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Santa Ana Star Center

Santa Ana Star Center
Santa Ana Star Center
Former names Rio Rancho Events Center
Location 3001 Civic Centre Drive
Rio Rancho, New Mexico 87144
Owner City of Rio Rancho
Operator Global Spectrum
Capacity Ice hockey:6,000
Broke ground June 14, 2005[1]
Opened October 21, 2006
Construction cost $47 million USD
($55 million in 2016 dollars[2])
Architect Sink Combs Dethlefs[3]
Project manager Frew Nations Group[4]
Structural engineer Martin & Martin[3]
General contractor Hunt/Bradbury Stamm[3]
New Mexico Mustangs (NAHL) (2010-2012)
New Mexico Stars (IFL/LSFL/AIF) (2012-2014, 2016-future)
New Mexico Scorpions (CHL) (2006-2009)
New Mexico Wildcats (AIFA) (2008-2009)
New Mexico Thunderbirds (D-League) (2010-2011)

Santa Ana Star Center is a 7,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, a suburb of Albuquerque. The arena is located near the intersection of Unser Boulevard and Paseo del Volcan. It is part of a larger "City Centre" project, which also includes a new city hall.

Santa Ana Star Casino purchased the naming rights to the arena in a five-year, $2.5 million deal signed in July 2006. The arena was previously known as Rio Rancho Events Center.

The arena was completed at a cost of $47 million USD and opened on October 21, 2006. The first sports event in the arena was a hockey game on October 27, 2006, with the New Mexico Scorpions falling to the Arizona Sundogs 3-1 in front of a sellout crowd.

In April 2009, the city of Rio Rancho awarded Global Spectrum as the management company for the Santa Ana Star Center.

It was formerly home to the New Mexico Mustangs of the North American Hockey League, the New Mexico Scorpions of the Central Hockey League, the New Mexico Stars of the Indoor Football League/Lone Star Football League, the New Mexico Wildcats of the American Indoor Football Association, New Mexico Thunderbirds, of the NBA Development League, and the venue for World Wrestling Entertainment.

The arena has been controversial since its construction, given its light attendance and its failure to turn a profit, despite the claims of Global Entertainment, the company hired to build and manage the arena, prior to the arena's development. As of 2011, the City of Rio Rancho expects to pay $3.6 million in 2011 to keep the arena running and to pay for its bonds, nearly 7% of the city’s $53.8 million budget.[5] Sam Bregman, owner of the former New Mexico Thunderbirds, stated that he believed the venue was not a good fit for his team, saying "The Rio Rancho arena is beautiful, but it’s a long way out."[6]


  1. ^ Olson, Sean (October 22, 2006). "A Star Is Born." Albuquerque Journal.
  2. ^ Yodice, James (October 28, 2006). "Scorpions Lose to Sundogs at New Home." Albuquerque Journal.
  3. ^ Yodice, James (July 14, 2006). "Naming Rights Go For $2.5M." Albuquerque Journal.
  1. ^
  2. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Neal Singer (November 1, 2006). "Feature Story - November 2006 Sporting & Events Center". Southwest Construction. Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Company’s Arenas Leave Cities With Big Problems". The New York Times. 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  6. ^ "Thunderbirds To Leave NM After Being Sold". KOAT-TV. 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 

External links

  • Santa Ana Star Center Website
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