GO - Citizens Business Bank Arena

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Oct. 2008
Southeast entrance

Oct. 2008
Interior view

Oct. 2008
East end

Seating configuration - hockey


After more than a decade since first envisioned, several years of planning, a few false starts and 18 months of construction, a new day in sports and entertainment for Inland Southern California began Saturday as Citizens Business Bank Arena opened its doors to the public for the first time.

Dubbed "Community Day," the grand opening event saw several thousand people take a peek inside the new $150 million, 11,000 seat arena in Ontario. Located near the I-10/I-15 interchange, the arena rests on a portion of the former site for Ontario Motor Speedway. Immediately to the east is Ontario Mills mall while across I-10 sits LA/Ontario International Airport.

The facility, which is managed by AEG (who also oversee LA's Staples Center), is Inland Southern California's first major-league caliber arena and will play host to everything from sporting events and concerts to children's shows and community events. The facility's first official event is an October 24 exhibition game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder (formerly Seattle SuperSonics). Carrie Underwood's November 9 date will be the venue's inaugural concert. But the real acoustical test is likely to come December 12 when an already sold-old appearance is made by Metallica.

In between concerts and other sporting events, the arena will be home to the Ontario Reign, the new Double-A affiliate ice hockey club of the Los Angeles Kings. The Reign will play in the 24-team ECHL as a member of the Pacific Division along with Las Vegas, Fresno, Stockton and Bakersfield (the new Anaheim Ducks affiliate).

Designed by Rossetti Associates, the 225,000 sq. ft. facility contains 9,500 fixed seats with expansion risers allowing 11,089 for concerts, 10,832 for basketball and 9,736 for ice hockey. There are also 36 luxury suites -- 24 Club suites and 12 Skybox suites -- both with their own VIP areas and outdoor patios. An open-ended concourse fills a portion of the arena's western end.

Our first impressions? Top-notch and first class; comfortably large and yet intimate. The seats offer excellent sightlines and feel close to the floor, even from above. No matter where one sits, there simply is not a bad seat in the house. Not even the single seat atop section 219.

At two-thirds the size of both Los Angeles' Staples Center and Anaheim's Honda Center, we think Citizens' "big, but intimate" atmosphere will make it one of Southern California's premier concert venues. (With sincere apologies to Long Beach Arena -- a long-time favorite of local music fans -- Ontario's new arena is poised to overtake it as the region's best mid-major concert venue.)

Indeed, it's been a long time coming, but Citizens Arena is a venue that both Ontario and Inland Southern California can be proud of.

Photos: Citizens Business Bank Arena




Sources: City of Ontario, AEG, Rossetti Associates, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, The Press-Enterprise

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This page contains a single entry by RXSQ published on October 18, 2008 9:01 PM.

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