Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center

The Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center[2] (originally IMA Sports Arena[3] and formerly Perani Arena and Event Center[4]) is a sports, entertainment and convention venue located in Flint, Michigan. It opened in 1969 and is the home of the Flint Firebirds who play in the Ontario Hockey League.

Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center
Former namesIMA Sports Arena (1969-2003)
Perani Arena (2003-15)
Address3501 Lapeer Rd
Flint, MI 48503-4500
OwnerIMS Hockey Corp.
OperatorFirland Management
Broke ground1967
OpenedOctober 1969
Construction cost$10 million
($75.1 million in 2018 dollars[1])
Flint Generals (IHL) (1969–85)
Flint Spirits (IHL) (1985–90)
Flint Bulldogs (CoHL) (1991–93)
Flint Generals (UHL/IHL) (1993–2010)
Flint Flames (IFL) (2000)
Flint Fuze (CBA) (2000–01)
Michigan Pirates (CIFL) (2007)
Flint Phantoms (CIFL) (2008)
Michigan Warriors (NAHL) (2010–15)
Flint Firebirds (OHL) (2015–present)
Waza Flo (MASL) (2015–16)


The main arena of the complex, the largest exhibit hall of complex, features 29,280 square feet (2,720 m2) of space and can accommodate 4,021 for ice hockey and 6,069 for concerts, plus 400 in standing room. The second arena in the complex features 27,206 square feet (2,527.5 m2) of space. Both arenas are frequently used for trade shows, hockey games and other sports. In addition, the main arena is used for concerts.

Initially named the IMA an acronym for the Industrial Mutual Association. Being the second such complex in Flint, MI. named the IMA. The original IMA was torn down and replaced at this new location.

The complex was named for Bob Perani, owner of Perani's Hockey World, a sports equipment retailer in Flint. Perani's Hockey World paid for naming rights to the complex. Bob Perani was a goalie for the Flint Generals from 1969 to 1974. His jersey #1 is one of only 5 numbers retired by the team.



On January 13, 2015, the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League announced they would relocate to Flint and play at Dort Federal Event Center, with OHL approval.[5][6] That team is now known as the Flint Firebirds.[7]

Local high schools and colleges use the arena for their commencement ceremonies. Perani Arena is also usually the first stop for the Shrine Circus every year. The Perani Arena also holds the General RV Show every year.


Previous tenants of the arena include the Flint Generals IHL hockey team from 1969 to 1985, the Flint Spirits hockey team from 1985 to 1990, the Flint Bulldogs hockey team from 1991 to 1993, the Flint Fuze basketball team from 2000 to 2001 and the Flint Flames indoor football team which only lasted the 2000 season. The most recent iteration of the Flint Generals moved into the arena in 1993 and departed in 2010. From 2010 through 2015, the arena was the home of the Michigan Warriors of the North American Hockey League. From 2015 to 2016, the arena was also home to Waza Flo of the Major Arena Soccer League.

The Michigan Pirates of the Continental Indoor Football League (formerly based in Port Huron) played their first and second-round playoff games at the Perani Arena, hoping Flint would be a potential relocation site. After the Pirates folded, Perani Arena was home to the CIFL expansion team Flint Phantoms for the 2008 season.[8]


  1. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  2. Pope, Brandon (July 16, 2015). "IMS Hockey unveils Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center". Flint Township View. Archived from the original on November 29, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  3. Dresden, Eric (January 20, 2019). "A timeline of Perani Arena's history in Flint and teams that have called it home". MLive Media Group. Advance Publications, Inc. Archived from the original on November 29, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  4. "Perani Arena gets new name". WJRT-TV. Gray Television. July 9, 2015. Archived from the original on November 29, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  5. "Report: Plymouth Whalers to announce move to Flint". Detroit Free Press. January 13, 2015. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
  6. Bartkowiak, Dave (January 14, 2015). "Plymouth Whalers to relocate to Flint". Click On Detroit. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
  7. McMann, Aaron (March 16, 2015). "'Flint Firebirds' unveiled as name for Flint's new OHL team". The Flint Journal. Retrieved March 16, 2015 via
  8. "Flint Phantoms Professional Indoor Football". Archived from the original on 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2007-12-19.

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