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The Mercer Arena (previously known as the Exposition Building, Civic Ice Arena and Seattle Center Arena) is a performing arts theater in Seattle, Washington. It is located next to KeyArena. It has provided shows for Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Miles Davis, CSBN, and Joni Mitchell.

History Edit

Note: Part of this article is taken from a Wikipedia article. The article can be read here.

The Civic Ice Arena was built in 1927. As the name suggests, it was originally intende das an ice arena, but the building soon became a multi-purpose performing arts theater and the name was changed to Seattle Center Arena. The arena has served as a home to multiple Seattle-based hockey teams, including the professional team the Seattle Totems from 1962-1975, and the junior league Seattle Thunderbirds from 1985-1994. In the 90's the Seattle venue hosted shows for some popular bands from the grunge movement. None of these shows made it to an official album release, but bootlegs of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains have them performing at the venue.

Until recently, its large, flexible spaces allowed an average of 183 events each year. From 1962 until 1975 it was first home to the Seattle Totems of the old professional WHL and then the Seattle Thunderbirds of the modern Western Hockey League. From 1996 to 1998, it was the home of the Seattle Reign, the city's first professional women's basketball franchise, a part of the American Basketball League (1996-1998). From 2000 to 2003, it was used as a temporary venue for the Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet during construction of McCaw Hall, the new opera house. Six million dollars of improvements were put into the building to house the opera. New additions like heating and cooling system, orchestra pit, and carpet were installed. The general infrastructure was reworked as well. The general purpose stage was reworked to a more traditional opera setting, old pipes that were used to freeze water for the ice rink were buried or removed, and the drop ceiling was removed creating a more acoustically sound environment. As the opera was only temporary, structural issues were not addressed and the arena was shut down after 2003. In 2007, a proposal by Mayor Greg Nickels called for the arena to be in use again.

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