Reunion Arena was an indoor arena located in the Reunion district of downtown Dallas, Texas. The arena served as the primary home of the National Basketball Association's Dallas Mavericks and the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars. Its capacity held accommodations for 18,190 basketball spectators and 17,000 for ice hockey spectators. Reunion was also a performance venue for some of the biggest names in popular music from the 1980s through the late 2000s including Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Prince, Elton John, David Bowie, Madonna, Pink Floyd, Queen, U2, R.E.M. and Radiohead.
|Location||777 Sports Street|
Dallas, Texas 75207 U.S.
|Owner||City of Dallas|
|Operator||City of Dallas|
|Capacity||Basketball: 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
|Scoreboard||American Sign & Indicator, now Trans-Lux|
|Broke ground||March 15, 1978|
|Opened||April 28, 1980|
|Closed||June 30, 2008|
|Demolished||November 17, 2009|
|Construction cost||US$27 million|
($82.1 million in 2018 dollars)
|Architect||Harwood K. Smith & Partners, Inc.|
|Structural engineer||Paul Gugliotta Consulting Engineers, Inc.|
|General contractor||Henry C. Beck Co.|
|Dallas Mavericks (NBA) (1980–2001)|
Dallas Tornado (NASL indoor) (1980–1981)
Dallas Sidekicks (MISL) (1984–2004)
Dallas Texans (AFL) (1990–1993)
Dallas Stars (NHL) (1993–2001)
Dallas Stallions (RHI) (1999)
Dallas Desperados (AFL) (2003)
Reunion Arena was completed in 1980 at a cost of US $27 million. It was named for the early mid-19th century commune, La Reunion. 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 eventsEdit
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.
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 ever playoff series at Moody Coliseum, against the Seattle SuperSonics. While 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's basketball tournament in the 1980s and 1990s, 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.
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.
Among the artists to perform at Reunion Arena were top 1980s hitmakers including Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Yes, The Cars, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, ZZ Top, Styx, Rush, The Moody Blues, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Foreigner, Pat Benatar, Billy Squier, Loverboy, Journey, Kenny Rogers, Stevie Nicks, Survivor, Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart, Dan Fogelberg, The Police, Hall & Oates, Asia, Genesis, Olivia Newton-John, REO Speedwagon, Men At Work, The Go-Gos, John Mellencamp, Heart, Eddie Money, Billy Joel, Sammy Hagar, Night Ranger, The Psychedelic Furs, U2, The Kinks, Neil Young, David Bowie, The Fixx, Jackson Browne, Rick Springfield, Robert Plant, Joan Jett, Duran Duran, Lionel Richie, The Bangles, Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, U2, 'Til Tuesday, Phil Collins, Lone Justice, Dire Straits, Sting, Mr. Mister, Tina Turner, The Pretenders, Twisted Sister, The Pointer Sisters, Eurythmics, Bruce Hornsby, Steve Winwood, Bon Jovi, David Lee Roth, Peter Gabriel, The Cult, Billy Idol, The Cure, Roger Waters, Whitney Houston, Pink Floyd, Public Image Ltd, INXS, and R.E.M.
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 August 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 rock and classic rock artistsEdit
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, Scorpions and Mötley Crüe were all shot in and around the venue. Van Halen, AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Aerosmith, Ratt, Whitesnake, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Dio, KISS, Queensrÿche, Cinderella, Poison, Megadeth, Skid Row, and Metallica were among the biggest names to perform in the 1980s.
Several classic-rock acts played the 18,000-plus seat venue including The Doobie Brothers, Jethro Tull, Chuck Berry, Cheap Trick, The Beach Boys, John Denver, Kansas, War, Santana, Linda Ronstadt, Eric Clapton, Bob Seger, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Joe Cocker, Black Sabbath, David Gilmour, Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Paul Simon, Bad Company, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Jimmy Buffett.
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 music superstars also dominated Reunion Arena in the 1980s beginning with a triple bill of Willie Nelson, Ray Price and Lucy J. Dalton on December 30, 1980. Other country artists of note at Reunion Arena included The Gatlin Brothers, Loretta Lynn, Alabama, Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, Eddie Rabbitt, Juice Newton, George Strait, Randy Travis, The Judds, Hank Williams, Jr., Tanya Tucker, Hank Williams, Jr., Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Clint Black, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
Soul, R&B, funk, rap and hip-hop actsEdit
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, and Gladys Knight & The Pips. 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 Years 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.
Reunion Arena in the 1990s and 2000sEdit
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 Morrissette and PJ Harvey all played Reunion Arena in the 1990s and 2000s.
After the 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.
Reunion Arena in live recordings and music videosEdit
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 songstress 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.
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.
Closure and demolitionEdit
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.
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.
Former Reunion Arena site todayEdit
The Reunion Arena site today is now known as Reunion Park with events throughout the year.
- 1980: Parliament-Funkadelic played the first concert to ever be held at the arena.
- 1980: Queen performed during The Game Tour on August 9; the music video for their hit song "Another One Bites the Dust" was recorded at the arena.
- 1982: Ozzy Osbourne performed with guitar virtuoso Randy Rhoads, who was killed in a plane crash less than a month later.
- 1982: On November 25, singer Linda Ronstadt performed her famous Happy Thanksgiving Day concert, one of the first ever via satellite concerts, by a female solo artist, to be broadcast live on radio stations across the nation.
- 1982: On December 25 at WCCW Christmas Star Wars, an angle was executed during the Ric Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich cage match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, with Michael Hayes as a referee the match which led to the Von Erich family vs. Fabulous Freebird feud. Astronomical levels of business occurred for the World Class Championship Wrestling promotion during 1983 and 1984 as a result.
- 1983: The first wrestling sellout, of more than 17,000, was on June 17, headlined by Harley Race vs. Kevin Von Erich for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, and Bruiser Brody and Kerry Von Erich vs. Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy (two-thirds of the Fabulous Freebirds).
- 1983: On November 13 and 14, The Police played two sold-out concerts as part of their Synchronicity Tour.
- 1984: Black Sabbath played there on their completely sold-out Born Again Tour, with Deep Purple's Ian Gillan on vocals.
- 1984: Scorpions filmed their video for "Still Loving You".
- 1985: Phil Collins' No Jacket Required Tour played here. Show was also filmed for video release.
- 1985: Mötley Crüe's Theatre of Pain Tour stopped here; they filmed their video for "Home Sweet Home".
- 1986: NCAA men's basketball Final Four and NBA All-Star Game.
- 1987: Frank Sinatra performed and recorded a show on October 24, featured in his 2018 posthumous live compilation album, Standing Room Only.
- 1988: Michael Jackson performed three consecutive sold–out shows at Reunion Arena, during his Bad World Tour on April 25–27, 1988.
- 1988: Prince performed a sold-out show during his Lovesexy Tour on November 29, 1988.
- 1989: 1989 MISL All-Star Game
- 1990: Madonna performed two sold-out shows from her Blond Ambition Tour on May 7 and 8.
- 1991: Garth Brooks tapes his first television special, This Is Garth Brooks!, during a sold-out concert in September. The special airs on NBC in early 1992. It is released on VHS on June 16, 1992 and it is later included as part of the November 2006 DVD release, Garth Brooks – The Entertainer. The concert was notable for Brooks and Ty England smashing two acoustic guitars together.
- 1993: The first Dallas Stars hockey game was played against the Detroit Red Wings on October 5. The Stars defeated the Red Wings 6-4.
- 1998: Shania Twain tapes her television special Shania Twain Live, on September 12, which is aired exclusively on DirecTV for free. The special was later released on DVD in November 1999. Three of her music videos were also taken from this performance.
- 1999: Benny Hinn Miracle Crusade
- 1999: Games 1, 2, and 5 of the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals were played between the Stars and Buffalo Sabres. The Stars won the cup in Game 6 over the Sabres 2-1 in the third overtime period, but on the road at Buffalo's HSBC Arena.
- 2000: Games 3, 4, and 6 of the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals were played. However, the New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup, defeating the Dallas Stars in Game 6, 2-1 in the second overtime period.
- 2000: WWF Fully Loaded.
- 2003: Big 12 Conference Women's Post-season Basketball Tournament
- 2003: NCAA Women's Volleyball Division I Final Four
- 2004: Big 12 Conference Women's Post-season Basketball Tournament
- 2006: Big 12 Conference Women's Post-season Basketball Tournament
- 2007: NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Regional
- 2008: Reunion Arena closes.
- 2009: Reunion Arena is demolished.
In other mediaEdit
In the Walker, Texas Ranger episode "In God's Hands", Texas Rangers Cordell Walker (Chuck Norris), and James "Jimmy" Trivette (Clarence Gilyard), are attending a Stars game at the Reunion Arena when they decide to abandon the game; only to walk out of the arena and witness a robbery of an armored truck.
- "Dallas Would Welcome NBA Franchise". Odessa American. February 21, 1978. p. 14. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
- "Arena Is at Foot of Reunion Tower in Dallas' New Convention Complex". Engineering News-Record. 203 (1–13): 24.
- "April Up Front". D Magazine. April 1, 1979. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- "Reunion Arena". City of Dallas. 2006. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
- Dallas City Council approved an extension by 84 days, to make the total number of days for demolition to 300. August 12, 2009 Council Minutes.
- "Reunion Arena Comes Crashing Down". WFAA. Dallas. November 17, 2009. Retrieved November 26, 2012.[permanent dead link]
- "Reunion Arena". Ballparks.com. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
- Levinthal, Dave (August 19, 2008). "Hey filmmakers! Dallas Wants You to Blow Up Reunion Arena and Texas Stadium Both". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
- 1980 The Game North American Tour Ultimate Queen. Retrieved September 1, 2011
- "Linda Ronstadt's promo ad for live Dallas radio concert broadcast". Lindaronstadt.com. Retrieved November 4, 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Reunion Arena.|
- Reunion Arena Demolition Progress Photos
- Reunion Arena official site, archived from February 29, 2008
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