MassMutual Center (formerly Springfield Civic Center) is a multi-purpose arena and convention center complex located in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts, in the city's Metro Center across from Court Square. The facility opened in 1972 and serves as western New England's premier mid-sized venue for meetings, exhibitions, sporting events and entertainment.
|Former names||Springfield Civic Center|
|Location||1277 Main Street|
Springfield, Massachusetts 01103
|Public transit||Springfield Union Station:|
|Owner||City of Springfield (1972–1997)|
Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (1997–present)
|Capacity||Center Stage: 8,318|
Ice hockey: 6,793
|Broke ground||March 18, 1970|
|Opened||September 5, 1972|
|Construction cost||$10.3 million|
($61.7 million in 2018 dollars)
$71 million (renovation)
($91.1 million in 2018 dollars)
|Architect||Catalano Architects Inc.|
Sasaki Associates (renovation)
|Springfield Indians (AHL) (1972–1994)|
Hartford Whalers (WHA/NHL) (1978–1980)
Springfield Fame (USBL) (1985–1986)
Springfield Falcons (AHL) (1994–2016)
Springfield Armor (NBA D-League) (2009–2014)
Springfield Thunderbirds (AHL) (2016–present)
American International Yellow Jackets (NCAA) (2016–present)
Previously owned and operated by the City of Springfield and various management groups until 1997, the city transferred ownership of the facility to the Massachusetts Legislature. Shortly after, ownership was given to the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) who in turn began working on plans to renovate and expand the facility. The two-year project, which began in 2003, included renovations to the 8,000 seat arena and the addition of a state-of-the-art convention center. MGM Springfield began operating the venue on behalf of the MCCA in July 2017 in advance of its casino/hotel/retail development opening the next year.
In 2005, the venue was renamed when Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company entered into a 15-year naming rights agreement for the arena and convention center. The name change took place on September 29, 2005.
In the fall of 2003, the renovation project was publicly announced and demolition of the bank sitting next to the building, along with the facility's plaza and exhibit hall began. In the fall of 2005, the $71 million renovation project was completed. The renovation included a new arena floor with new pipelines for the ice rink and new chillers installed. Upgrades to the buildings electrical system as well as the heating and air conditioning system with a new dehumidification system were also installed. Audio and Video upgrades were made with a new four-sided center hung scoreboard with video display and a new sound system. The project also included a new seating arrangement with 6,455 permanent seats and 222 club seats. New amenities to the arena include a bar and lounge, clubroom, an executive suite, new larger restrooms, and 11 newly refurbished concession stands. The main entrance was relocated from Main Street to Bruce Landon Way where a new box office and lobby were added. The arena was still operational during the two-year project which was funded by city and state tax payers and other state funds.
The main entrance for the arena is located on Bruce Landon Way. The arena has 3 levels:
- Event Level: Box Office, Administrative Offices, Thunderbirds Office and Team Store.
- Concourse Level: Lower and Upper Bowl Seating, Center Grille Restaurant, Breakaway Bar & Lounge.
- Upper Level: Broadcast booths, The Executive Perch, VIP suites
In the summer of 2015 the MCCA approved a multimillion dollar technology upgrade to the venue. This project consisted of a new 18-foot by 12-foot 4 sided center hung LED video board that replaced the existing scoreboard in the arena as well as the replacement of the arena lighting system to new LED lighting.
With renovations to the existing arena, a new convention center was added. With 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2), it is the largest convention center in Western Massachusetts. It includes two exhibition halls, which total over 40,000 sq ft (3,700 m2), 3 ballrooms that total 15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2) with back of house kitchen, 5 meeting rooms that total some 9,000 sq ft (840 m2), and 21,000 sq ft (2,000 m2) of pre-function space. It connects both the convention center and arena to add an additional 19,000 sq ft (1,800 m2) of floor space. Additionally, the pre-function space overlooks the city skyline, including a viewing area known as the glass alcove which gives panoramic views of downtown. The convention center is able to host galas, weddings, consumer and trade shows, concerts, conventions, conferences, and many other functions of various sizes.
The main entrance for the convention center is located on Main Street and Bruce Landon Way. There are 2 levels:
- Event Level: Meeting Rooms 1–5, Exhibition Halls A & B
- Upper Level: Ballrooms A, B, and C, Glass Alcove
The arena hosted World Wrestling Federation's Saturday Night's Main Event XVI (the first episode following Wrestlemania IV, taped on April 22, 1988, aired on April 30). It also hosted the 19th WWF In Your House pay-per-view in 1997. The center has also hosted WWE Monday Night RAW and two WWE SmackDown! shows; the first one was on October 26, 1999 aired for that Thursday and the second was on December 13, 2005 aired for that Friday. The center was also where The Mountie (Jacques Rougeau) defeated Bret "Hitman" Hart for the WWF Intercontinental Championship on January 17, 1992. He would lose the title two days later to Rowdy Roddy Piper at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York at the Royal Rumble.
The building has hosted an American Hockey League franchise, since it opened in 1972. Between the 1972–73 AHL season and 1993–94 AHL season, the building hosted the Springfield Indians franchise. Since 1994, the Center was the home of the Springfield Falcons. The Falcons won the Northeast Division Championship in the 2012–13 and 2013–14 seasons while serving as the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The team was sold in May 2016 to the Arizona Coyotes and relocated to Tucson, Arizona. The Falcons were immediately replaced with the Springfield Thunderbirds for the 2016–17 season.
The building, located in the "Birthplace of Basketball", has also hosted numerous NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championships, first in 1977, then from 1980 to 1994, and finally 2006 through 2011. The tournament moved to the Kentucky suburbs of Cincinnati in 2012 and 2013. It also hosted the first six NCAA Women's Division II Basketball Championships from 1982 to 1987.
The UMass Minutemen basketball team, formerly under head coach and Springfield native Derek Kellogg, has used the building for a home game since 2010. In 2011, the Basketball Hall of Fame created the Holiday Showcase which feature the UMass Minutemen basketball team. Brigham Young University visited the UMass Minutemen during the 2013 showcase with a sold out crowd of 7,331.
The Springfield Armor of the NBA D-League joined the building's roster of home tenants in the fall of 2009. The franchise was purchased by the HWS Group in early 2009, and was quickly moved to Springfield for the start of the 2009–2010 season. It was affiliated with the NBA's New York Knicks, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the New Jersey Nets for two years. The New Jersey Nets, now known as the Brooklyn Nets as of 2012, became the sole affiliate of the Armor in the start of the 2011–2012 season. The Armor received their first Eastern Division Championship during the 2011–2012 season under its new head coach Bob MacKinnon. They won their final home game on March 21, 2014 in front of a sold out crowd of 7,111.
Due to snow, busy streets, and roof damages on February 4, 2011. All Disney On Ice performances were cancelled after a safety check on the roof determined that. About 4,000 tickets were sold before the cancellation. A sign was put up noticing that the performance was called off.
|October 19, 1979||Los Angeles Kings||3-6||Hartford Whalers||7,626|
|October 26, 1979||New York Islanders||2-1||Hartford Whalers||7,267|
|November 2, 1979||Toronto Maple Leafs||3-5||Hartford Whalers||7,643|
|November 9, 1979||Chicago Black Hawks||4-2||Hartford Whalers||7,618|
|November 17, 1979||Edmonton Oilers||0-4||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|November 21, 1979||Buffalo Sabres||3-5||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|November 24, 1979||Quebec Nordiques||4-4||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|November 25, 1979||Atlanta Flames||2-4||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|November 30, 1979||Pittsburgh Penguins||5-7||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|December 7, 1979||New York Rangers||7-4||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|December 19, 1979||Washington Capitals||5-4||Hartford Whalers||7,100|
|December 22, 1979||Buffalo Sabres||4-2||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|December 26, 1979||Philadelphia Flyers||4-4||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|January 4, 1980||Washington Capitals||6-3||Hartford Whalers||7,623|
|January 6, 1980||Detroit Red Wings||2-1||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|January 17, 1980||Pittsburgh Penguins||1-7||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|January 19, 1980||Chicago Black Hawks||3-5||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|January 21, 1980||Winnipeg Jets||2-7||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|January 24, 1980||Montreal Canadiens||7-2||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|January 28, 1980||Atlanta Flames||1-6||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|January 30, 1980||Boston Bruins||2-8||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|February 3, 1980||New York Islanders||3-7||Hartford Whalers||7,627|
|December 29, 1995||Switzerland||3-4||United States||-|
The MassMutual Center has hosted numerous events over the years ranging from professional and college sporting events, concert and comedy tours, ice skating and family shows, commencement ceremonies, and other functions both private and public. On April 6, 1986 the KISS "Asylum" tour concert overloaded the power system and the concert was halted after the first song. The band exited the stage, but returned 30-40 minutes later and resumed the show without incident.
- The National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) men's college basketball Division I ECAC New England Region Tournament organized by the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) in 1975 and 1976.
- NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championships (1980–1994, 2006–2011)
- Freestyle Motorcross 2008
- North American Grappling Association East Coast Championship (2010 and 2011)
- Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic 2010
- Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Championships (2012–2014)
- 1996 edition of the Skate America figure skating competition
- 1996 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships Group Stage games
- 2019 AHL All-Star Game
- Queen - News of the World 1977
- Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet Tour 1987
- Yes - 90125 1984
- Van Halen - World Vacation Tour 1979
- The Who – The Who By Numbers Tour 1975
- Elvis Presley in Concert 1975 and 1976
- Bob Dylan – Rolling Thunder Revue Tour 1975
- Bruce Springsteen – Darkness on the Edge Tour 1978
- KISS – Destroyer Tour 1976, Dynasty Tour 1979, Asylum Tour 1986, and Alive/Worldwide Tour 1997
- Grateful Dead in Concert 1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1978, January and October in 1979, 1980, and 1985.
- Earth, Wind & Fire in Concert 1978
- The Jacksons – Destiny Tour 1979
- Black Sabbath – Born Again Tour 1984 (Last show with Deep Purple's Ian Gillan on vocals and rebroadcast on the King Biscuit Flower Hour FM broadcast.)
- AC/DC- 'Blow Up Your Video' Tour 1988
- Anthrax, Exodus and Helloween – Headbangers Ball Tour 1989
- Aerosmith – Pump Tour 1989 and 1990 featuring Skid Row
- Nirvana in Concert 1993
- Pantera- Far Beyond Touring the World 1994
- Mötley Crüe – Carnival of Sins Tour 2006
- Celtic Woman – A New Journey Tour 2007 and Voices of Angels World Tour 2017
- Martina McBride – Waking Up Laughing Tour 2007
- Sugarland – CMT on Tour 2007 featuring Little Big Town and Jake Owen
- Blue Man Group – How to Be a Megastar Tour 2008
- Three Days Grace – Life Starts Now Tour 2010 featuring Chevelle and Adelitas Way
- Avenged Sevenfold – Welcome to the Family Tour 2011 featuring Three Days Grace and Bullet for My Valentine
- Wisin y Yandel – Los Vaqueros:El Regreso Tour 2011
- Mid-West Rock and Roll Express Tour 2013 featuring Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Ted Nugent
- Shinedown in Concert 2013 featuring Bush and Airbourne
- Pitbull – Global Warming Tour 2013
- Justin Moore – Off the Beaten Path Tour 2014 featuring Josh Thompson and Randy Houser
- Alan Jackson – Keepin' It Country Tour 2015 featuring Jon Pardi and Brandy Clark
- Stevie Wonder - The Stevie Wonder Song Party: A Celebration of Life, Love & Music Tour 2018
- Cher - Here We Go Again Tour 2019 featuring Nile Rogers and Chic
- Aerosmith - Deuces Are Wild East Coast Tour 2019
Conventions and Conferences
- Daughters of the Nile 2007 Convention
- Market America Northeast Convention 2010–2012
- Brewery Collectibles Club of America CANvention 2012
- Bay Path University Women's Leadership Conference
- 64th National Square Dance 2015 Convention
- Democratic State Convention 2019
- "Ground Broken for Civic Center". The Morning Union. Springfield, Massachusetts. March 18, 1970.
- "Airport Expansion Upsets RI". The Boston Globe. September 10, 1972. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
- "Images by Catalano, Eduardo of Springfield, Massachusetts, United States". North Carolina State University. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- "Don Vitters, AIA". Sasaki Associates. Archived from the original on July 12, 2007. Retrieved July 1, 2007.
- Freebairn, William (September 25, 2005). "MassMutual Center Downtown Springfield's Sparkling New Jewel". The Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts). p. J01.
- Beswick, Michael (December 7, 2013). "For UMass Basketball and Springfield, a Sold-Out Arena and a Very Good Day". The Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- Berry, Conor (March 26, 2014). "A Basketball Goodbye: The Armor Is Leaving Springfield for Michigan". The Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- "1975 ECAC Men's Basketball Tournaments". Varsity Pride. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- "1976 ECAC Men's Basketball Tournaments". Varsity Pride. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
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