You can't miss it.
Pinnacle Bank Arena is this gigantic, spaceship-looking building that has sprouted out of the northside of Lincoln's Haymarket District. I must say, it's quite a spectacle.
While my "allegiance" for college sports has been linked to Creighton University in Omaha (my brother, Jimmy, played basketball there from 2001 to 2006), I always believed CenturyLink Center Omaha (formerly Qwest Center) was THE premier spot for events in this part of the state.
Well, that no longer may be the case. At least, for now, CenturyLink Center Omaha will share the destination spotlight with Pinnacle Bank Arena for concerts, major shows and other entertainment opportunities.
While Creighton has been one of the top basketball schools in the country for attendance for the past 10 years, the University of Nebraska has the same opportunity for it's gorgeous facility.
Tuesday, I had the chance to join other members of the media for a full tour of the Pinnacle Bank Arena and it's a gem. Some similarities to CenturyLink, but different. Chair back theatre-style seats are a brick red, while in Omaha they're gray. You're on top of the floor/court in Lincoln, while you're more spread out in Omaha.
Several locker room areas with full shower and restroom necessities, a variety of concession stands, open concourse space, fabulous high-definition scoreboard, adequate spacing for the basketball court and overall, something that will bring in more events and concerts for the city.
Oh yeah, did I mention the technology aspect? So much fiber optics coming into the building for Wi-Fi and other Internet needs for spectators.
Regardless, I truly think this investment by the city of Lincoln will work out but it's up to you, Husker fan, to make that happen by supporting your team through think and thin.
Yes it's a novelty but will you go to support Nebraska if times are tough? I pose the same question to Creighton fan. One thing that has kept Bluejay fans coming back to basketball games is not only the fact they have been winning the past 15 years....but they provide adult beverages to fans at their city-owned facility making it a social affair for some.
No alcohol sales will be allowed at Nebraska games in the near future. If things don't pan out for the men's basketball program, the novelty has worn off....what do you do next? The university has no alcohol sales at their sporting events and if ticket sales drop, could they make the big leap to sell beer at games? The NU Board of Regents will likely be looking at that in the next few years.
The thing I'm looking forward to is the boys and girls state basketball tournament in March. Will we be broadcasting from courtside at Pinnacle Bank Arena like we have at Devaney the past 10 years or the northwest corner where press row has been installed? No matter what, it will be a blast I'm sure.
Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau is one of our sponsors and a key figurehead in bringing major events to the capital city. Jeff Maul is the executive director and may be the happiest man in Lincoln, next to Mayor Chris Beutler, in having this multi-million dollar facility completed and ready for business. Had the Arena not been built, the chances of losing the basketball and other high school tournaments would have increased tremendously.
While I'm not a Nebraska basketball season ticket holder, I still support having the Pinnacle Bank Arena because of the potential to draw people from all over for other sporting and entertainment events. Tom Lorenz, who is the arena general manager, was quoted as saying during an interview on KOLN-TV this week that they plan to work together with officials at CenturyLink Center Omaha in coordinating schedules for upcoming shows. That way, both become destinations for major acts and concert tours for people to enjoy.
I think that's fitting. Making both Lincoln and Omaha hubs for top acts. That's classy for both venues.