Peoria Civic Center

Peoria Civic Center is a convention center in downtown Peoria, Illinois. It has an arena, theater, exhibit hall and meeting rooms. It opened in 1982 and completed an expansion to its lobby and meeting facilities in 2007.

Peoria Civic Center
Address201 SW Jefferson St.
Peoria, IL 61602-1423
Coordinates40.6920°N 89.5943°W / 40.6920; -89.5943
OwnerCity of Peoria
BuiltApril 30, 1979 (1979-04-30) – 1982
InauguratedJune 6, 1982 (1982-06-06)
OpenedFebruary 1982 (1982-02)[1]
Construction cost
$64.2 million
($222 million in 2018 dollars[2])
$55 million (2007 renovations)
($70.6 million in 2018 dollars[2])
Banquet/ballroom6,500 (Peoria Civic Center Ballroom)
300 (Lexus Club)
Theatre seating
Enclosed space
  Exhibit hall floor108,668 square feet (10,095.6 m2)
  Breakout/meeting17,355 square feet (1,612.3 m2)
  Ballroom28,667 square feet (2,663.3 m2)


The site of the Civic Center includes the spot at Liberty Street and Jefferson Street where Moses and Lucy Pettengill lived from 1836 to 1862; that house was part of the Underground Railroad and Moses was also an Underground Railroad "conductor". In 1862 the Pettingills moved out of downtown and to Moss Avenue, where the present Pettengill–Morron House was built in 1868. The downtown home was demolished in 1910 to make way for the Jefferson Hotel.[3] The hotel, in turn, was imploded in 1978 to make way for the Civic Center.[1]

The first event at the Civic Center was a home and garden show in the Exhibit Hall in February 1982.[1]


Carver Arena

Carver Arena
Capacity9,919 (Ice hockey and indoor football)
11,433 (Basketball)
12,036 (Concerts)
Bradley Braves (NCAA) (1982present)
Peoria Prancers/Rivermen (IHL) (19821996)
Peoria Rivermen (ECHL) (19962005)
Peoria Pirates (IFL/AF2) (19992004, 20082009)
Peoria Rough Riders (UIF) (20052006)
Peoria Rivermen (AHL) (20052013)
Peoria Rivermen (SPHL) (2013present)

Carver Arena is the home of the Bradley Braves men's basketball team and the Peoria Rivermen Southern Professional Hockey League ice hockey team (and previous incarnations of the Rivermen in the IHL, ECHL and AHL), and was formerly home to the Peoria Pirates arena football team. Prior to playing at Carver Arena, Bradley hosted its games at Robertson Memorial Field House. It hosted the 1988 Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball tournament title game.

As of 2013, seating capacity was 9,919 for hockey and indoor football, 11,433 for basketball and up to 12,036 for concerts.[4]

Carver Arena also plays host to the Illinois High School Association boys' basketball state finals for two weeks every March. The interactive March Madness Experience takes place in the adjacent exhibition hall during the tournaments.[5]

Concerts, circuses, trade shows (an arena floor 124 feet (38 m) by 238 feet (73 m) for 29,512 square feet (2,741.8 m2) of space), wrestling matches and other events are held here. The arena also contains a 60-by-40-foot portable stage, a production office, eight dressing rooms (four large and four small), eight spotlights, and a 76-foot (23 m) ceiling height. There is also an arena club at Carver Arena, five concession stands, eight restrooms, and two luxury suites. It hosted the first Tournament where the Bradley Braves lost to Old Dominion in the finals.

Exhibit halls

The Civic Center exhibit halls feature 108,668 square feet (10,095.6 m²) of space and can hold up to 7,265 persons. It can be divided into four smaller halls and is used for banquets, trade shows, and other events. It hosts one of the largest chess tournaments in the world for the IHSA Illinois State Championship, which has about 1000 competitors a year.


The 2,244-seat theater is used for concerts, Broadway shows, ballet, orchestra concerts, and other events. It contains ten dressing rooms including a star dressing room, four 12-person chorus rooms, two 8-person dressing rooms, two 6-person dressing rooms and a 3-person dressing room, and a 1,250-square-foot (116 m2) rehearsal hall backstage. There are 1,450 seats in the main level, 378 seats in the lower balcony and 348 seats in the upper balcony.


Meeting rooms

There are ten meeting rooms totaling 16,889 square feet (1,569.0 m2) which are divisible into 16 meeting rooms.


The ballroom has flexible air walls that can divide the room into 9 different configurations and can hold up to 6500 people.

See also


  1. Phelps, Tori (October 2002). "Peoria's Civic Center 20 Years". Arts Alive!. Central Illinois Business Publishers, Inc. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  2. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  3. Thompson, Katie (January–February 2008). "The Long Road to Freedom". Art & Society. Central Illinois Business Publishers, Inc. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  4. "Arena". Peoria Civic Center. Archived from the original on 2014-01-20. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  5. "IHSA March Madness". Peoria Civic Center. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  • Carver Arena at short history of Bradley University basketball at Carver Arena
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