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Santander Arena

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Santander Arena
Santander Arena.png
Former namesSovereign Center (2001–2013)
Location700 Penn Street
Reading, PA 19602
Coordinates40°20′05″N 75°55′23″W / 40.334771°N 75.923013°W / 40.334771; -75.923013
Public transitBus transport BARTA bus: All routes at BARTA Transportation Center
OwnerBerks County Convention Center Authority
Capacity6,000-9,000 (concerts)
8,000 (basketball)
7,160 (ice hockey)
Broke groundJune 1999
OpenedSeptember 6, 2001[1]
Construction cost$42.5 million[2]
($61.4 million in 2019 dollars[3])
ArchitectSTV Architects Inc.
PBK Architects Inc.
Project managerTurner Construction[4]
General contractorSchlegel Builders Inc.[5]
Reading Royals (ECHL) (2001–present)
Reading Express (AIFL/AIFA/IFL) (2006–2012)
Reading Railers (PBL) (2008)
New York Majesty (LFL) (2009–2010)
Reading Rockets (PLL) (2012)
Pennsylvania Roar (MISL) (2013–2014)
ASI Panthers (AIF) (2015)

The Santander Arena (formerly known as the Sovereign Center) is a 7,160-seat multi-purpose arena, in Reading, Pennsylvania. It was built in 2001. The arena sits on the former site of the Astor Theatre; one of several grand movie and theater palaces built in Reading in the early 20th century. Closed in 1975, the theater sat vacant for over two decades. In 1998, the Astor was demolished to make room for the Santander Arena. Early in construction, steps were taken to retain mementos of the Astor, including its ornate Art Deco chandelier and gates. These are on display and in use inside the arena corridors, allowing insight into the ambience of the former movie house.

The Santander Arena is owned by the Berks County Convention Center Authority and managed by SMG. In 2000, the Rajah Shrine Theater was purchased, and after a thorough restoration and updating of the facilities was renamed the Sovereign Performing Arts Center. The Reading Eagle Theater is part of the complex.

On October 13, 2013, the building's name was changed from Sovereign Center to Santander Arena.[6]

The arena is home to the Reading Royals ice hockey team in the ECHL as well as the Alvernia University Crusaders ice hockey team of the ACHA. It was formerly home to the Reading Railers basketball team, the New York Majesty Lingerie Football League team, the Reading Rockets box lacrosse team, and the Reading Express indoor football team.

The arena has hosted Jehovah's Witnesses District Conventions from 2005-2013 and will host the renamed Regional Conventions of Jehovah's Witnesses beginning in 2015.[needs update]


The arena contains 701 club seats and 20 luxury suites.[2]

The arena offers 25,200 square feet (2,340 m2) of banquet space on the arena floor. With seating for up to 1,200 guests, the Santander Arena can accommodate large functions as well as smaller ones using the Reading Eagle Theater at the Santander Arena setup. The arena also offers a multipurpose room which measures 4,575 square feet (425.0 m2) and accommodate functions for up to 200 guests.[7]

With the exception of the suites, all seats are standard chairbacks and there is a center-hung videoboard which also functions as a scoreboard for hockey and other sporting events. The seating bowl is surrounded by a concourse which features generic concessions as well as local vendors such as Pennsylvania-based Chickie's & Pete's.[8]

Notable events


The concourse at Santander Arena before a Reading Royals game in February 2020.
The concourse at Santander Arena before a Reading Royals game in February 2020.
  1. ^ Spatz, Don (September 7, 2001). "Officials, Community Christen New Facility". Reading Eagle. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Sovereign Center". Sports Business Journal. November 19, 2001. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  3. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Eric (May 31, 1999). "Powerful TM4000, at Home on the Catwalk, Raises the Light Standard". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  5. ^ "What's on Deck?". Sports Business Journal. July 30, 2001. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  6. ^ "Sovereign Center and Sovereign Performing Arts Center to be rebranded to Santander". July 25, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
  7. ^ "Arena Facility Information". Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  8. ^ Koch, Gregory. "Santander Arena – Reading Royals | Stadium Journey". Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  9. ^ East Coast Tsunami Fest 2015 lineup revealed

External links

This page was last edited on 3 August 2020, at 05:44
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