Inside the Venue: Valley View Casino Center

By Brian Knapp Apr 8, 2011
A quick look inside the Valley View Casino Center …

Location: San Diego
Built: 1966
Cost: $6.5 million
Seating Capacity: 16,100
Architect: Robert Breitbard

The Valley View Casino Center, formerly the San Diego Sports Arena, welcomes its first Strikeforce show on Saturday, when Strikeforce “Diaz vs. Daley” descends upon San Diego. The event, which will air on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET/PT, will feature a pair of five-round title fights, as welterweight kingpin Nick Diaz defends against Paul Daley and lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez puts his belt on the line against Tatsuya Kawajiri. Eight additional matches complete the Strikeforce “Diaz vs. Daley” lineup, including a light heavyweight showdown pairing former titleholder Gegard Mousasi with UFC veteran Keith Jardine and a lightweight tilt pitting the world-ranked Shinya Aoki against the once-beaten Lyle Beerbohm.

Built by Robert Breitbard for $6.5 million, the arena opened its doors on Nov. 17, 1966 with a professional hockey game between the Western Hockey League’s San Diego Gulls and the Seattle Totems. The Valley View Casino Center is no stranger to combat sports. In 1973, it was the site of the infamous Muhammad Ali-Ken Norton boxing match, which Norton won by split decision. The venue also hosted the 1971 NBA All-Star Game and the 1975 NCAA Final Four, where UCLA won its 10th championship under John Wooden in the legendary coach’s final game.

In August, it played host to UFC Live 2 “Jones vs. Matyushenko.” The show was highlighted by a stirring performance from current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who waylaid former International Fight League titleholder Vladimir Matyushenko with elbows en route to a first-round finish. Joel Osteen (May 13), Katy Perry (Aug. 9) and Taylor Swift (Oct. 20) will follow Strikeforce into the Valley View Casino Center.
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