BB&T Center Information:
Location: Sunrise, Florida
Address: 1 Panther Pkwy, Sunrise, Florida 33323
Capacity: 17,040 (hockey)
Year Opened: 1998
Previous Names: BankAtlantic Center, Broward County Civic Arena, National Car Rental Center, Office Depot Center
Occupants: Florida Panthers
The BB&T Center is home to the NHL's Florida Panthers and has proven to be a success story for the people of Southern Florida. The venue broke ground on October 1996 and was ready in time for the start of the 1998 season, making it one of the fastest arenas ever built. The building is accessible from most major highways and is located in Sunrise, Florida, just west of Fort Lauderdale and a short drive north from Miami. Visitors to the BB&T Center will be immediately impressed by the blue and green mosaics on walkways and the attractive green umbrella light fixtures that are located near the large glass atrium entrance. As attendees venture indoors, they're greeted by sprawling concourses, fantastic amenities and plenty of air conditioning to escape the Florida heat!
The Florida Panthers were an instant success story when they entered the league as an expansion team in 1993. The team finished 33-34-17 their first year, giving them the record for the most successful season by a first-year NHL team. When the 1995-96 season rolled around, most Panther fans were expecting moderate growth, but they likely didn't anticipate a Stanley Cup Finals appearance.
The Panthers surged through the playoffs during the 1995-96 season thanks to the great defense of goalie John Vanbiesbrouck and the precision passing and shooting of Mike Hough and Dave Lowry. The Panthers took care of the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins in the first few rounds, but in the finals they ran up against the red-hot Colorado Avalanche who would sweep them in four games. In recent years, the Panthers have been trying to return to the top of the Eastern Conference, and their solid core of young talent should get them to the postseason sooner than later.
The BB&T Center is a short drive away from Fort Lauderdale and Miami, making it the ideal location to catch a blockbuster concert. The venue has hosted countless tours over the years, such as Taylor Swift's Speak Now tour, Bruce Springsteen's Working On A Dream tour, Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 tour and The Eagles' Long Road Out of Eden tour.
Between the gorgeous weather, beautiful scenery and pulse-pounding action on stage and on the ice, the BB&T Center has a little something for every sports and entertainment fan.