Inside the Venue: Omaha Civic Auditorium

By Brian Knapp Feb 15, 2012
A quick look inside the Omaha Civic Auditorium ...

Location: Omaha, Neb.
Built: 1954
Seating Capacity: 9,300
Operator: Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will return to the Cornhusker State for the first time in more than three years with UFC on Fuel TV “Ellenberger vs. Sanchez” on Wednesday at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Neb. A pivotal welterweight encounter between native Nebraskan Jake Ellenberger and “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 1 winner Diego Sanchez will headline the event, which will air on Fuel TV. In the co-main event, 6-foot-11 heavyweight Stefan Struve will collide with Team Quest export Dave Herman. Three other matchups will round out the main draw: Aaron Simpson vs. Ronny Markes, Stipe Miocic vs. Philip De Fries and T.J. Dillashaw vs. Walel Watson.

Not since UFC Fight Night 15 on Sept. 17, 2008 has the promotion touched down in Nebraska. Built in 1954, the Omaha Civic Center seats 9,300. In existence for more than half a century, the arena has a long and storied history. Elvis Presley held one of his final concerts at the facility in 1977, performing there two months before his death. According to its website, the Omaha Civic Auditorium “is located within walking distance” of “the historic Old Market Entertainment Shopping District” and rests “approximately four miles from Omaha’s Eppley Airfield. More than 2,000 hotel rooms representing a variety of national chains are within a three-mile radius.”

A number of attractions lie in “close proximity” to the Omaha Civic Auditorium: TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, CenturyLinke Center Omaha, Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha Children’s Museum, The Durham Museum, Holland Performing Arts Center, Orpheum Theater and Henry Doorly Zoo.

Though it could soon become obsolete with more modern venues springing up around it, the Omaha Civic Auditorium remains home to the Omaha Beef, of the Indoor Football League, and the Omaha Lancers, of the United States Hockey League. Gabriel Iglesias (Feb. 18), the Tangier Shrine Circus (Feb. 23-26) and Death Cap For Cutie (April 11) will follow the UFC into the arena.

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