DCU Center
The DCU Center (originally Centrum in Worcester, formally Worcester's Centrum Centre and commonly The Centrum) is an indoor arena and convention center complex, located in downtown Worcester, Massachusetts. The facility hosts a variety of events, including concerts, sporting events, family shows, conventions, trade-shows and meetings. It is owned by the City of Worcester and managed by SMG, a private management firm for public assembly facilities. The naming rights were purchased in 2004 by DCU, Digital Federal Credit Union.

History
Centrum in Worcester, as it was then known, opened in September 1982 after years of construction delays with a capacity of roughly 12,000, marked by a Frank Sinatra concert. The arena was expanded to 14,800 seats in 1989 with the addition of the 300-level balconies. The convention center addition was completed along with a renovation of arena infrastructure in 1997. This upgrade resulted in the facility's name change to Worcester Centrum Centre. The venue received further updates with the DCU naming rights purchase, including new signage both inside and outside the facility, and a new center-hung video scoreboard for the arena bowl. Previously, the arena was managed by Rich Kreswick, whom after spent a brief time at the Fleet Center (Boston) and in the mid 90's, the general manager position transferred to Sandy Dunn. Sandy is one of few women to manage an arena venue, and the DCU center is one of the most stable of SMG's assets.

Notable events
The arena's primary tenant is the Worcester Sharks AHL team, owned and operated by its NHL affiliate San Jose Sharks. Prior to this, the venue was home to the Worcester IceCats, also of the AHL. The New England Surge of the Continental Indoor Football League also called the Center home for two seasons, but after the 2008 season the team ceased all operations. They were the second indoor football team to do so, after the Massachusetts Marauders of the AFL. Boston area teams use the arena as an occasional home venue for pre-season games. Worcester has been host to the Boston Celtics every few years. The arena also hosted the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic on January 29, 2009. The PlanetUSA All stars defeated Team Canada 14-11, in the highest scoring AHL All Star game in history. During the 1980s, the arena became a stop for touring musical acts. The old Boston Garden had poor acoustics and lacked air conditioning, prompting promoters to schedule Boston area shows at the arena. This practice continues today as the arena is seen as an alternative to the larger TD Garden. The arena also plays host to a variety of entertainment events, including Professional Bull Riding, Stars On Ice, Monster Trucks and more. The arena played host to what some fans consider to be the greatest 2-night stand in the history of The Dave Matthews Band in December 1998. Fresh off their May release of Before These Crowded Streets, Dave Matthews Band played some of the most inspired and diverse concerts in their history. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones joined DMB for these shows opening both nights and even sitting in on much of sets for both nights. The arena played host to The Up in Smoke Tour on July 20-21, 2000. The show featured many famous rappers and hip hop artists, including Ice Cube, Eminem, Proof, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Nate Dogg, Kurupt, D12, MC Ren, Westside Connection, Mel-Man, Tha Eastsidaz, Doggy's Angels, Devin The Dude, Warren G, TQ, Truth Hurts and Xzibit. The July 20th show was filmed and later released as a live DVD. The arena played host to The Tattoo the Earth Tour on October 5”“7, 2001 and October 12-14, 2002. The show featured performances by Slipknot, Slayer, Sevendust, Sepultura, Hed PE, Mudvayne, downset., Hatebreed, Full Devil Jacket, Famous, Amen, U.P.O., Nothingface, PPM, Cold, Relative Ash, Systematic, Six Feet Under, Candiria, Lamb of God, God Forbid, Darkest Hour, Unearth, All That Remains, Dropkick Murphys, Sick of It All, Tiger Army, Converge, The Unseen, Reach the Sky, Stretch Arm Strong, Kill Your Idols and Nashville Pussy. It also featured 42 tattoo artists from Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Malaysia, Manitoba, Spain, Switzerland and the US. Boston natives Aerosmith have performed at the DCU Center 13 times over the course of their career, including a few New Year's Eve shows. The arena features annual appearances of the top family shows including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Sesame Street Live, Disney On Ice, Harlem Globetrotters and The Wiggles, among others. On November 2, 2009, it was the host of WWE Raw for the first time in 9 years. The PBR has hosted a Built Ford Tough Series bull riding event at the arena every single year from the event's inception in 1998. The Built Ford Tough Series was known as the Bud Light Cup until the 2002 season. On December 27-28, 2010, Phish returned for a pair of concerts, the group's 11th and 12th appearances at the venue and its first public performances there in over 7 years. On Jaunary 29-30, 2011, the Massachusetts International 28th Auto Show was held at the arena.

Expansion, convention center
The facility expanded in 1997 with the opening of an attached state-of-the-art convention center that features panoramic views of downtown Worcester. The complex, described as an architectural gem, added 50,000 square feet (4,600 m 2) of exhibit space, 11 meeting rooms, a 12,144-square-foot (1,128.2 m 2) ballroom (the largest in Central Massachusetts) and a state-of-the-art kitchen. The facility’s 100,000-plus square feet of exhibit space is filled by consumer shows, trade shows, conventions, conferences, and other public and private functions year-round. An additional headquarters hotel for the facility, the Hilton Garden, opened in October 2006 doubling the number of rooms previously available in the facility’s other headquarters hotel, the former Crowne Plaza that closed in 2009.

Renovations
It was announced on June 3, 2009 that the DCU Center would undergo a series of major renovations, starting in June 2009 and going through to September. There will be 3 or 4 phases to the renovations, and to avoid delays and conflict, work will be done only in the summer months, so it does not interfere with the Worcester Sharks AHL season which begins in October. Work on the arena is expected to last 3 to 4 summers, thus making a completion date of somewhere during the summer of 2011 or 2012. Some of the major improvements mentioned for the summer 2009 phase include a new electrical system, new ice chillers, and a completely new ice floor all of which are original to the arena which opened in 1982. Other improvements to the arena during phase 1 will include a new dasher board system, and a new seamless glass system which are often found in new arenas. Other improvements slated for future phases include, but are not limited to, an improved concourse, improved concessions, new and improved restrooms and the addition of suites and club seats. There are several other things that will be worked on, but have not been finalized yet by the City of Worcester and SMG.

Media

2 photos

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated 8 media and uploaded a media file
    31
    about 4 years ago via OpenBuildings.com