|Former names||Manchester Civic Arena (planning/construction)|
Verizon Wireless Arena (2001–16)
|Location||555 Elm Street|
Manchester, New Hampshire 03101
|Owner||City of Manchester|
10,050 (end stage)
11,770 (centerstage concerts)
|Broke ground||April 13, 2000|
|Opened||November 15, 2001|
|Construction cost||$68 million|
($98.9 million in 2018 dollars)
Lavallee Brensinger Architects
|Project manager||ScheerGame Sports Development, LLC.|
|Structural engineer||LeMessurier Consultants|
|Manchester Monarchs (AHL) (2001–2015)|
Manchester Wolves (af2) (2004–2009)
Manchester Monarchs (ECHL) (2015–2019)
New England Liberty (LFL) (2016)
The facility was originally known during construction as Manchester Civic Arena, and this name still appears on most of the directional signs around town. Its naming rights were sold prior to opening in 2001 and was called Verizon Wireless Arena. On February 2, 2016, it was announced that Southern New Hampshire University had partnered with SMG for the naming rights to the arena, which began on September 1, 2016, for a period of at least ten years.
The arena contains 542 club seats, 34 luxury suites, and five party suites.
The SNHU Arena is located on Elm Street (U.S. Route 3) at the corner of Lake Avenue and Granite Street, the latter of which leads directly to Interstate 293 across the Merrimack River. The arena was built on the site of a former Zayre's department store and is located on an irregular block, surrounded by Elm Street (west), Lake Avenue (north), Chestnut Street (east) and Auburn Street (south), with Cedar (north) and Willow (east) streets taking a corner off the southwestern corner of the block. Before and after events, Lake Avenue and Elm Street will typically be blocked off for pedestrian access.
The arena's exterior includes its notable curved blue roof, which helps heavy New Hampshire snowfall to slide off. The top half of the arena's facade is a steel oval, the western side of which is lit during events and is visible from the west side of the city and from Interstate 293. The lower half of the building is red brick, except the main entrance on the western side of the arena, which is entirely glass, providing views of the entry plaza, mills, and the West Side. There is also a large window on the main concourse's north side providing views of the Manchester skyline. There are multiple entrance doors on the front side of the arena, and two sets of doors on the eastern side. A large abstract sculpture adorns the southwest lawn of the arena near the corner of Cedar and Elm streets, and the arena's outdoor LED marquee board is located at the corner of Lake and Elm. Drive-in access for larger shows is located on the southeastern corner of the arena, accessible by a gate on Willow Street.
The arena's main concourse wraps around the entire arena, with two separate concourses for the upper levels on the north and south sidelines. The main entrance is at a lower level, with the Monarchs Pro Shop, offices and ticket offices located here. The entry level also provides a direct access to a club lounge deck above section 101, which is often used for in-event performances and promotions. The club lounge is located directly above the deck, in lieu of luxury suites. The arena has several luxury boxes, with a second level of boxes on the east and west sides of the interior. The arena has two levels, with the upper deck being curved along the top. The second level of luxury suites on the sidelines raise the upper decks on either side above the level of the end zone upper decks, and as such the four quadrants of the upper deck are essentially separate. The wall above the upper deck is painted tan, with the seats being either tan or red. The arena has a standard four-sided scoreboard, with four video boards and a combination of dot matrix and seven-segment displays. There are also several video ribbons, both in dot-matrix and LED, located along the facades of the end zone upper decks, which serve as alternate scoreboards and occasionally display out-of-town scores. The arena floor level is expandable for larger events by movable seats, and events using an end zone staging area typically use the eastern end zone for the stage.
The arena was home to two iterations of the Manchester Monarchs, one from 2001 to 2015 in the American Hockey League and another from 2015 to 2019 in the ECHL. The arena has hosted the 2005 AHL All-Star Game. The Boston Bruins of the NHL sometimes play preseason games at the arena.
Since its opening in 2001, and the NCAA expanding the Frozen Four to 16 teams in 2003, Manchester has been a regular site in the rotation for the Regional tournaments, hosting almost every two years (2004, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019).
The University of New Hampshire men's hockey team plays some of their home games at the arena, annually against Dartmouth College in the Battle for the Riverstone Cup, and against the University of Maine Black Bears in the Border War. The arena has hosted the NCAA Men's Frozen Four Northeast Regional tournament in 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015.
The arena hosted WWE Backlash in 2005.
State high school basketball and hockey championships have been held in the arena.
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The arena has hosted dozens of concerts by major performers, many of whom have visited the Manchester venue on multiple occasions.
In December 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and TV icon Oprah Winfrey appeared at a campaign rally at the arena, drawing over 8,000 people. Obama also appeared at the arena in May 2007 to speak at the Southern New Hampshire University commencement.
2012 Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney delivered his final speech before election day at the arena on November 5, 2012. The event drew nearly 18,000 people and was the largest political event in New Hampshire's history. Overflow supporters were forced to watch the speech on large outdoor televisions because the arena ran out of space. The event included a concert performed by Kid Rock in support of Gov. Romney.
A stitched panoramic image of the inside of the arena before a Manchester Monarchs AHL game versus the Providence Bruins
- "AHL Set to Kick Off 75th Anniversary Season". American Hockey League. October 8, 2010. Retrieved September 18, 2011.
- "American Hockey League Teams From Manchester and Lowell Will Not Face Each Other on the Ice Until at Least the Fall of 2001". The Telegraph (Nashua). May 6, 2000. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
- "Verizon Wireless Arena". Lavallee Brensinger Architects. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
- "ScheerGame Completes N.H. Arena". Milwaukee Business Journal. November 5, 2001. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
- "Resumes". LeMessurier Consultants. Archived from the original on March 1, 2006. Retrieved September 18, 2011.
- "Special Report: What's On Deck". SportsBusiness Journal. July 30, 2001. Retrieved September 18, 2011.
- "History". Harvey Construction. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
- "Arena Info". Verizon Wireless Arena. Archived from the original on May 29, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
- "SNHU Partners with SMG to Provide Opportunities for Students and Connect with the Community". Lauren Keane. Southern New Hampshire University. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
- "Monarchs pull the plug on professional hockey in Manchester". New Hampshire Union Leader. May 15, 2019.