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Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center facts for kids

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Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center
Former names Charleston Civic Center
Address 200 Civic Center Drive
Location Charleston, West Virginia
Coordinates 38°21′19″N 81°38′29″W / 38.35519°N 81.64152°W / 38.35519; -81.64152
Owner City of Charleston
Type Indoor arena, convention center, and theater
Seating type Reserved seating
Capacity In-the-Round: 13,500
End-Stage 180: 10,200
Civic Center Little Theater: 738
Opened 1959
Renovated 1964, 1980, 2015
Expanded 1980, 2015
Construction cost $2.5 million
($18.3 million in 2018 dollars2018)

The Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center, formerly known as Charleston Civic Center, is a municipal complex located in the downtown area of Charleston, West Virginia. Originally completed in 1959 at the cost of $2.5 million, the it has undergone numerous renovations and expansions. TheCharleston Coliseum & Convention Center currently consists of three main components: the Civic Center Coliseum, the Little Theater, and the Charleston Convention Center, also referred to as the Grand Hall.


In 1953, the first in a series of general obligation bonds was approved by city voters for the construction of a civic center in the downtown area of Charleston, West Virginia between Lee Street and Quarrier Street on the banks of the Elk River just before the Elk River empties into the Kanawha River. When the original Civic Center opened in January 1959 at the cost of $2.5 million, it consisted of a 6,000-seat arena and the 750-seat "Little Theater."

The Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center underwent its first renovation and expansion in 1964 when 2,400 additional seats were added to the arena and a paved parking lot and an ice rink were added to the facilities. The $1.5 million project was financed through the sale of revenue bonds.

The most significant renovation and expansion began when city voters approved a $10 million general obligation bond sale in 1976 to erect a 13,000-seat coliseum, a two-story lobby that connected the new coliseum with the original arena and theater, and remodel the original arena into a convention center. The project also received an additional $10 million in federal matching grants and was completed in 1980.

Two parking garages were added in 1983, accommodating up to 1,300 cars. In 1994, the 36,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) Grand Hall of the convention center received a new ceiling, paint and lighting and the ice rink was also converted into an exhibit hall in the 2001. The last renovations took place between 2004 and 2006 when about $250,000 was spent to renovate the Little Theater.

After Pride Youth Programs' annual anti-drug convention in early 2007, Jay DeWispelaere, CEO of Pride Youth Programs, commented on what he felt were the inadequacies of the Charleston Civic Center. In May 2015, the Charleston's Municipal Planning Commission approved the permit need to move forward with a planned comprehensive expansion and renovation, expected to cost around $72 million. Construction began in September 2015, with an expected completion date in early 2018. The Civic Center will remain open during construction.

As part of a 10-year sponsorship deal with the organization, the Charleston Civic Center's new basketball court (which debuted in the 2011-12 season) is branded with a large logo for Friends of Coal, a locally based political advocacy group.