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Concert Venues :: Charlotte Coliseum


Now Known As Bojangles Arena
Date Opened 1955
Venue Capacity 9,605
Venue URL
Venue Address 2700 East Independence Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28205

Venue Information

Cricket Arena was opened and dedicated in 1955 as the Charlotte Coliseum. At the time it was the largest unsupported steel dome in the world. After the new Charlotte Coliseum opened in 1988, the name was changed to Independence Arena (named for its location on Independence Boulevard in Charlotte) and underwent an extensive renovation. In 2001 the arena was renamed the Cricket Arena in a naming rights arrangement with Cricket Communications. In 2008 Bojangles Restaurants, Inc. bought the naming rights.

With the departure of the Charlotte Checkers for the new Charlotte Bobcats Arena in 2005, Bojangles Arena is left with no major tenant and its future remains in the air. Charlotteans generally like the arena, commonly referred to locally as "The Old Coliseum" or "The Big I," due to its old-time atmosphere and convenient location on Independence Boulevard, one of the city's main arteries. Locals did not feel nearly as much affection for the Charlotte Coliseum, because of its inconvenient location southwest of Uptown (the central business district).

Cricket Arena will remain open as a venue for medium-sized concerts and stage shows which would not be suitable for the new Bobcats Arena, and also high school and some college sporting events, along with local attractions in years to come. Furthermore, Cricket Arena would be ready in case Bobcats Arena may not be available for the ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs, as the South Division's compact scheduling may affect games (arena availability for compact playoff series has been a problem in the ECHL historically). The arena is not likely to be demolished, as it holds a place on the Charlotte historical register.

In June, 2006 it was announced in the Charlotte Observer that the Arena would host races from the Arena Racing USA league. The Charlotte effort is being headed by NASCAR owner Joe Gibbs along with drivers Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin.

Venue Photos

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