Construction cost $42.5 million (2001)
Architect STV Architects Inc.
PBK Architects Inc.
Project Manager Turner Construction[2]
General Contractor Schlegel Builders Inc.[3]
Capacity 6,000-9,000 (concerts)
8,000 (basketball)
7,160 (ice hockey)
Reading Royals (ECHL) (2001–present)
Reading Express (AIFL/AIFA/IFL) (2006–2012)
Reading Railers (PBL) (2008)
New York Majesty (LFL) (2009–2010)
Reading Rockets (PLL) (2012)
Pennsylvania Roar (MISL) (2013–2014)
ASI Panthers (AIF) (2015)

The Santander Arena (formerly known as the Sovereign Center) is a 7,160-seat multi-purpose arena, in Reading, Pennsylvania. It was built in 2001. The arena sits on the former site of the Astor Theatre; one of several grand movie and theater palaces built in Reading in the early 20th century. Closed in 1975, the theater sat vacant for over two decades. In 1998, the Astor was demolished to make room for the Santander Arena. Early in construction, steps were taken to retain mementos of the Astor, including its ornate Art Deco chandelier and gates. These are on display and in use inside the arena corridors, allowing insight into the ambiance of the former movie house.

The Santander Arena is owned by the Berks County Convention Center Authority and managed by SMG. In 2000, the Rajah Shrine Theater was purchased, and after a thorough restoration and updating of the facilities was renamed the Sovereign Performing Arts Center. The Reading Eagle Theater is part of the complex.

On October 13, 2013, the building's name was changed from Sovereign Center to Santander Arena.[4]

The arena is home to the Reading Royals ice hockey team in the ECHL and the Reading Rockets indoor lacrosse team in the Professional Lacrosse League. It was formerly home to the Reading Railers basketball team, the New York Majesty Lingerie Football League team, and the Reading Express indoor football team.

The arena has hosted Jehovah's Witnesses District Conventions from 2005-2013 and will host the renamed Regional Conventions of Jehovah's Witnesses beginning in 2015.

Features[edit | edit source]

The arena contains 701 club seats and 20 luxury suites.[5]

The arena offers 25,200 square feet of banquet space on the arena floor. With seating for up to 1,200 guests, the Santander Arena can accommodate large functions as well as smaller ones using the Reading Eagle Theater at the Santander Arena setup. The arena also offers a multipurpose room which measures 4,575 square feet and accommodate functions for up to 200 guests.[6]

Notable events[edit | edit source]

The PBR hosted a Built Ford Tough Series event at this venue in 2006.

Skate America was held at the arena in 2003 and 2007.

Slipknot, Korn, and King 810 performed here in 2014.

Day one of the East Coast Tsunami Fest 2015, featuring Wu Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Bodycount w Ice-T, Wisdom In Chains, Turnstile and more, will be held here on Friday, September 25.[7]

Rascal Flatts & Chase Bryant will perform here as part of Rascal Flatts "Rhythm & Roots Tour" on October 8th, 2016

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Spatz, Don. "Officials, Community Christen New Facility", September 7, 2001. Retrieved on September 23, 2011. 
  2. Mitchell, Eric. "Powerful TM4000, at Home on the Catwalk, Raises the Light Standard", May 31, 1999. Retrieved on September 23, 2011. 
  3. "What's on Deck?", July 30, 2001. Retrieved on September 23, 2011. 
  4. "Sovereign Center and Sovereign Performing Arts Center to be rebranded to Santander", July 25, 2013. Retrieved on October 3, 2013. 
  5. "Sovereign Center", November 19, 2001. Retrieved on May 16, 2012. 
  6. Sovereign Center - Facility Information
  7. East Coast Tsunami Fest 2015 lineup revealed

External links[edit | edit source]

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