The Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks, has a rich history in the community, hockey, World Wrestling Entertainment, Arena Football, concerts, and so much more. The red brick hockey arena lights up the 5 freeway at night among the shadows of palm trees and the sound of the events behind its doors.
About the Honda Center
2695 E. Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806
Box Office Hours: M-F 10:00 am – 5:00 pm & Saturday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Will Call opens an hour and a half before events
On November 8, 1990, Anaheim broke ground on the 17,174 seat arena that is home of the National Hockey League team, the Anaheim Ducks. The spark of this California arena is so much more than the hockey team that was once owned by Disney and based on the Disney movie trilogy, The Mighty Ducks, it’s about Anaheim entertainment. Anaheim’s deep love of Disney still rings true even now, over a decade since the company sold the franchise. Fans of the Ducks franchise since the early days endearingly still refer to the Honda Center as The Pond – the facility was known as the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim from 1994 through 2005. Outside the arena on the South Entrance sits the bronze Mighty Ducks sculpture which still defends The Pond at all times.
The arena’s deep roots in the community first began at a sold-out Barry Manilow concert on June 19, 1993. In 2006, the organization changed its name from the Mighty Ducks to the Anaheim Ducks, and the arena was changed from Arrowhead Pond to the Honda Center. The Anaheim city-owned arena is managed by Henry and Susan Samueli of Anaheim Arena Management, giving them the freedom to schedule events.
While Honda Center’s neighbor, the Staples Center, is well known for Hollywood superstars, the Orange County arena does not fall short of its own down-home and big-league talent. While Honda Center’s first performance was Barry Manilow, the superstars don’t stop there. Anaheim native, No Doubt performed for the first time here in 1996 as the opening act for Bush and the Goo Goo Dolls. They reappeared a year later with Grammy nominations to boot headlining shows. In 2002 and 2005 they reappeared alongside Jay-Z and Linkin Park.
Country music greats such as Alan Jackson, George Strait, Brooks and Dunn, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Brad Paisley, and Jimmy Buffet have performed at the Honda Center as well. Icons such as Bowie, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, the Eagles, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, and Whitney Houston have all performed here, just to name a few.
The Honda Center continues to boast star-studded line-ups and has expanded its reach by including Latin American favorites such as Luis Miguel, Pepe Aguilar, Los Tigres Del Norte, Gloria Trevi, Alejandra Guzmán, and Los Rieleros.
Over the course of 25 years of Ducks hockey, the team, management, and the arena have changed. But one thing remains: Southern California hockey. Since day one the Ducks have fought and struggled to make a name for themselves.
The original team, branded by Disney, sported jade and eggplant jerseys with a cartoon-like hockey mask logo. The team’s mascot, Wild Wing, debuted October 8, 1993, in a perfect 90s over the top performance that featured a Disney flare with Wild Wing propelled from the rafters. For the next two seasons, the Ducks struggled to find their rhythm, until center Paul Kariya brought direction and leadership to the team.
In 1997 and 1999, the team made Stanley Cup appearances and began to gain popularity beyond their Disney affiliation. In 2003, with the help of winger, Teemu Selanne, and goalie Jean Sebastien Giguere, the team made a fairytale run in a playoff series but lost against the New Jersey Devils in seven games. After this point, the team became close-knit, however, in 2005 Disney sold the franchise to the Samuelis who changed their name to the Anaheim Ducks and rebranded the arena the Honda Center with Honda paying $60 million for 15-year naming rights. Many fans look at the 2006-2007 season fondly because it was the first time in franchise history when the team won the Stanley Cup with the help of Ducks “royalty.” That season the team played its 1,000th regular-season game and brought Lord Stanley home. Since then, the team has had more playoff runs than ever and made the sport more popular in the region.
PBR, WWE, Harlem GlobeTrotters & Basketball
Honda Center brings diverse sporting events to the region. The ice takes between five to six hours to melt and can be refrozen thanks to ten miles of piping on the concrete floor. When the Ducks do not have a game, the floor can be transformed into a stage, cage, dirt rodeo, or arena. Professional Bull Riders have been hosted at the Honda Center since 1998 which draws cowboys and rodeo clowns to Orange County in droves.
World Wrestling Entertainment has hosted numerous events at the arena, including Wrestle Mania XII, Royal Rumble 1999, Monday Night Raw, and SmackDown to name a few. Ultimate Fighting Championships have been held here as well, including UFC 59, UFC 63, UFC 76, UFC 157, UFC 214, and UFC 241.
The basketball exhibition team the Harlem GlobeTrotters has performed at the Honda Center for years, entertaining across ages and varying levels of interest in basketball. The NCAA Men’s Basketball West Regional tournament draws the college crowd to the Honda Center for the first and second rounds of the tournament and has since 1998. During basketball tournaments, the building can amass 18,336 spectators from across the West.
The Future of the Honda Center
With the building being over 25-years-old, it has become necessary in recent years for updates and renovations, some of which include a 15,000-square-foot-indoor/outdoor terrace on the club level that offers members a high dining experience that was completed for Ducks games and special events in 2013, along with the expanded team store that was completed at the same time. A wine cellar sponsored by sub-zero was completed in 2019 and offers 240 wine options to the club level. In 2019, the Samuelis purchased 18 acres to expand the Honda Center further.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the arena halted events per the county’s orders, however, they started pop-up weddings in the parking lot for fans and couples who’s weddings were canceled.
|Sporting Events In Orange County||Angel Stadium of Anaheim|
|Anaheim Convention Center||City of Anaheim|
|Orange County Breweries||Downtown Disney|
Rebecca has an undeniable love of writing and recently graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a degree in journalism. She enjoys watching hockey, scuba diving, swimming, and working out.