Giant Center is a 10,500-seat multi-purpose arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania, a census-designated place in the Harrisburg metropolitan area. It is home to the Hershey Bears ice hockey team, the longest-existing member of the American Hockey League since 1938. Giant Center replaced the Hersheypark Arena as the Bears' home venue in 2002.
|Address||550 West Hersheypark Drive|
|Owner||Derry Township Industrial and Commercial Development Authority|
|Operator||Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company|
|Field size||17,000 square feet (1,600 m2)|
|Broke ground||November 8, 2000|
|Opened||October 15, 2002|
|Construction cost||$65 million|
($90.5 million in 2018 dollars)
|Project manager||Reynolds Construction Management, Inc.|
|Structural engineer||Century Engineering|
|Services engineer||Smith Seckman Reid, Inc.|
|Hershey Bears (AHL) (2002–present)|
Harrisburg Stampede (PIFL) (2014)
Giant Center is owned by the Derry Township Industrial and Commercial Development Authority, as much of the money for its construction was provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is operated by Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company, with the naming rights owned by the Giant-Carlisle grocery store chain based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Giant Center has 7,700 seats in the Lower Level and 2,800 seats in the Upper Level. The arena also has 688 Club Seats and 40 Luxury Suites. Wheelchair and companion seating is available on all levels.
In addition to Bears games, Giant Center also hosts an annual concert series and attracts many well-known entertainers. The first performance at the arena was by Cher. The arena has since continued to host a wide variety of popular acts, including American Idol Live! and the Harlem Globetrotters. In 2003, Giant Center held the WWE's Unforgiven.
Giant Center also hosted the Road to Victory rally for Republican Presidential candidate, John McCain, and his running mate, Sarah Palin, on October 28, 2008. President Donald Trump also held a rally to campaign in November 2016.
WWE Raw was held at Giant Center with a three-hour Thanksgiving themed episode on November 23, 2009, and returned for a three-hour 'Old School' themed episode on November 15, 2010. WWE has also held several other Raw and WWE Friday Night SmackDown episodes here as well.
Giant Center and the city of Hershey also hosted the 2011 AHL All-Star Game and Skills Competition on January 30–31, 2011.
Before the 2015/2016 Hershey Bears Hockey season, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts made a $4.7 million upgrade to the production system, a new four-sided, center-hung HD scoreboard, a new LED standings board and a new LED fascia ribbon surrounding the bowl, manufactured by Daktronics. The new scoreboard's video screens measure 13.52 feet high and 23.92 feet wide. Project was funded with all private funds from HE&R.
On October 1, 2016, Country megastar Carrie Underwood broke the record for most attended concert when she brought her Storyteller Tour: Stories in the Round to the arena. The 360-degree angle of the stage stretched across the arena floor, providing all viewers with a good show. She returned on June 13, 2019 during her Cry Pretty Tour 360.
On October 25, 2016, the arena hosted the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions.
Photos of the arenaEdit
Giant Center before the start of a game against the Lake Erie Monsters
In 2007, the Giant Center Food and Beverage Department finalized a deal with PepsiCo, with all food and drink stands in the building switched from Coca-Cola products to Pepsi products. The switch was made to equalize operations with the rest of the Hershey Entertainment Complex.
Giant Center's concessions include traditional fast food items such as chicken tenders, hamburgers, french fries, and hot dogs, as well as various Italian items. Additional concessions available include Common Coffeehouse treats such as flavored coffee and pastries. The Smokehouse offering Smoked Pork BBQ, Burrito Bowls, Chicken and Beef Brisket. Cross Check Cafe offers made-to-order Deitz & Watson Deli Sandwiches, Soup, Salad and Daily Specials for Bears Hockey games. Most locations also offer children meals. Turkey Hill, a local company from nearby Lancaster County, provides its own brand of ice cream products. In 2014 Arooga's Wing Shack (Local Company) opened offering chicken tenders, regular and boneless wings with a variety of different sauces.
Nodding to their presence nearby, various Hershey's chocolate products are available at most of the concession stands.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
- "GIANT Center". Reynolds Construction Management, Inc. Archived from the original on April 27, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- "Giant Center Arena". Century Engineering. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- "Giant Center". Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. Archived from the original on March 8, 2004. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
- "Special Report: What's On Deck". SportsBusiness Journal. July 30, 2001. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Conroy, Scott (October 28, 2008). "Palin Makes 11th Visit to PA". CBS News. Retrieved October 28, 2008.
- "2016 Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions takes center stage beginning Sept. 15". usagym.org. Retrieved May 1, 2019.