Inside the Venue: Stockton Arena

By Brian Knapp Mar 31, 2011
A quick look inside the Stockton Arena …

Location: Stockton, Calif.
Built: 2005
Cost: $63 million
Seating Capacity: 12,000
Architect: 360 Architecture

The Stockton Arena welcomes its first Strikeforce show on Friday, when Strikeforce Challengers 15 touches down in Stockton, Calif. The event, which will air on Showtime, will feature a lightweight duel pitting American Kickboxing Academy representative Justin Wilcox against Sengoku Raiden Championship veteran Rodrigo Damm. Eight other matches complete the Strikeforce Challengers 15 lineup, including a showdown between unbeaten prospect Lorenz Larkin and John Hackleman protégé Scott Lighty.

Architects broke ground on the $63 million arena in May 2003 and completed their work in December 2005. Owned by the City of Stockton, the facility serves as the home for the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL professional hockey league and the Stockton Cougars of the Professional Arena Soccer League. The Stockton Arena remains the centerpiece of the city’s downtown waterfront redevelopment program, which features the Sheraton Hotel, 45,000 square feet of rental space and a seven-level parking structure. The arena itself includes 24 luxury suites and a four-sided Daktronics video display and scoreboard.

In July 2008, it played host to EliteXC “Unfinished Business.” The event was highlighted by a rematch between former EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler and UFC veteran Scott Smith, along with a welterweight bout pairing Jake Shields with Nick Thompson, a welterweight duel pitting Nick Diaz against Thomas Denny and a women’s showdown matching Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos with Shayna Baszler. It was the next-to-last major EliteXC event, as the promotion went belly up three months later.
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