Written by Ryan Ogle
Located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, the Van Andel Arena forever changed the entertainment options for West Michigan and has helped make Grand Rapids the city it is today. Opened in 1996, this highly-anticipated arena has hosted presidential campaigns, basketball games, arena football games, hockey games, wrestling matches, musical acts, circuses, rodeos and many other events. Join Blu House Properties as we take you inside our beloved arena and relive some of our best memories.The Van Andel Arena was named after Amway co-founder, Jay Van Andel. Jay has many buildings named after him throughout West Michigan, as he believed in giving back to Grand Rapids through philanthropic gifts to help major cultural institutions.
The Van Andel Arena is the fifth-largest arena in Michigan, and seats around 10,000 people for basketball and hockey games, and can seat upwards of 12,000 for concerts and other events. The arena is one of the highest-grossing venues in the Midwest and has helped put Grand Rapids on the map.Speaking of maps, you can see that the Van Andel Arena is at the heart of Grand Rapids.
Sporting events have always been a part of the Van Andel Arena. The Detroit Red Wings top minor league affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, are the only team that calls the arena home, although it has hosted other teams. The Griffins are a member of the American Hockey League and won the Calder Cup in 2013. They are currently seeking another chance to win the Calder Cup in 2017, as they are up 3-1 in a best-of-seven-game series against the Chicago Wolves. Many famous hockey players, such as Jimmy Howard, Chris Osgood, Curtis Joseph, Chris Chelios, Niklas Kronwall, Justin Abdelkader, Darren McCarty and Michel Picard have donned the Griffins jersey at one point. In addition to the Grand Rapids Griffins, the short-lived Grand Rapids Rampage arena football team called the Van Andel Arena home from 1998 until 2008. The Rampage even won an ArenaBowl championship in 2001. In the future, it is hoped that the Grand Rapids Drive will play their basketball games here.
In addition to sporting events, the arena has hosted several notable events throughout its 21-year history. Some of music’s biggest names have played at the Van Andel Arena, such as Bruce Springsteen, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aerosmith, Elton John, KISS, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Rush and Garth Brooks. In 2017, the Van Andel Arena is getting ready for some powerhouse acts, such as New Kids on the Block in May, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill in June, The Who in July and Janet Jackson in November.Whatever your interests are, the Van Andel Arena has something for you. From sports to live music, check out their calendar of events at https://vanandelarena.com.