Tucson Convention Center

The Tucson Convention Center ( TCC), previously named the Tucson Community Center, is a large multi-purpose convention center located in downtown Tucson, Arizona. Built in 1971, the location includes a 9,275-seat indoor arena, two performing arts venues, and 205,000 square feet (19,000 m 2) of meeting space. In 2009, ground was broken on a major renovation to construct a new convention center hotel and substantially expand the exhibition space. Architectural firm DLR Group designed the new Tucson Hotel and Convention Center. The project is under construction. The main tower is a 400 foot, 27-story Sheraton hotel featuring 525 guest rooms. Features include an open courtyard, outdoor pool, bar and lobby lounge, fitness center, café, rooftop pool deck, business center, and 50,000 square feet (4,600 m 2) of meeting space including a 19,000-square-foot (1,800 m 2) ballroom. The project includes an 118,000-square-foot (11,000 m 2) expansion of the adjacent Tucson Convention Center. The renovation will add a new exhibit hall, two ballrooms, five large meeting rooms, a new main entry and 1,060-car parking garage. The project is scheduled for completion in 2012. Cost is preliminarily estimated at $246 million. Edit: Tucson has not started construction on an expansion of the convention center and a hotel.

Performance venues

  • Tucson Music Hall, with 2,289 seats, is used for concert performances, including opera.
  • Leo Rich Theater, with 511 seats, is used for small scale and more intimate performances.
  • Tucson Arena, with 4,988 permanent seats, 2,724 bleacher seats, and floor capacity for 888.

Major arena events

Arizona Icecats ice hockey
The University of Arizona Icecats hockey team currently plays at Tucson Arena and is the primary tenant at this time. Although associated with the college, the team receives no funding directly from the school. The hockey team is a Division 1 member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association. Leo Golembiewski has been the head coach for the last 27 years, leading the team to 21 straight national tournaments with eight Semi-final appearances and one national championship.

Tucson Thunder Kats indoor football
The Tucson Thunder Kats indoor football team is set to begin play for the 2011 season of the American Indoor Football Association.

Other events
The Tucson Convention Center has been host to many other events including the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, concerts, monster truck shows as well as many live WWE television broadcasts featuring Raw, SmackDown & ECW on Sci Fi.

Past minor league teams

  • Tucson Mavericks, Central Hockey League (1975-76)
  • Tucson Icemen, Southwest Hockey League (1976-77)
  • Tucson Rustlers, Professional Hockey League (1978-79)
  • Tucson Gila Monsters, West Coast Hockey League (1997-99)

Future expansion

Arena and convention
TCC's current arena is outdated and operates at a 3 million dollar deficit every year. In 2005, a feasibility study was performed, revealing that a new arena in downtown Tucson is possible. April 4, 2007, Tucson city council approved funding of $130 million for a new 10,000-12,000 seat arena. Supporters claim that the new arena would add significantly to the ongoing Rio Nuevo downtown redevelopment project. Currently, most performances in Arizona are held in Phoenix because of the larger facilities. When attempting to bring larger names to the city, Prince and Cirque du Soleil both declined performances because the existing arena's ceiling is too low. Upon completion, the facility would contain a higher elevation as well as an expanded seating capacity. Over 4,000 parking spaces would also be added to the grounds around the TCC as well as ten new meeting rooms able to accommodate up to 1,000 people. In February 2009, 360 Architecture was revealed as the new designer in negotiations with the city of Tucson, replacing HNTB. After numerous changes to its proposed location, the arena is currently 90% locked in for a site located on the southeast corner of Interstate 10 and West Congress Street in downtown Tucson. A previous arena design replicating a desert tortoise has also been changed and 360 plans to start a new design from scratch. Tucson-based Swaim Associates will be working with 360 Architecture, serving as the project coordinator.


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Building Activity

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