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Chase Center on the Riverfront facts for kids

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Chase Center on the Riverfront
Chase Center on the Riverfront (40824456660).jpg
Address 815 Justison Street
Location Wilmington, Delaware
Public transit Bus transport DART First State bus: 25
Capacity 92,000 square feet
Opened 1999
Architect Gant Brunett Architects

Chase Center on the Riverfront is a 92,000 square foot convention center in Wilmington, Delaware. It hosts various local concerts, conventions, and banquets for the Wilmington area.


The facility was originally built as a ship assembly plant for the Dravo Corporation during World War II. After the shipyard was closed, efforts were made to revitalize the Wilmington riverfront similar to the Inner Harbor in nearby Baltimore. In 1998, the reconstructed facility opened as the First USA Riverfront Arts Center, a 120,000-square-foot hall holding museum-quality exhibits. The center was made for traveling special exhibitions with the designers specifically copying the role of the Florida International Museum. The facility featured 25,000 square feet of galleries, a 6,000-square-foot gift shop and a 13,000-square-foot lobby, with design touches such as a terrazo floor with a compass rose design. The cost was $10 million and included $2.5 million in funding from First USA Bank which purchased the naming rights. It was built to complement the Shipyard Shops outlet mall, built at the same time, but which went defunct in 2009.

In 2002, the facility was occupied by the Delaware Art Museum as temporary exhibition space until their facility reconstruction opened in 2005. In January 2003, concurrent with the deprecation of the First USA brand by Bank One, the building was renamed the Bank One Center on the Riverfront. After the Delaware Art Museum moved out, renovation began to transition the facility into a convention center and banquet hall, and the center was rededicated in 2005. In 2007, after Chase Bank's merger with Bank One, the building was renamed the Chase Center on the Riverfront. In 2014, a 180-room Westin hotel, the first new hotel in Wilmington since 1980, opened adjacent to the Chase Center.


Major shows include the Delaware Antique Show, one of the oldest shows in the state of Delaware, the Miss Delaware USA and Miss Delaware Teen USA beauty pageants, and the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Fine Craft Fair. The facility has also hosted the Delaware Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, funerals for police officers, and some political rallies.

The Chase Center hosted the acceptance speeches for the 2020 Democratic Party nominees for President and Vice President, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The location was moved to Wilmington, home of Biden, from Fiserv Forum, an indoor sports arena in Milwaukee, the originally-intended site of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, due to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Democratic Party activists and officials were invited to view Biden's acceptance speech from their cars in the parking lot of the adjacent Frawley Stadium. Following the acceptance speech, Biden, Harris, and their families made an appearance, and there was a fireworks show.

On the evening of November 7, 2020, President-elect Biden gave his victory speech from an outdoor stage by the Chase Center. Following the victory speech, Biden, Harris, and their families made an appearance, and there was a fireworks and drone light show.

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