History of the Smoothie King Center
Construction of the arena began on November 30, 1995. It was completed almost four years later on October 29, 1999. The total cost of construction came to $114 million. The arena was originally built to be the home of the New Orleans Brass, a hockey team that was part of the East Coast Hockey League. Unfortunately, the team went bust in 2002.
Fortunately for the Smoothie King Center, the NBA team the New Orleans Hornets decided to move to New Orleans in 2002. They have been playing in the Smoothie King Center ever since, but they changed their name to the New Orleans Pelicans in 2013.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the arena became the center of medical operations for aid workers. The workers relocated to the Smoothie King Center from the adjacent Superdome due to horrible conditions inside of it. The Smoothie King Center withstood the effects of the hurricane much better due to its superior design, and it reopened for events only a month after the hurricane.
State-of-the-Art Technology The Smoothie King Center underwent interior renovations in 2006. Part of these renovations was the installation of advanced LED video screen technology. There is 875 feet of LED ribbon running around the arena. There are also eight giant LED screens that fans can see instant replays and other announcements on during events. Events The arena has twice been home to the NBA All-Star Game. It has also been a host of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on three separate occasions. It has twice hosted the Final Four for NCAA Women's Basketball. As well as major sports, the arena is a popular spot for rodeo events. Professional wrestling events are also a frequent occurrence. The arena is also a big draw for large concerts. Capacity The capacity for concerts is 17,805. The basketball and hockey capacity is 17,003, but that can be expanded to more than 18,000 for NBA playoff games and NCAA tournament games. The capacity for Arena Football games is 16,900!!