Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza facts for kids
|Former names||Northeastern Pennsylvania Civic Arena and Convention Center (1998–2000)
First Union Arena (2000–2003)
Wachovia Arena (2003–2010)
|Location||255 Highland Park Boulvevard
Wilkes-Barre Township, Pennsylvania 18703
|Coordinates||41°14′26″N 75°50′55″W / 41.240471°N 75.848504°W|
|Owner||Luzerne County Convention Center Authority|
|Broke ground||September 15, 1997|
|Opened||November 13, 1999|
|Construction cost||$44 million
($74.3 million in 2021 dollars )
|Project manager||Hammes Company|
|Structural engineer||Quad3 Group, Inc.|
|Services engineer||Smith Seckman Reid, Inc.|
|General contractor||Oscar J. Boldt Construction Company|
|Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL) (1999–present)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers (af2) (2002–2009)
Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza (originally Northeastern Pennsylvania Civic Arena and Convention Center, formerly First Union Arena and Wachovia Arena) is an 8,050-seat multi-purpose arena located in Wilkes-Barre Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, just northeast of the city of Wilkes-Barre, managed by SMG.
Built in 1998 due to the instrumental work of Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey, Sr. and his successor, Tom Ridge, due to the dedication and support of State Representative Kevin Blaum, and built on land given by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber, the arena was originally named the Northeastern Pennsylvania Civic Arena and Convention Center. In 2000, the naming rights were sold to First Union Bank, becoming First Union Arena, until the summer of 2003, when First Union Bank merged into Wachovia, at which point it became Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza. On January 20, 2010, the arena became Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, as part of a 10-year naming rights contract with the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs racetrack and casino.
It has been home to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, of the AHL since 1999, and the former home of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers, of the AF2 League. In January 2012 it was planned to be the home to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Shamrocks of the North American Lacrosse League, but the league had folded.
Recognition and events
The Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza has been recognized by many entertainment magazines as one of the best in the country for arenas under 10,000 in capacity, especially for its attendance and ease of show setup and teardown. The Penguins hold the American Hockey League record for most sellouts in a season, selling out all 40 home games in 2002–2003 and 2003–2004, and ran a streak of 90 consecutive sellouts between March 2002 and October 2004, and 54 from December 2000 to February 2002.
Other than Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey games, other events that occur at the arena include circus performances, an annual Christmas-time Trans-Siberian Orchestra performance, professional ice-skating shows, Harlem Globetrotters, and the annual graduation ceremonies for nearby Crestwood High School, Penn Foster High School, King's College, University of Scranton, Luzerne County Community College, and Marywood University.
The arena has regularly hosted professional wrestling since 2000. The first event was WCW Monday Nitro on January 31, 2000. The first WWE live event was on July 16, 2000 and headlined by The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle. The arena also hosted the 2007 WWE Draft on June 11, 2007 which was the final WWE Monday Night Raw appearance for the late Chris Benoit. On November 15, 2016, the arena hosted the 900th episode of WWE Smackdown which saw the return of The Undertaker.
Some notable concerts include Bob Dylan, The Dead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Elton John, Cher, and The Eagles.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performed its last elephant show in its "Red" tour on May 1st, 2016, a year before the circus itself closed.
On October 9, 2003, the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets played a preseason game at the arena.
George W. Bush held a rally for re-election to the office of the president at the arena in 2004.
The arena has hosted multiple Donald Trump events, with the first being a rally on April 25, 2016 during his run in the 2016 election. He held another rally on October 10, 2016. Trump later returned as president on August 2, 2018 to assist in Lou Barletta's campaign for Senate.
Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza