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San Diego Sports Arena

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Title: San Diego Sports Arena  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of professional sports teams in California, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Félix Trinidad, Interstate 8, Oscar De La Hoya, Ken Norton, San Diego Wildfire, San Diego Sails, Cornelius Boza Edwards
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

San Diego Sports Arena

Valley View Casino Center
The Sports Arena
Former names San Diego International Sports Center
San Diego Sports Arena
(1970-2004; 2007-2010)
iPayOne Center
Location 3500 Sports Arena Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92110

32°45′19″N 117°12′44″W / 32.75528°N 117.21222°W / 32.75528; -117.21222Coordinates: 32°45′19″N 117°12′44″W / 32.75528°N 117.21222°W / 32.75528; -117.21222

Broke ground November 18, 1965[1]
Opened November 17, 1966
Owner Arena Group 2000
Operator Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG)
Construction cost $6.4 million
($46.5 million in 2014 dollars[2])
Architect Mark L. Faddis[3]
Structural engineer Richard Bradshaw[3]
General contractor Trepte Construction Company[3]
Capacity Arena Football: 12,000
Ice hockey: 12,920
Basketball: 14,500
Concerts: 14,800
Circus: 13,000
Mixed Martial Arts: 16,100
San Diego Gulls (WHL) (1966–1974)
San Diego Rockets (NBA) (1967–1971)
San Diego Conquistadors (ABA) (1974–1975)
San Diego Sails (ABA) (1975)
San Diego Mariners (WHA) (1974–1977)
San Diego Clippers (NBA) (1978–1984)
San Diego Sockers (NASL/MISL I/CISL) (1980–1996)
San Diego Gulls (IHL) (1990–1995)
San Diego Gulls (ECHL) (1995–2006)
San Diego Sockers II (WISL/MISL II) (2001–2004)
San Diego Riptide (AF2) (2002–2005)
San Diego Barracudas (RHI) (1993–1996)
San Diego Seduction (LFL) (2009–2011)
San Diego Sockers (PASL-Pro) (2012-present)

Valley View Casino Center (formerly San Diego Sports Arena and iPayOne Center) is an indoor arena, located on Sports Arena Blvd, in Point Loma, San Diego, California, off of Interstate 8.

The arena seats 12,000 for arena football, 12,920 for ice hockey, 14,500 for basketball and tennis, 5,450 for amphitheater concerts and stage shows, 8,900-14,800 for arena concerts, 13,000 for ice shows and the circus and 16,100 for boxing and mixed martial arts.[4]

In 2000, Amusement Business/Billboard Magazine listed the arena as the "#1" facility in the nation for venues seating 10,001 to 15,000 seats. The same magazine ranked the arena as #2 in 2002 and as the #5 facility in 2003. In 2007, the arena was ranked as the #5 facility by Billboard Magazine.[5] In 2013, U-T San Diego named the arena #3 on its list of the 50 most notable locations in San Diego sports history.[6]

Location and access

The arena is located at 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., which is slightly southwest of the interchange of Interstate 5 and Interstate 8. This places it in the Midway neighborhood, approximately 10 minutes away from San Diego International Airport by car[7] and about a mile away from the Old Town Transit Center by foot.[8]

Naming rights

The venue's original name was the 'San Diego International Sports Center'. The name was later renamed the 'San Diego Sports Arena', which it kept until 2004. In the latter year and until 2007, iPayOne, a real estate savings company based in Carlsbad, California, held the arena's naming rights. The deal was worth $2.5 million over five years.

On April 8, 2007, Ernie Hahn II, CEO of Arena Group 2000 which holds the leasing rights to the property, announced that AG2000 has defaulted iPayOne out of the remainder of the contract for non payment.[9] According to Hahn, iPayOne has been in and out of default in payments - mostly balloon payments - in the last year. In addition, iPayOne appears to be halting operations and is accepting no new listings. As a result, the name was changed back to the San Diego Sports Arena, while Hahn seeks a new naming rights sponsor.

On October 12, 2010, it was announced that the arena's name had been changed to the "Valley View Casino Center", under a $1.5 million, 5 year agreement between the arena operator AEG, the San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians and the city of San Diego.[10]


The arena was built in 1966 by Robert Breitbard, a local football hero who played for Hoover High School and San Diego State, for "a modest" $6.4 million.[11]

The arena opened on November 17, 1966, when more than 11,000 pro hockey fans watched the San Diego Gulls (then a member of the Western Hockey League) win their season opener, 4–1, against the Seattle Totems.[11]

1972 GOP National Convention

In 1972, the Republican Party considered the arena for its National Convention. With little warning, however, the GOP decided to hold the convention in Miami Beach. To compensate for this blow to local prestige, then mayor Pete Wilson gave San Diego the by-name of "America's Finest City",[12] which is still the city's official moniker.[13]

Sports franchises and events

The most notable sporting event to take place in the arena was the 1973 Ken Norton--Muhammad Ali fight in which, by split decision, San Diego local Norton won. Irish distance runner Eamonn Coghlan broke the world record for the indoor mile in 1979 and 1981. A photo of his crossing the finish line appeared around the world including the cover of Sports Illustrated. Coghlin's time for the 1981 race is still the world record for the indoor mile.[11]

It was the home of the San Diego Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1967 to 1971, the San Diego Conquistadors and San Diego Sails of the American Basketball Association from 1974 to 1976, the San Diego Mariners of the World Hockey Association from 1974 to 1977, the San Diego Clippers of the NBA from 1978 to 1984, the San Diego State University Aztecs basketball teams, off and on, from 1966 to 1997, the San Diego Sockers indoor soccer team which won 10 titles in the arena, as well as other small sports franchises such as World Team Tennis. The San Diego Sockers made their return to the arena in 2012 for their fourth season in the PASL-Pro from the Del Mar Arena.[14]

Basketball portal

The venue hosted the 1971 NBA All-Star Game and the 1975 NCAA men's basketball Final Four, where UCLA was victorious in John Wooden's final game.

The Boston Bruins, whose home ice was of the same dimensions, used the San Diego Gulls as a farm team in the 1960s and 1970s.

The arena also hosted UFC on Versus 2 on August 1, 2010.[15]

Music and entertainment

Jimi Hendrix recorded his 13 minute jam version of "Red House" here, on May 24, 1969.

The gatefold photograph inside KISS' album, Alive II, was shot here in 1977.

Metallica performed two consecutive shows, during their Wherever We May Roam Tour, on January 13–14, 1992. The shows were recorded and later released on VHS/DVD, entitled Live Shit: Binge & Purge on November 23, 1993.

Diana Ross was scheduled to perform during her Return to Love Tour on August 2, 2000, but the show was cancelled, due to low ticket sales.

Tina Turner was scheduled to perform during her Twenty Four Seven Tour on December 2, 2000, with Joe Cocker as her opening act, but the show was cancelled.

The 2011 version of Wrex the Halls was hosted here over two days with headliners Florence and the Machine and Blink-182 headlining respective nights. Both nights were sold out.

The exterior of the arena and its parking lot are featured in an early scene of Cameron Crowe's 2000 film, Almost Famous.


External links

San Diego portal
  • Valley View Casino Center
  • San Diego Sports Arena - MySpace page
Events and tenants
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
San Diego Rockets

1967 – 1971
Succeeded by
Hofheinz Pavilion
Preceded by
Buffalo Memorial Auditorium
Home of the
San Diego Clippers

1978 – 1984
Succeeded by
Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
Preceded by
The Spectrum
Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

Succeeded by
The Forum
Preceded by
Greensboro Coliseum
NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue

Succeeded by
The Spectrum
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