The Honda Center (previously known as the Anaheim Arrowhead Pond) is an indoor arena in Anaheim, California. The Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League play at the arena.
Neil Papiano, an entertainment attorney, came up with the idea for a big indoor arena in Anaheim in 1987 after randomly selecting two city councilmen from the phone book. They approved of the proposal, and one year later, following location surveys, a seven-acre parcel at Douglass Road and Katella Avenue, owned at the time by the German social club Phoenix Club, was chosen for the location. Papiano also received financial support from two New York-based companies, Ogden Corporation and Nederlander Organization. Even though there was a dispute to build an arena on Orange County with a Santa Ana project led by Spectacor, and there were discussions about the feasibility of the arena given that the NBA and NHL were unwilling to expand to the area at the time, the city of Anaheim pushed forward to build the Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, Inc.-designed arena, which broke ground in November 1990. The Walt Disney Corporation, which had just been awarded an NHL franchise for Anaheim, entered discussions to lease the arena in 1992. The arena’s total cost was $121 million after the deal was broken, with $18 million added to fund hockey franchise fees and facilities improvements.
The arena’s debut event was a Barry Manilow performance on June 19, 1993. On October 8, 1993, the then-Arrowhead Pond hosted the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim’s season opening versus the Detroit Red Wings, which was preceded by a $450,000 pregame extravaganza. The Ducks were defeated 7-2.  Since then, the arena has hosted a variety of events, including the 2003 and 2007 Stanley Cup Finals. The Anaheim Ducks won their first Stanley Cup championship on June 6, 2007, when they defeated the Ottawa Senators 6-2 in game five of the Final at Honda Center.
Beginning with UFC 59 in 2006, Honda Center has hosted multiple UFC events. In 2005, it hosted the IBF World Badminton Championships.
It was a second home for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers from 1994 to 1999. From 1994 to 1999, it was home to the Anaheim Bullfrogs of Roller Hockey International and the Anaheim Piranhas of the Arena Football League.
Since 1998, this arena has also hosted an annual PBR Bud Light Cup (later Built Ford Tough Series) event. The annual Wooden Legacy basketball tournament has been held at the arena since 1994.
The Big West Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments were first held in the venue in 2011. The arena has also served as the West Regional location for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament seven times, in 1998, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2019. It also hosted the Frozen Four, the semifinals and finals of the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, in 1999, demonstrating the region’s love of hockey.
The Honda Center is located northeast of Angel Stadium (the home stadium of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Angels) and approximately 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from Disneyland Park. It is also directly across the street from the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, which is served by Amtrak (Pacific Surfliner), Metrolink (Orange County Line), Anaheim Resort Transit, the Orange County Transportation Authority, and private transportation providers.
The arena has a capacity of 17,174 seats for its major tenant, the Ducks. Honda Center is transformed from a sporting arena to an 8,400-seat amphitheater in under five hours. The structure, which has entertained 17.5 million guests as of 2003, features 84 luxury suites. The arena was the first in the United States to have two full floors of 360° ribbon displays installed in 2005. The 1,800 feet (550 m) of full-color LED technology was conceived, manufactured, and installed by Daktronics of Brookings, South Dakota. The marquee outside the venue was updated with two enormous video displays measuring 8 feet (2.4 m) high by 21 feet (6.4 m), and a new marquee with more LED video displays was installed.
Broadcom chairman Henry Samueli owns both the corporation that runs the venue, Anaheim Arena Management, LLC, and the arena’s major tenant, the Ducks, which gives him a lot of leeway in arranging events and attracting new tenants. AAM was created in 2003 to take over the arena’s operations from the insolvent Ogden Corp., who had already sold the arena’s concession arrangement to Aramark in 2000, who continued to provide foods and drinks until 2013, when concessions became an in-house operation.
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