Qwest Center Omaha

CenturyLink Center is an arena and convention center facility in the North Downtown neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska. The 1.1 million ft² facility has an 18,300-seat arena, a 194,000-ft² exhibition hall and 62,000 ft² of meeting space.

On July 15, 2011 it was announced that the name of Qwest Center Omaha has changed to CenturyLink Center. This was part of a 22 billion dollar buyout of Qwest Communications by CenturyLink (formerly CenturyTel). All signage, inside and outside, will be changed to conform to the new arena name; lighting will also be switched (from blue to green). The transition is expected to be completed by August 1, 2011.

The arena hosts various basketball games, hockey games, professional wrestling events and concerts. Another notable event held there is the annual shareholders meeting of Omaha-based conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway.

Other names for the facility are "The Qwest", "The Riverfront Centre", "The Omaha Convention Center & Arena".

History

In 2000, Omaha voters approved a $216 million bond issue to build a new convention center and arena; the remainder of the $291 million project was provided by private organizations and individuals. The facility design was led by architectural firm DLR Group. Naming rights to the arena were purchased by Qwest.

Qwest Center Omaha opened in September 2003 with an initial seating capacity of 17,000 for concerts, 15,500 for basketball, and 14,700 for hockey. In 2006, a $5.7-million expansion of the arena increased capacity by approximately 1,500 seats.

The Qwest Center displaced the 1954 Omaha Civic Auditorium as the premier indoor arena in the city. The venerable Ak-Sar-Ben Coliseum was closed in 2002 and was demolished in 2005.

The arena hosted games in the first and second rounds of the 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament and the 2010 NCAA Men's Division I Wrestling Championships. It was also home to the WWE Judgment Day 2008 pay-per-view, as well as other events from the WWE.

The 2008 USA Swimming Summer Olympic Trials were hosted over eight days at the Qwest Center and on June 29, 2009 it was announced the trials would return again in 2012. The 2008 event averaged more than 12,000 spectators each night.

Part of the first and second round games for the 2012 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament will be held on either March 15 and March 17 or March 16 and March 18.

A portion of the roof, "The Hat", was damaged by a storm on June 27, 2008. There was no structural damage, however, the damage caused water to pour into parts of the Qwest Center, flowed down two sets of arena steps and onto the deck of the competition pool for the USA Swimming Summer Olympic Trials. The schedule for the trials went on as scheduled.

In 2011 it was announced the name would be changed to The CenturyLink Center Omaha.

Tenants
  • Creighton Bluejays men's college basketball
  • UNO Mavericks ice hockey
  • Nebraska School Activities Association -- Nebraska State Wrestling Tournament
Attendance history

Top 10 Largest Home Crowds at Qwest Center Omaha, Creighton History

  • White Out vs Wichita St.

  • US Olympic Swimming Trials June, 2008

Records and milestones

On the evening of December 28, 2008, the largest crowd to ever watch a basketball game in Nebraska occurred when 17,954 fans witnessed the game between Creighton University and Wichita State University. This crowd was also the largest crowd to witness a Missouri Valley Conference regular season Men's basketball game.

The Qwest Center holds several NCAA attendance records, especially in college volleyball. Qwest Center owns the top three NCAA tournament attendance record. The highest attendance to ever watch a volleyball match in the United States occurred when 17,340 fans watched the 2008 NCAA National Semifinal match between Penn State and Nebraska. The second highest attendance in NCAA tournament history occurred when 17,209 fans watched Nebraska defeat Stanford for the 2006 NCAA championship. For the 2008 NCAA National Championship, 14,299 people watched Penn State defeat Stanford, the third highest attendance in NCAA tournament history and just two days after the Qwest Center broke the attendance record for the semifinals.

Media

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Building Activity

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