The Time Warner Cable Arena is one of the newer venues in the NBA as it opened its doors in 2005. At the time it was known as the Charlotte Bobcats Arena, after the NBA had placed an expansion team in Charlotte to replace the Hornets (who moved to New Orleans in 2002) as long as this new arena was built to host them. This remained the name of the Arena until 2008 when Time Warner Cable paid for the naming rights. The whole concept went full circle in 2014 when the Bobcats became the Hornets once more a season after the franchise in New Orleans became known as the Pelicans.
When the arena was constructed at a cost of $260 million there was no expense spared on the design. The center hung video screen in the arena is known as “Hornets TV” and it measures 16 feet by 28 feet. At the time of its construction this was the largest scoreboard size of any indoor arena in the country. Its capacity is on the higher end for NBA games with 19,077 people able to watch a regular season game. This seating is expandable to 20,200 for college basketball tournaments and NBA Playoff games. This 20,200 figure is also used for pro wrestling events, while the figure slips to just 14,000 for ice hockey, which was not a priority when the building was designed.
With North Carolina being a hotbed for college basketball it is no surprise that the arena has already hosted a slew of NCAA Tournament games. Rounds were held at Time Warner Cable Arena in 2008, 2011 and 2015, with more expected to be announced in the future. The ACC Tournament was also held here in 2008 and will be again in 2019. In this sports rich part of the world it is interesting that the first event at the venue was nothing to do with sports, but was instead a concert put on by the Rolling Stones.
There was some controversy surrounding the arena when it was announced that despite all the funding which had been given to the project the Bobcats were still charging a $15,000 fee to schools in the area to host their graduation. A newspaper story on the issue caused the fees to be waived, but many schools have since moved their graduations to the historic Bojangles’ Coliseum because of the cost and fallout of the issue.
The Time Warner Cable Arena scoreboard is one of the most unique in the NBA as it features the skyline of Charlotte on the top. This added feature is the kind of attention to detail which modern arena’s around the country are looking for in order to set themselves apart from the crowd. The arena also features 2,600 club seats and 60 lodge boxes, to go along with open walkways and exposed staircases which give the whole arena design a more natural, and less claustrophobic feel.
image courtesy of aecom.com