HP Pavilion

The HP Pavilion at San Jose, formerly known as Compaq Center at San Jose and San Jose Arena is an indoor arena, located at 525 West Santa Clara Street, in San Jose, California.

The arena is also commonly called The Shark Tank or The Tank, both of which come from its primary tenant, the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League.

Plans for an arena in San Jose go back to the mid-1980s, when a group of local citizens formed Fund Arena Now (FAN), a group dedicated to getting an indoor arena built in the city. The group spent much of its time pushing city officials to build such a structure while at the same time selling the possibility of the building to interested groups, namely NHL and NBA franchises. In the late 1980s, then-San Jose mayor Tom McEnery met with FAN and helped to make their plans reality. Eventually, a measure was introduced that would allocate local taxes toward building an arena in San Jose's growing downtown, which would be voted on June 7, 1988. The measure passed by a narrow margin: 73,409 to 64,140. The plans for the arena would eventually be one of the reasons that George and Gordon Gund would locate their new Bay Area NHL franchise in San Jose, which would eventually become the San Jose Sharks.

Construction of the arena began in 1991, and was originally slated to open in 1992. The construction ran into a rather sizable delay, however, when the management for the San Jose Sharks realized the arena had been designed for community use, and that it needed a drastic redesign to upgrade the arena to NHL standards. Most notably, the original arena design had no luxury suites or a press box, with the introduction of the former to the original plans would have reduced the arena's seating capacity to 14,000. The time taken to redesign the arena delayed the opening of the building to 1993, forcing the Sharks to play an additional season at the Cow Palace.

 

The arena opened in 1993 as the San Jose Arena. In 2001, naming rights were sold to Compaq, and the facility became Compaq Center at San Jose; the geographic identifier was needed because at the time, there was a Compaq Center in Houston. After HP purchased Compaq in 2002, the company chose to name the arena the HP Pavilion, a moniker given to the venue after one of HP's prevalent computer models.

 

It was announced in late April 2007 that the HP Pavilion at San Jose would be receiving several building improvements, including a new centerhung LED video display system from Daktronics similar to that of the TD Banknorth Garden, home of the Boston Bruins of the NHL.

With the addition of the new video and sound system, the existing control room was transformed into an additional luxury suite. A new video control room was constructed on the lower level of the arena. The sound console was moved to the broadcast pit, joining Sharks TV, Sharks radio, and visiting TV. Visiting radio was moved to an auxiliary location in the catwalk on the bench side of the arena.


Tenants

HP Pavilion at San Jose houses the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League and the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League. It is also the venue for the annual SAP Open men's tennis tournament.

The facility has also been home to the Golden State Warriors of the NBA during reconstruction of the Oakland Coliseum Arena, and the defunct San Jose Rhinos of RHI, San Jose Grizzlies of the CISL and the San Jose Stealth of the National Lacrosse League.


Other events

HP Pavilion hosts an average of 190 events a year, including many non-sporting events. In 2006, the HP Pavilion sold the most tickets to non-sporting events of any venue in the Western United States, and the fourth highest total in the world, after Madison Square Garden in New York City, the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The arena has hosted many World Wrestling Entertainment events in the past, most notably the WWE's Royal Rumble in 1998 and the WWE's SummerSlam in 2001. It also held WWE's The Great American Bash in 2007.

It has also played host for other sporting events, such as the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the NCAA Basketball tournament (known as March Madness), the Pac-10 women's basketball championship, and the Dew Action Sports Tour.

HP Pavilion hosts the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus every year. Trains are usually parked in nearby Milpitas. However, in 2008, the train was parked on the Vasona Branch.

 

Media

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