New Orleans and South Louisiana embarked upon a new era of entertainment and sports when the sparkling New Orleans arena opened on Oct. 19, 1999.
The state-of-the-art arena is now the proud home of the NBA New Orleans Pelicans and will host more than 40 basketball games for the professional team each year.
Located adjacent to the Louisiana Superdome, the Smoothie King Center is within walking distance of 18,000 hotel rooms, the Central Business District, the French Quarter, and riverfront attractions.
With seating capacity of up to 19,000 for concerts and 18,500 for basketball, the arena has attracted a number of new events.
The entertainment mix includes concerts, festivals, circuses, ice shows, family attractions, meetings, banquets, receptions, trade shows, exhibits, Mardi Gras parties, special convention shows, private functions, and closed-circuit television presentations. Special events are staged before and/or after some Superdome events.
The facility is connected to the Superdome by two pedestrian walkways. It utilizes the Dome’s 5,000-car parking garage as well as the Dome’s 9,000-ton air conditioning system and primary ticket office facilities.
A total of 44 executive suites were included in the initial construction of the arena with capacity existing to add 20 more. The suites are located above the Club Level, just 22 rows from the playing surface.
Spectators have the convenience of four escalators servicing all levels; two escalators for access to the Club Level only; three elevators to all levels; and one freight elevator. The Smoothie King Center has 18 ladies’ restrooms and 14 men’s restrooms.