Inside the Venue: Boardwalk Hall

By Brian Knapp Oct 12, 2011
A quick look inside Boardwalk Hall ...

Location: Atlantic City, N.J.
Opened: 1929
Cost: $15 million
Seating Capacity: 14,770
Architect: Lockwood Greene

Bellator Fighting Championships will descend upon the historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., this Saturday with Bellator 54. The event features the semifinals of the promotion’s Season 5 middleweight tournament -- Bryan Baker vs. Vitor Vianna and Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brian Rogers -- as well as a non-title bout pitting Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky against Ryan Roberts. Bellator 54 will air on MTV2 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.

Boardwalk Hall, originally named the Atlantic City Convention Hall, opened in 1929 at a cost of $15 million. Erected on seven acres of concrete, it was the largest auditorium in the world built without roof posts or pillars and was heralded for its engineering achievements. In 1987, it was designated as a United States National Historic Landmark. From 1998-2001, Boardwalk Hall -- which contains the world’s largest musical instrument, a pipe organ of more than 33,000 pipes -- underwent an extensive $90 million renovation and restoration.

In its 82-year history, the venue has played host to numerous landmark events. In 1930, it hosted the nation’s first indoor college football game, and, 34 years later, it was the site of the 1964 Democratic National Convention in which Lyndon B. Johnson received the democratic nomination for President nine months after the assassination of his predecessor, John. F. Kennedy. No stranger to the combat arts, Boardwalk Hall was home to UFC 41, UFC 50 and UFC 53. It was also the site of Mike Tyson’s famous 91-second knockout against Michael Spinks in 1988.

Further (Nov. 12), the Jay-Z and Kanye West “Watch the Throne” Tour (Nov. 19), the 2012 Atlantic 10 Conference Men’s Basketball Championship (March 9-11) and the Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo (March 30-April 1) will follow Bellator into Boardwalk Hall.


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