The SAP Center is an indoor arena located in San Jose, California. Plans to build San Jose's arena began in the mid-1980s, but the arena did not finish construction until the year 1993. The SAP Center is home to the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League and the fifth oldest NHL arena. Not only is this arena home to the San Jose Sharks, but it is home to the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League and the Golden State Warriors of the NBA. The SAP Center earned the nickname "The Shark Tank" because of its two hockey teams. The SAP Center does not just host hockey tournaments and games, but the arena is a venue for a multitude of different sports.
Backstory and Context
The SAP Center started construction in the Mid 1980's and officially finished it's construction in the year 1993. The ticket sales for the first season sold at 96.5 percent capacity, which is recorded to be the highest percentage of ticket sales in the Western United States. A 60-foot, glass-enclosed, terrazzo-tiled, cathedral-like lobby is the first thing spectators see as they enter the arena. This arena quickly became the pride of San Jose. More specifically, the SAP Center is located in the Bay Area of San Jose and is known to be "the biggest success in the cities rebuilt downtown".
The San Jose Sharks had a rough start in the year 1993, leaving the season with a record number of loses in a season, totaling out to be 71. Luckily with the completion of the SAP Center the team moved arenas in 1994. Unfortunately, for The Sharks the move proved to be every bit as bad as the previous two seasons, beginning the season with 0-8-1 game results. Despite their terrible start to the season, The Sharks improved by an NHL record of 58 points and somehow making the playoffs that season. In that same season The Sharks defeated The Detroit Red Wings in seven games during the playoffs and made history for creating the biggest upset in Stanley Cup Playoff History. The Sharks have only missed the playoffs once between the years 1994 and 2014. This team has created one of the most successful, modern-day, NHL expansion franchises. This fact has proved to be a great accomplishment for the team considering San Jose's unsuccessful past in the NHL. The San Jose Sharks have built a large fan base since switching venues to the SAP Center, despite not obtaining a Stanley Cup yet.
Hockey is not the only sport that has been hosted at the SAP Center. Events such as the 1996 United States Figure Skating Championships, 2007 USA Gymnastics Visa Championships, UFC 139, and the 1999 NCAA Women's Final Four. Since 1993 the SAP Center has hosted games 3, 4 , and 6 of the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals. MMA or mixed martial arts has played a significant role in the SAP Center. The MMA Strikeforce hold many of their matches at the SAP Center. Some of which include Shamrock Vs. Gracie in 2006, and Carano VS. Cyborg in 2009.
The SAP Center holds some interesting facts that make it the successful stadium that it is today. Between the years 1993-2001 The SAP Center was known as San Jose Arena, then the name changed to the Compaq Center at San Jose between the years 2001-2002. The name underwent another change in 2002 to the HP Pavilion at San Jose before finally obtaining the name it has today in the year 2013. The SAP Center seats 17, 562 spectators for ice hockey events and spans the size of about 450,000 square feet.
Archives, T. H. W. (2020, February 2). San Jose Sharks History: A Look Back at the Origins of the NHL Franchise. Retrieved from https://thehockeywriters.com/san-jose-sharks-a-brief-history/
Munsey, & Suppes. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://hockey.ballparks.com/NHL/SanJoseSharks/index.htm
SAP Center at San Jose facts for kids. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://kids.kiddle.co/SAP_Center_at_San_Jose