American Airlines Center
The American Airlines Center (commonly AAC) is a multi-purpose arena, located in the Victory Park neighborhood, near downtown Dallas, Texas. It is home to the Dallas Mavericks, of the NBA, the Dallas Stars, of the NHL and the Dallas Vigilantes, of the AFL. The arena is also used for concerts and other live entertainment.

History and construction
By 1998, the Dallas Mavericks, then owned by H. Ross Perot, Jr., and the Dallas Stars were indicating their desire for a new facility to replace the dated Reunion Arena. Dallas taxpayers approved a new hotel tax and rental car tax to pay for a new facility to cover a portion of the funding, with the two benefiting teams, the Mavericks and the Stars, picking up the remaining costs, including cost overruns. The new arena was to be built just north of Woodall Rodgers Freeway near Interstate 35E on the site of an old power plant. On March 18, 1999, American Airlines announced that it would be acquiring the naming rights for the arena for US$195 million. American Airlines is headquartered in Fort Worth and is based at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. On July 27, 2001, the facility opened with the largest ribbon cutting ceremony ever, according to the Guinness Book of Records. The first event occurred the next day with an Eagles concert. On the next night, the arena hosted the last show of Michael Flatley's Feet of Flames tour. The first sporting event took place on August 19, 2001 with the Dallas Sidekicks of the World Indoor Soccer League taking on the San Diego Sockers.

Design
Principal design work was carried out by David M. Schwarz Architectural Services of Washington D.C. The American Airlines Center was designed to be the heart of a new urban, commercial area designed to reinvigorate the city of Dallas called Victory Park. The facility itself features a conservative, traditional design with sweeping brick fa├žades and smooth arches, and has been graced with a number of awards (below). The interior includes retractable seating, public art and a state-of-the-art technological arena. Because of the Quonset hut-like appearance of its roof and the fact that American Airlines holds the naming-rights some fans have come to refer to it as "The Hangar." On the south side of the arena AT&T Plaza serves as the principal entrance into the facility, designed by artist Athena Tacha in 2000. The plaza provides an open space with fountains flanked by retail and office buildings. With several high-definition video displays from Daktronics mounted on the side of the arena and office buildings, the plaza is often used for outdoor events and movie showings.

Awards
American Airlines Center - Awards 2001-Present
  • American Builders and Contractors North Texas Excellence in Construction Award of Merit, 2007 - American Airlines Center Platinum Club Renovation
  • Readers Pick, Best Sports Venue, 2007 - Dallas Observer
  • Concert Venue of the Year, 2006 - Pollstar Magazine
  • Slam Dunk Award, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 - Harlem Globetrotters
  • Top Dog Venue of the Year, 2003 - Tour Guide Magazine
  • "Voice of the Fan" Program, 2002 & 2003 - Top ranking facility in most customer services and design related categories
  • Best Sports Venue, 2002 & 2003 - Dallas Observer
  • Facility of Merit, 2002 - Athletic Business
  • QUOIN Award, 2002 - Associated General Contractors of America/Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter
  • Engineering Excellence Award, 2002 - American Council of Engineering Companies
  • Real Estate Deals Award, 2002 - Dallas Business Journal
  • Project of the Year Award, 2002 - Masonry Construction
  • Record for Longest Ribbon and Largest Ribbon Cutting, 2001 - Gunniess Book of World Records
  • Best New Major Concert Venue for 2001 - Pollstar Magazine
  • Phoenix Award, 2001 - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Golden Trowel Award of Excellence, 2001 - United Masonry Contractors Association
  • International Excellence in Masonry Award, 2001 - Masonry Contractors Association of America
  • Mega Project Over $100 Million, 2001 - Associated Builders and Contractors
  • Best of 2001 Judges Award, 2001 - F.W. Dodge
  • Outstanding Project Team of the Year, 2001 - American Subcontractor Association
  • Outstanding Project Over $25 Million, 2001 - American Subcontractor Association
  • Minority Business Development Agency Outstanding Corporate Award for its M/WBE achievements, 2000 & 2001
  • City of Dallas Senior Affairs Commission and Friends of Senior Affairs has recognized Center Operating Co. with the 2003 Employer of the Year award, which was presented at MayFair 2003, the City's Fourteenth Annual event for Older Americans Month


Notable events
Sports
  • After the Dallas Desperados played their first season in the AAC, they moved to nearby Reunion Arena and played there for their second season. For their third season, they moved back to the AAC, where they have played since.
  • The AAC hosted the Big 12 Basketball Tournament in 2003, 2004 & 2006.
  • The PBR hosted a Built Ford Tough Series bull riding event at the AAC, annually, between 2005 & 2009.
  • The American Airlines Center, as well as the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, hosted the 2006 NBA Finals, in which the Dallas Mavericks played the Miami Heat. Because of this, the series was nicknamed, by some, as the "American Airlines series".
  • Hosted the 55th National Hockey League All-Star Game on January 24, 2007.
Wrestling
  • Regular host for WWE live events in the DFW area. Previous events have included Survivor Series 2003, Night of Champions 2008, Hell in a Cell 2010, a taping of Saturday Night's Main Event, and various episodes of Raw, SmackDown, ECW, and the season one finale of NXT.
  • UFC 103 was held at the Center on September 19, 2009.
Concerts
  • The Dixie Chicks performed during their Top of the World Tour on July 6, 2003, with Michelle Branch as their opening act. It was at this show that lead vocalist Natalie Maines received a death threat, saying she'd "be shot dead" at this concert, due to her controversial comment toward President George W. Bush.
  • Artists that have peformed at the arena include, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, P!nk, George Strait, Mariah Carey, Shakira, New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, Josh Groban, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Usher, Ozzy Osbourne, Nickleback, Kings of Leon, Kenny Chesney, and Janet Jackson among others.
Other Info
  • Built on and in the shadows of the former Dallas neighborhood of Little Mexico, the beginnings of the Mexican American population in the Dallas area.
  • A few weeks after the first event, it was found that the glass installed in the bathrooms was not the same as what was originally intended. Many who drove by the arena complained they had a clear view into the restrooms. The glass was quickly changed to the correct type the next week.
  • The AAC was pictured in Season 20, Episode 8 of the Simpsons, as "Dallas Arena," with the city skyline behind it, and a board in front saying that the Mavericks were playing the "Springfield Celtics," earlier referred to as the "Austin Celtics," using the logo of the Boston Celtics.


Building Activity

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