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Boardwalk Hall, formally known as the Historic Atlantic City Convention Hall, is an arena in Atlantic City, New Jerseymarker, United Statesmarker. It was Atlantic City's primary convention center until the opening of the Atlantic City Convention Centermarker in 1997.

It was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1987.

The venue seats 10,500 people for ice hockey, and can accommodate over 17,000 for concerts.

History

The hall, designed by the architectural firm Lockwood Greene, was built in 1926.

Various uses

The Miss America pageant, a competition which awards scholarships to young women and was founded in 1921 in Atlantic City, used Boardwalk Hall from the hall's opening until 2004.

It was also the venue for the August 1964 Democratic National Convention that nominated U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson as the Democratic Party's candidate for the 1964 U.S. presidential election, nine months after the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedymarker, in November 1963.

The following week, The Beatles, the English rock and pop group, held one of their largest concerts in their first U.S. tour.

The hall was also the venue for the classic (and widely bootleg recorded ) concert by The Rolling Stones, the rock band, in 1989. The concert, which was shown on pay-per-view television, is widely remembered by fans for a mishap where viewers were cut off from the performance during the song " Satisfaction".

Sporting events

Liberty Bowl

In 1959, A.F. “Bud” Dudley, a former Villanova Universitymarker athletic-director, created the Liberty Bowl, an annual post-season college-football bowl game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamarker. The game was played at Philadelphia Municipal Stadiummarker, but as the only cold-weather bowl game, it was plagued by poor attendance. Atlantic City convinced Dudley to move his game from Philadelphia to Boardwalk Hall for 1964 and guaranteed Dudley US$25,000.

It was the first bowl game played indoors and was also the first indoor football game broadcast nationwide on U.S. television.

Since artificial turf was still in its developmental stages and was unavailable for the game, the hall was equipped with a four-inch-thick grass surface with two inches of burlap underneath it (as padding) on top of cement. To keep the grass growing, artificial lighting was installed and kept on twenty-four hours a day. The entire process cost about $16,000. End-zones were only eight-yards long instead of the usual ten yards.

6,059 fans saw the Utah Utes rout the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Dudley was paid $25,000 from Atlantic City businessmen, $60,000 from ticket sales, and $95,000 from television revenues, for a $10,000 net profit.

Other sporting events

Boardwalk Hall was also the venue of the former Boardwalk Bowl post-season college-football games from 1961 to 1973.

In 1996, the hall was used for the for the women's tennis Fed Cup during which the U.S. beat Spainmarker 5-0 in the Fed Cup women's tennis. This event was Monica Seles's return to tennis following her 1993 stabbing.

It played host to the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies, an ice-hockey team, from 2001-2005, and the Atlantic City CardSharks, a professional, indoor-football team, in 2004.

It hosted the World Wrestling Entertainment's WrestleMania IV and V in 1988 and 1989, respectively, although on the television coverage it was referred to as "Trump Plazamarker" because the adjacent casino hotel was the primary sponsor. Many WWE shows have also been held with both WWE Raw and WWE Friday Night SmackDown making appearances.

Boardwalk Hall has been home to many boxing events as well. In September 2007, it was the venue for the Kelly Pavlik - Jermain Taylor boxing match for the World Boxing Council, World Boxing Organization and The Ring magazine's middleweight championships.

The PBR hosted a Built Ford Tough Series bull riding event at Boardwalk Hall during the 2003 season.

Since 2007, the Atlantic 10 Conference has held its men's basketball championships at Boardwalk Hall and will continue in 2010.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association uses the hall to host the annual individual state finals of its wrestling tournament.

Pipe Organ

When built in 1929 , it became the home of the world's-largest pipe organ, the Main Auditorium Organ, as listed in The Guinness Book of World Records. The Midmer-Losh-manufactured organ has approximately 33,000 pipes and requires approximately of blowers to operate. However, the condition of the organ was allowed to deteriorate and is no longer fully functional. Dust from the hall's renovation has also been problematic.

Boardwalk Hall's attached ballroom has a 55-rank theater/concert pipe organ — originally installed to accompany silent movies — which was severely damaged during the hall's renovation.

Restoration efforts are underway, overseen by the Atlantic City Convention Hall Organ Society and are funded by private donations and federal Save America's Treasures grants.

2001 Restoration and awards

A $90-million restoration was completed in 2001 and received several awards, including the 2003 National Preservation Award and Building magazine's 2002 Modernization Award.

Other awards

Billboard magazine recognized Boardwalk Hall as the top-grossing mid-sized arena in the U.S. in 2003 and 2004.

See also



References

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External links and sources




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