BankAtlantic Center

The BankAtlantic Center (previously known as Broward County Civic Arena, National Car Rental Center and Office Depot Center) is an indoor arena located in Sunrise, Florida, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and adjacent to the popular Sawgrass Mills Mall.

The arena features 70 suites & 2,623 club seats.

The arena is directly accessible from the Sawgrass Expressway northbound at the Pat Salerno Drive exit, and in both directions at the Oakland Park Boulevard and Sunrise Boulevard exits.

The arena is home to the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League, the Miami Caliente of the Lingerie Football League and was to the Florida Pit Bulls of the American Basketball Association when they existed.

The arena was completed in 1998, at a cost of $185 million, almost entirely publicly financed.


The search for a new arena began in 1992, when H. Wayne Huizenga obtained the new franchise for the Florida Panthers hockey team, who initially played at the now-demolished Miami Arena. The search process became a fast-track development strategy when the site in Sunrise, Florida, was selected in June, 1996. In July, 1996, Alex Muxo gathered more than a dozen architects, engineers and contractors for the first major design brainstorming session. Time was of the essence. A state-of-the-art arena had to be built by August 30, 1998, to accommodate the fall 1998 Hockey Season.

Seventy suites were completed with wet bars, closed circuited monitors and leather upholstery. Averaging over 650 square feet (60 m2), the suites are the largest in the country for this type of facility. All the activity was generated by over 50 subcontractors and 2.3 million man hours without a single injury.

Regular events

The arena is home to the Florida Panthers of the NHL and formerly the Florida Pit Bulls of the ABA and the Florida Bobcats of the AFL 1998-2001 along with the only season of the Florida ThunderCats. This arena also serves as the host for the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic held every December in conjunction with the namesake college football game.

The arena has also hosted the 2003 NHL All-Star Game and the 2005–2006 ABA All-Star game.

Notable events

  • Celine Dion - Let's Talk About Love Tour - October 3rd, 1998 (Arena's inaugural event)
  • The Bee Gees - December 31, 1999 (It was to be their last full arena concert as a group)
  • The Florida Panthers hosted the 2001 NHL Entry Draft at the arena.
  • The Dave Matthews Band - 2001 (There was a power interruption during the performance; they have not returned to the venue since.)
  • The arena served as the site for the 2003 NHL All-Star Game on February 2, 2003. The Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference, 6-5, in a shootout victory. It marked the first "official" shootout in the NHL.
  • Barbra Streisand - October 30, 2006 (She was pelted with a beverage and, as her politically-charged presentation ended, another man in the crowd found himself being escorted out as he shouted at her. Streisand shrugged both incidents off, saying, "some people would do better to buy her records than come to her shows." Her two shows here were filmed for a CBS TV special and a DVD released on April 28, 2009.)
  • The Who - November 2006 (recorded a live CD as part of the Encore Series)
  • On May 23, 2008, Senator Barack Obama held a rally as part of his Presidential campaign.
  • On October 29, 2008, Senator Barack Obama held a rally as part of his Presidential campaign, and addressed the nation live on several television networks.

Boxing, mixed martial arts and wrestling

The arena has held boxing, mixed martial arts and wrestling events such as Bash at the Beach '99, Armageddon '99 and Armageddon 2002. It also hosted WWE Monday Night Raw on November 19, 2007 which featured the return of Chris Jericho. The arena held EliteXC: Heat featuring the main event of Seth Petruzelli and Kimbo Slice took place on October 4, 2008. On January 2, 2009, WWE Raw held a live event, in which John Cena defeated Randy Orton to retain the World's Heavyweight title in the main event. On February 15, 2009, a lightweight bout between Nate Campbell and Ali Funeka took place in the arena.

Strikeforce MMA made their debut at the arena on January 30, 2010 with the Strikeforce: Miami event on Showtime.


The Professional Bull Riders brought their Built Ford Tough Series tour to the BankAtlantic Center in September 2005 for a bull riding event, which was won by Kody Lostroh (who ultimately became the Rookie of the Year that same year).

Arena information


  • Basketball: 20,737
  • Hockey: 17,040 (Expandable to 19,250)
  • End-Stage Concerts: 15,207 - 21,371
  • Center-Stage Concerts: 22,457
  • 17,000 square feet (1,600 m2) of arena floor space for trade shows and other events such as circuses and ice shows.

Parking and loading docks

  • Total: 7,045 Spaces (Does not include production or bus/oversized vehicle parking)
  • General Parking: 4,787 Spaces
  • Suite/Club Seat Parking: 1,430 Spaces
  • Garage: 226 Spaces
  • Disabled Parking: 90 Spaces
  • Event Staff: 512 Spaces
  • Truck Doors: 5
  • Waste Removal Docks: 2

Food and novelty concessions

  • Plaza Level: 3 Food Courts and Pantherland Retail
  • Mezzanine Level: 3 Food Courts and two Points of Purchase Kiosks


2 photos

Building Activity

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