Reunion Arena was an indoor arena located in the Reunion district of downtown Dallas, Texas, United States. The arena served as the primary home of the National Hockey League's (NHL) Dallas Stars and the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Dallas Mavericks. The venue's capacity held accommodations for 17,000 for ice hockey spectators, and 18,190 for basketball spectators.

Reunion Arena
Reunion Arena
Reunion Arena in 2004
Location777 Sports Street
Dallas, Texas 75207 U.S.
Coordinates32°46′22″N 96°48′29″W / 32.77278°N 96.80806°W / 32.77278; -96.80806
OwnerCity of Dallas
OperatorCity of Dallas
17,772 (1980–81)
17,134 (1981–83)
17,007 (1983–91)
17,502 (1991–96)
18,042 (1996–98)
18,121 (1998–99)
18,190 (1999–2008)
Ice hockey:
16,500 (1980–91)
16,914 (1991–95)
16,924 (1995–97)
16,928 (1997–99)
17,000 (1999–2008)
Indoor soccer: 16,626 (1993–04)
  • End Stage: 18,630
  • Center Stage: 19,070
  • Half House: 9,663
ScoreboardAmerican Sign & Indicator, now Trans-Lux
Broke groundMarch 15, 1978; 46 years ago (1978-03-15)[1]
OpenedApril 28, 1980; 44 years ago (1980-04-28)[2]
ClosedJune 30, 2008; 15 years ago (2008-06-30)
DemolishedNovember 17, 2009; 14 years ago (2009-11-17)
Construction costUS$27 million
($99.8 million in 2023 dollars[3])
ArchitectHarwood K. Smith & Partners, Inc.
Structural engineerPaul Gugliotta Consulting Engineers, Inc.[4]
General contractorHenry C. Beck Co.[5]
Dallas Mavericks (NBA) (1980–2001)
Dallas Tornado (NASL indoor) (1980–1981)
Dallas Sidekicks (MISL/CISL/WISL/MISL II) (1984–2004)
Dallas Texans (AFL) (1990–1993)
Dallas Stars (NHL) (1993–2001)
Dallas Stallions (RHI) (1999)
Dallas Desperados (AFL) (2003)

Reunion was also a performance venue for some of the biggest names in popular music from the 1980s through the late 2000s including Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Prince, Van Halen, Frank Sinatra, Elton John, David Bowie, Madonna, Dire Straits, Gloria Estefan, Mötley Crüe, Pink Floyd, Queen, Journey, U2, R.E.M. and Radiohead.

Reunion Arena was demolished in November 2009 and the site was cleared by the end of the year.[6][7]

History edit

Reunion Arena circa 1984

Reunion Arena was completed in 1980 at a cost of US $27 million.[8] It was named for the early mid-19th century commune, La Reunion.[citation needed] Reunion Arena was notable for two lasts: it was the last NBA or NHL arena to be built without luxury suites, and it was the last NHL arena to still use an American Sign and Indicator scoreboard (though not the last in the NBA—see Charlotte Coliseum). The color matrix messageboards on that scoreboard were replaced in 1991 with Sony Jumbotron video screens.

Home teams and sporting events edit

The arena was the home of the Dallas Mavericks from 1980 to 2001 and the Dallas Stars from 1993 to 2001. Both teams moved to the new American Airlines Center in 2001. The Dallas Desperados arena football team used the arena for its 2003 season but ultimately returned to American Airlines Center.

The arena's last remaining full-time sports tenant was the MISL Dallas Sidekicks, but the club was inactive after the fall of 2004.

Reunion Arena also hosted the WCT Tennis Tournament in the 1980s, including Virginia Slims Invitational Tournament. Due to scheduling conflicts in 1984, the WCT Tennis Tournament forced the Dallas Mavericks to play Game 5 of their first playoff series at Moody Coliseum, against the Seattle SuperSonics. While nearby Southern Methodist University competed in the Southwest Conference, Reunion Arena was known by University of Arkansas Razorbacks fans as "Barnhill South", due to the big following by the Arkansas fans away from home; the Barnhill Arena was the home to all UA games until 1993. Reunion Arena hosted the Southwest Conference men's basketball tournament in 1982–1983 and 1985–1996 as well as the 1986 NCAA Final Four.

Reunion was also a venue that was frequently used by World Class Championship Wrestling in the 1980s, in which the organization held its bi-monthly Star Wars events.

Reunion Arena also served as the venue for WWE's November 9, 2000 SmackDown show.

Notable dignitaries edit

Reunion Arena was long a hot stop for politicians campaigning in Dallas.

President Ronald Reagan spoke at Reunion Arena at a prayer breakfast of an estimated 10,000 people on Aug. 23, 1984, during the Republican National Convention.[9] That night, he accepted the nomination for a second term at the Dallas Convention Center.[10]

Reunion Arena was the final campaign stop for Ross Perot, the Dallas billionaire, in his 1992 independent run for president. He drew about 5,000 people.

In 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton visited the arena to watch the University of Arkansas basketball team play in the NCAA tournament.

President George W. Bush headlined a campaign rally before 13,000 on behalf of Gov. Rick Perry on Nov. 6, 2006.

Barack Obama filled the arena to capacity of 17,000 at a presidential campaign rally on February 20, 2008, with many others turned away by the fire department. It was one of the last events at the venue before it was razed.[11]

Early events edit

The arena featured 30,000 ft2 (2,790 m2) of floor space and had great sightlines, making it ideal for a number of events and games, including many high school graduations. Although The Who was widely promoted as the first concert at Reunion on July 2, 1980, the first musical act to perform at the venue was actually Parliament-Funkadelic on May 9, 1980. At least five other concerts including Boz Scaggs, the Commodores, The Oak Ridge Boys, Foghat with the Pat Travers Band, and a triple bill of Ted Nugent, Scorpions, and Def Leppard were all booked before the official opening in July.

Notable music performances edit

Listed below are artists and bands who performed at Reunion arena. They are divided up by the year they played, starting in the 1980s. The 1990s and 2000s are divided up a bit more by genre.

1980s hitmakers edit

This is a list of artists who constantly produced hits, and were considered stars during the 1980s, and performed at Reunion Arena.

A number of acts were so popular they booked (and usually sold out) multiple consecutive dates. Some of the most successful multi-night engagements at Reunion Arena included Stevie Wonder (November 2–3, 1980), AC/DC (February 1–2, 1982 and October 11–12, 1985), Rush (February 28 – March 1, 1983, January 12–13, 1986 and January 19–20, 1988), Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band (May 4–5, 1983), Bryan Adams and Journey (June 8–10, 1983; Journey returned December 2–3, 1986), ZZ Top (four-night stints September 28 – October 1, 1983, and August 30 – September 4, 1986; two-night engagements on August 30–31, 1986, April 22–23, 1991 and October 29–30, 1994), The Police with UB40 (November 13–14, 1983), Neil Diamond (December 4–6, 1983, December 6–8, 1984 and June 9–10, 1986), Van Halen (September 10–11, 1981, November 18–19, 1982 and July 14–16, 1984), Prince (December 30, 1984 – January 1, 1985), Genesis (January 18–19, 1987), David Bowie (October 10–11, 1987), Pink Floyd (November 21–23, 1987), Michael Jackson (April 25–27, 1988), Madonna (May 7–8, 1990), Mötley Crüe with Lita Ford and Faster Pussycat (July 30–31, 1990), Depeche Mode with The The (October 13–14, 1993), Garth Brooks (February 13–15, 1998), Backstreet Boys (March 3–4, 2000), Dixie Chicks (August 10–11, 2000), and Paul McCartney (May 9–10, 2002).

Hard and classic rock artists edit

Reunion was considered one of the top venues for hard rock and heavy metal artists and in its first five years music videos for Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust", Scorpions' "Still Loving You" and Mötley Crüe's "Home Sweet Home" were all shot in and around the venue.

Hard rock edit
Classic rock acts edit

Several classic-rock acts played the 18,000-plus seat venue including:

On March 18, 1995 Led Zeppelin principals Robert Plant and Jimmy Page—each of whom had played the venue as headliners and Page with British supergroup The Firm—reunited to play blues covers, songs from their respective solo careers and Zeppelin classics fin the style of their 1994 collaboration No Quarter. The duo returned to Reunion Arena September 27, 1998, in support of their follow-up Walking into Clarksdale.

Country artists edit

Country music superstars also dominated the scene at Reunion Arena in the 1980s beginning with a triple bill of Willie Nelson, Ray Price and Lacy J. Dalton on December 30, 1980. Other country artists of note at Reunion Arena included:

Soul, R&B, funk, rap and hip-hop acts edit

Many top names in soul, R&B and funk played at Reunion including Teddy Pendergrass, Commodores, Diana Ross, Rick James, The Temptations, Ray Parker Jr., The Gap Band, Marvin Gaye, Al Jarreau, The Isley Brothers, Ray Charles, Luther Vandross, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Kool & the Gang. The Jacksons—brothers Michael, Jermaine, Jackie, Marlon, Randy and Tito—performed on July 11, 1981, as part of the Triumph Tour, performing both a Jackson 5 medley as well as covers of Michael's 70s hits including "Off The Wall", "Rock With You", "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough", and more. In April 1988, Michael Jackson returned for a three-night engagement in support of his Bad album. Janet Jackson headlined Reunion Arena on July 2, 1990, touring behind her smash album Rhythm Nation 1814. Prince played two New Year's Eve shows at Reunion Arena—on December 31, 1982, with Vanity 6 and The Time, and again on December 30–31, 1984, through January 1, 1985, with Sheila E.

The venue was also host to some of the first large-scale hip-hop and rap concerts in Dallas including Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five on November 29, 1980, and a triple bill with Run-DMC, Beastie Boys and Timex Social Club on June 15, 1986 (the Run-DMC/Beastie Boys pairing proved successful enough to warrant a return engagement on July 24, 1987). In the 1990s and 2000s hip-hop and rap acts as diverse as MC Hammer, Bobby Brown, Method Man and Redman, DMX, Jay-Z, and Eminem would eventually headline the venue.

1990s and 2000 performances edit

1980s groups in the 1990s edit

Many 1980s stars played Reunion in the early 1990s including:

Pop acts edit

Top 1990s pop acts also played the venue, including Melissa Etheridge, Jewel, Ricky Martin, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Third Eye Blind, The Wallflowers, Everclear, No Doubt, Creed, The Black Eyed Peas, and Gwen Stefani.

Although legacy hard rock acts like Aerosmith and Rush continued to be big draws in the 1990s and 2000s the headliners at Reunion Arena were often aggressive radio-rock acts like Primus, Korn, Incubus, Pantera, Rob Zombie, Limp Bizkit, Staind, Bush, Blink-182, Marilyn Manson, Godsmack, Kid Rock, Rammstein, System of a Down, and Tool.

Alternative rock bands including Sonic Youth, Social Distortion, U2, Pixies, Morrissey, Radiohead, Garbage, The Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Alanis Morissette and PJ Harvey all played Reunion Arena in the 1990s and 2000s.

After the Dallas Stars and Dallas Mavericks moved to American Airlines Center in 2001, that newer and larger venue also began to attract sporting and concert events. In early 2002, Reunion Arena booked engagements including Bob Dylan, NSYNC, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Paul McCartney. But the venue fell out of favor with music promoters that summer and went more than two years without a major concert event. The Black Eyed Peas and Gwen Stefani played on November 11, 2005, the last major act to perform at Reunion Arena.

The final performance at Reunion Arena was Christian hip hop act Group 1 Crew with Phoenix-based pop-punk group Stellar Kart on June 28, 2008.

Live recordings and music videos edit

The music video for Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust" was filmed at Reunion Arena on August 9, 1980.

The video for the Scorpions' "Still Loving You" was filmed at Reunion Arena in 1984.

Mötley Crüe shot the video for "Home Sweet Home" partially at Reunion Arena (exteriors and time lapses) on October 2, 1985. The concert footage was shot two days later at Houston concert venue The Summit.

Judas Priest played June 27, 1986, recording the entire show which parts can be found on the Priest...Live! album. A full concert DVD was released as well. Pink Floyd played three consecutive shows at Reunion in November 1987. Pop singer Whitney Houston played two sold-out concerts at Reunion in September 1987.

Country music superstar Garth Brooks filmed his first television special, This Is Garth Brooks, in the arena on September 20, 1991. The concert became noteworthy after Brooks and guitarist Ty England smashed two guitars on stage.

Country music star Shania Twain filmed her performance for the Come On Over Tour in the arena on September 12, 1998, and later released on her first DVD, Shania Twain Live.

Frank Sinatra played Reunion Arena three times: in 1984, 1987 and 1989. His October 24, 1987, concert was recorded and released in 2018 as part of the Standing Room Only album.

Metallica's February 5, 1989, show at Reunion Arena was broadcast nationally on FM radio and widely bootlegged. An abbreviated version of this recording was eventually released on CD in 2001 as part of the Fan Can 4 box set.

Motor racing edit

Dallas street circuit
LocationDallas, TX, US
Time zoneUTC-6 CST (UTC-5 CST)
Opened19 September 1993; 30 years ago (1993-09-19)
Closed1 September 1996; 27 years ago (1996-09-01)
Major eventsSCCA Dodge Shelby Pro series (1993)
Trans-Am Series (1993–1994, 1996)
IMSA GT Championship (1996)
Circuit (1993–1996)
Length2.076 km (1.290 miles)
Race lap record0:52.500 (  Eliseo Salazar, Ferrari 333 SP, 1996, WSC)

A temporary street circuit at Reunion Arena, known as the Dallas street circuit, was set up around the arena, and used some of the surrounding streets. The track was 1.290 mi (2.076 km) in length, had 10 turns, and hosted its first event on September 19, 1993, with the Trans-Am Series visiting the circuit.[12] The track hosted the SCCA Dodge Shelby Pro series in 1993, the Trans-Am Series between 1993 and 1994, and in 1996, and the IMSA GT Championship hosted its sole event at the circuit in 1996.[13][14]

Lap records edit

The fastest official race lap records at the former Dallas Street Circuit (Reunion Arena) are listed as:

Category Time Driver Vehicle Date
Street Circuit: 2.076 km (1993–1996)
WSC 0:52.550[15]   Eliseo Salazar Ferrari 333 SP 1996 Grand Prix of Dallas
Trans-Am 0:55.690[16]   Ron Fellows Ford Mustang 1994 Dallas Trans-Am round
GTS-1 0:57.437[15]   Irv Hoerr Oldsmobile Aurora 1996 Grand Prix of Dallas

Other uses edit

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Reunion Arena was opened to serve as the location for an emergency blood drive.[17] In late 2005, the arena and the Dallas Convention Center were used as the primary Dallas shelters for evacuees of Hurricane Katrina.[18]

Closure and demolition edit

Reunion Arena, October 2009

After a unanimous vote by the Dallas City Council, Reunion Arena officially closed on June 30, 2008. In August 2008, the council said it would implode the arena if it could find an entity willing to foot the bill. The council hoped for the implosion to be part of a movie scene with the film company picking up the tab for the implosion. When no filmmaker seemed interested, the city decided to demolish it using other methods, a process which took several months.[19]

Demolition was officially completed on November 17, 2009, and the site was completely cleared by the end of the year. Post-demolition, the site has seen little use. In 2011, Prince was to perform as part of Super Bowl XLV-related festivities, but the show was canceled due to inclement weather. And in September 2012, Cirque du Soleil's Koozå took place here. As of October 2013, the adjacent parking garage remained standing and there were no plans for construction on the site.The parking garage is often broken into by the homeless and littered with trash. The trash clogs the water run-off drains often causing streets to flood during heavy rains. The city is aware of this issue and responds with “we are looking into this”.

Former Reunion Arena site today edit

The Reunion Arena site today is now known as Reunion Park with events throughout the year. In 2014, Bruce Springsteen played a concert at the park as the Dallas region played host to March Madness.[20] In 2015, Weezer headlined a concert at the park.[21]

Notable events edit

Reunion Arena hosted the 1986 NCAA Final Four.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Dallas Would Welcome NBA Franchise". Odessa American. February 21, 1978. p. 14. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  2. ^ "Reunion Arena". City of Dallas. 2006. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  3. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  4. ^ "Arena Is at Foot of Reunion Tower in Dallas' New Convention Complex". Engineering News-Record. 203 (1–13): 24.
  5. ^ "April Up Front". D Magazine. April 1, 1979. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  6. ^ Dallas City Council approved an extension of 84 days, to make the total number of days for demolition 300. August 12, 2009, Council Minutes.
  7. ^ "Reunion Arena Comes Crashing Down". WFAA. Dallas. November 17, 2009. Retrieved November 26, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Reunion Arena". Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  9. ^ "American Rhetoric: Ronald Reagan – Remarks at an Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast in Dallas".
  10. ^ "Remarks Accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas".
  11. ^ "A Look Back at Past Presidential Visits to Dallas". February 18, 2019.
  12. ^ "1993 Grand Prix of Dallas". The Third Turn. June 26, 2022. Retrieved April 4, 2023.
  13. ^ "Race List". Ultimate Racing History. Retrieved April 4, 2023.
  14. ^ "Reunion Arena, Dallas". August 22, 2005. Retrieved April 4, 2023.
  15. ^ a b "2 h Dallas 1996". Retrieved April 3, 2023.
  16. ^ "1994 Trans-Am Box Scores" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 18, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2023.
  17. ^ "The Dallas Morning News: Latest News". Archived from the original on September 12, 2001. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  18. ^ "Reunion Arena has been gone for nearly 10 years. Curious Texas looks at why it was demolished". Dallas News. January 16, 2019. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  19. ^ Levinthal, Dave (August 21, 2008). "The Only Incentive Dallas Can Offer Filmmakers: Blow Us Up, Please?". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
  20. ^ "Bruce Springsteen Setlist at March Madness Music Festival 2014". Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  21. ^ "Reunion fest recap: Weezer, fireworks and more bring thousands to downtown". Dallas News. October 10, 2015. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  22. ^ 1980 The Game North American Tour Ultimate Queen. Retrieved September 1, 2011
  23. ^ "Linda Ronstadt's promo ad for live Dallas radio concert broadcast". Archived from the original on November 28, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2007.

External links edit

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Home of the
Dallas Mavericks

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Preceded by Home of the
Dallas Stars

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Preceded by Home of the
Dallas Desperados

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Basketball Tournament
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