MMA: American Airlines Center
A quick look inside the American Airlines Center …Location: Dallas
Opened: July 2001
Cost: $420 million
Seating Capacity: 19,200
Architect: David M. Schwarz Architectural Services Inc. and HKS Inc.
The American Airlines Center on Saturday will host its second major mixed martial arts show in less than two years when Strikeforce “Overeem vs. Werdum” sets down in Dallas. The event, which airs on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET (HDNet will carry the prelims at 8 p.m. ET), will feature the last two quarterfinals in the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix: Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers. The Overeem-Werdum rematch carries the marquee, as Overeem looks to avenge his 2006 submission defeat to the world-ranked Brazilian. In addition, K.J. Noons will lock horns with Jorge Masvidal in a bout that could give rise to the next challenger for Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez.
Opened in July 2001 at a cost of $420 million, the American Airlines Center is the home venue for the NBA world champion Dallas Mavericks, the NHL’s Dallas Stars and the Arena Football League’s Dallas Vigilantes. Construction was funded publicly through rental car and hotel taxes; the Stars and Mavericks pitched in with private funds. The exterior of the multi-purpose facility is made of brick, limestone and granite.
The arena anchors the 72-acre Victory Park development -- the largest Environmental Protection Agency brownfield project in the country. One of the American Airlines Center’s most popular amenities is the AT&T Plaza, which is located on the south side of the venue. It features a high-definition outdoor screen and a number of other outdoor entertainments. The American Airlines Lobby overlooks the plaza and offers spectacular views of the downtown skyline.
The American Airlines Center is no stranger to high-profile sporting events, as it hosted the 2006 and 2011 NBA Finals, along with the 2007 NHL All-Star Game. It dipped its toe in major-league MMA waters in 2009 with 103, which featured a main event between onetime light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort and former middleweight titleholder Rich Franklin. Belfort stopped Franklin on first-round punches 3:02 into round one.