Arena’s don’t necessarily have long lifespans.
The National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has made it known that his business probably will be looking for a new arena when his present lease ends in 2031. Cuban is not rushing the process but what was state-of-the-art in 2001 is not state-of-the-art in the stadium and arena business in 2021 and certainly will not be the case in 2031. Cuban knows a new building will be opening in Inglewood, California in 2024 for Steve Ballmer’s NBA Los Angeles Clippers franchise that will be the latest and the greatest of them all. Cuban shares the Dallas arena with the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars. The NHL has opened one new facility in Seattle this year and will have a second one opening its doors in Elmont, New York on November 20th that are state-of-the-art 2021 facilities. A good many of the arenas in use in both the NBA and NHL were built in the 1990s and unless a building undergoes constant upgrades, an arena lifespan is very limited.
A look at the four NBA expansion teams from the late 1980s in Miami, Orlando, Charlotte and Minneapolis and what happened to them is an interesting study. In 2008, the Miami Arena was blown up. The building had limited revenue generating opportunities with little high-end seating. The arena had some memorable moments such as the 1996 NHL Stanley Cup Finals, the 1994 NCAA Men’s Basketball Eastern Regional Final, along with a few of Vince McMahon’s major wrestling events and a number of concerts, including the building’s first event that featured a Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Liza Minnelli show. The Miami arena opened in 1988 and was obsolete by 2000, Orlando and Charlotte replaced arenas and there is the question about the Minneapolis’ building’s future. Sports facilities age rapidly which Cuban certainly knows.
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