American Airlines Center
The American Airlines Center is an arena located in the Victory Park neighborhood near downtown Dallas, Texas that is mainly used for Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars games. The AAC also hosts many musical concerts each year.
Dallas has set a new standard with the country's premier sports and entertainment venue, the American Airlines Center. Along with the best minds in architecture and entertainment, the city and the owners of the Mavericks and the Stars meticulously crafted the best sports facility in the country.
The Center is vastly different from Reunion Arena, the former home for the Mavs and Stars, in many ways including the seating configuration. The AAC provides for improved sight lines and intimate feel in every area despite the larger capacity. There are two additional courtside rows across from the team benches, and the wide track around the court was eliminated to improve sight lines in the rows closest to the floor to create a more intimidating atmosphere for the opponent.
The Platinum Level includes fine restaurant dining with seating that overlooks the downtown skyline or the game. This exclusive level also includes private conference centers and specialty food and drink bars.
The Center sits on the northwest shoulder of downtown Dallas amid a 70-acre emerging development called Victory. Cictory in an engine for continued downtown revitalization, with more than six million square feet of entertainment, retail, residential and office space planned.
The Center is a grand complex with sweeping vistas and inviting passages. It comprises five concourses, 142 suites and room for over 20,000 fans of the Mavs. Designed by world-renowned architect David M. Schwarz and Dallas-based HKS, Inc., the AAC is a combination of traditional architecture and hi-tech wizardry. Outside, the signature arches are warm and inviting. Inside, the retractable seating brings the bowl in closer to the action, allowing fans a more intinate experience and exceptional sight lines.
The AAC is also the most technologically advanced in sports and entertainment venue in the country. From the ProStar VideoPlus scoreboard to the Internet-ready seats, tech-savvy owners like Mark Cuban, Ross Perot Jr. and Tom Hicks were committed to making sure the building was wired to support today's technology as well as the technology of the future. The AAC sits on a buried superhighway of fiberoptic cable, so it was easy for designers to give the facility the most cutting-edge technoloical amenities available today. And the AAC will stay on the cutting edge for years to come. Builders have installed extra raceways, ductwork and conduit for wiring that isn't even available yet. Extra large utility closets are available for technology that hasn't even been invented yet.
By 1998, the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars were indicating their desire for a new facility to replace Reunion Arena. Dallas taxpayers approved a new hotel tax and rental car tax to pay for a new facility to cover a portion of the funding, with the two teams, the Mavericks and the Stars picking up the remaining costs, including cost overruns. The new arena was to be built just north of Woodall Rodgers Freeway near Interstate 35E on the site of an old power plant.
On March 18, 1999, American Airlines announced that it would be acquiring the naming rights for the arena for US$195 million. On July 27, 2001, the facility opened with the largest ribbon-cutting ceremony ever, according to the Guinness Book of Records. The first event occurred the next day with an Eagles concert. On the next night, the arena hosted the last show of Michael Flatley's Feet of Flames tour. The first sporting event took place on 19 August 2001 with the Dallas Sidekicks of the World Indoor Soccer League taking on the San Diego Sockers.
The American Airlines Center is meant to be the heart of a new urban, commercial area designed to reinvigorate the city of Dallas called Victory Park. The facility itself features a conservative, traditional design with sweeping brick façades and smooth arches, and has been graced with a number of awards.