The George M. Sullivan Sports Arena (commonly shortened to the "Sullivan Arena" and often referred to colloquially as "The Sully") is an arena in Anchorage, Alaska. The arena opened in 1983 and has a seating capacity of 8,700 for basketball, 6,251 for hockey. It is home to the Alaska Aces ECHL ice hockey team, the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves hockey team (WCHA), the Great Alaska Shootout basketball tournament, and the Alaska Fighting Championship mixed martial arts events. In 2007 it became home to the Alaska Wild of the Indoor Football League.
The Arena is often criticized for its poor acoustics and thus is rarely used for concert acts. Heavy Metal band Metallica used the Arena for their only shows in Alaska in 1989, 1992, and 1999. Country music star Taylor Swift used the Arena for, to date, her only Alaska show in 2011, part of her Speak Now World Tour. It's also used to host local high school and University of Alaska Anchorage graduation ceremonies. Sullivan Arena was also used, in 1984, as the site of Billy Graham's Alaska Crusade; Graham's Sullivan Arena attendance record still stands over 25 years later.
The arena is named after former Anchorage mayor George M. Sullivan. It is owned by the Municipality of Anchorage and operated by SMG, a nationwide property management company. For hockey, the Sullivan Arena offers 6,251 seats with a standing room capacity of 6,451. If areas designated for wheel chairs are included, the arena can seat 6,290, plus standing room, during hockey games. The arena is known for its international-specification (Olympic-sized) ice rink (61 m × 30 m / 200 ft × 98.5 ft) instead of the more traditional NHL specifications (200 ft × 85 ft / 61 m × 25.9 m). The arena contains 32,000 square feet of floor space.
Sullivan Arena contains a 1980s-style center hung scoreboard with a black-and-white matrix screen on each side. The original scoreboard was installed in 1983 by American Sign and Indicator, and was replaced in the mid-2000s (decade) by a Daktronics scoreboard. Unlike the original AS&I scoreboard, the Daktronics scoreboard, presently in use, features a shots-on-goal indicator. Also in the mid-2000s (decade) Daktronics also installed the ProStar LED videoscreen found at the stage end of the arena.