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CenturyLink Center Omaha
Courtesy: Steven Branscombe

CenturyLink Center Omaha

CenturyLink Center Omaha

    Creighton’s home for men’s basketball is CenturyLink Center Omaha. The facility formerly known as Qwest Center Omaha from 2003-11 is located on a 421-acre site of the former Union Pacific Railroad yards, just a few blocks from Creighton’s campus, the historic Old Market and three miles from Eppley Airfield.

    Built for $291 million and finished in the fall of 2003, the facility is a key element in the continued renovation and development of Omaha’s riverfront.

    Among the amenities at CenturyLink Center Omaha are seven locker rooms, five dressing rooms and a media interview room. The Creighton locker room contains secure, wood-paneled lockers and is located just a short walk off the court.

    Daktronics, Inc. is responsible for the $6 million scoreboard which hangs from the arena center. The scoreboard is more than 26 feet in height and approximately 32 feet in diameter. The scoreboard was upgraded in the summer of 2013 and is one of the nation’s finest, as CenturyLink Center Omaha is the nation’s only arena to have 4 mm and 6 mm pixel configuration that give fans significantly better resolution than the previous videoboard.

    Twelve permanent concession stands and 20 free-standing kiosks help feed crowds of up to 17,390 for basketball and 18,300 for concerts.

    CenturyLink Center Omaha provides more than 194,000 square feet of exhibition space, and the Exhibit Hall can hold dinners for up to 15,000 people at once. Downtown Omaha’s 40-story First National Bank Tower could be laid down inside the length of the exhibit space.

    Attached to the facility via a skywalk is the eight-story, 600-room Hilton Omaha hotel. That $71-million building opened in April 2004.

    Funding for CenturyLink Center Omaha came from private donations, taxes and projected revenue from the facility.

    CenturyLink, which bought Qwest in 2011, is paying $14 million over 15 years for the naming rights to the arena.

    The facility has hosted some of America’s top sporting events, including the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships (2008 and 2012), NCAA Volleyball Championships (2006 and 2008), U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming (2008 and 2012), NCAA Wrestling Finals (2010). and the U.S. Figure Skating Championships (2013).

    The facility has also hosted concerts by artists such as Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews Band, Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, U2, KISS, Aerosmith, Prince, Miley Cyrus, Van Halen, ZZ Top, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Alan Jackson, Elton John and The Who.

    More than 1,700 new seats were added to the upper deck on the north side of the building during the summer of 2006, moving capacity to 17,390 for basketball.

    Located one block northwest of CenturyLink Center Omaha is TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, which opened in 2011 as the home of Creighton baseball and the NCAA Men’s College World Series.

CenturyLink Center Omaha Quick Facts
Cost    $291 million
Seating Capacity    18,300 (Concerts), 17,390 (Basketball)
Architect    DLR Group
Square Footage    1,100,000 square feet
Arena Height    90 feet
Adjoining Hotel    Hilton Omaha (600 rooms)
Construction Timeline    March 2001-September 2003
Luxury Suites    32
Parking    4,978 parking spaces on the premises
First Private Event    Grand Funk Railroad (Concert)
First Public Event    River City Roundup (Rodeo)
First Basketball Game    Minnesota vs. Atlanta (NBA Exhibition)
First Regular-Season CU Game    Creighton 79, San Diego 44

 

What Others Have Said About CenturyLink Center Omaha

Attendance
    “We’re in a basketball town, we play in one of the best facilities in the country, and we have one of the top fan bases anywhere in college basketball. As you look through the top 10 in attendance in the country and Creighton jumps out at No. 6, we’re the school that doesn’t look like we fit there. But once you come to our arena and see how passionate our fans are, what an understanding they have of the game of basketball, it’s really a special place.”
- Creighton coach Greg McDermott (Oct. 16, 2013)

    “Creighton had a record 18,859 fans for the Georgetown game. Lots of power schools would love that. Great home court, fans. Hidden gem for years.”
- Andy Katz, ESPN (Jan. 25, 2014)

The Arena
    “I’ve seen a lot of basketball games, and I would call this a pro-quality game presentation. It’s exceptional. The fans here are terrific, but I knew coming in that you all here had something special because of the turnout for our men’s basketball tournament.”
- BIG EAST commissioner Val Ackerman (Dec. 8, 2013)

    “To play in a state-of-the-art facility as we do already, and now to have a brand-new scoreboard to add to that, it’s exciting for us as players and I’m sure it’ll be exciting for our fans and the recruits that we’re going to try to get in here.”
- Former Creighton guard Jahenns Manigat (Aug. 14, 2013)

The Atmosphere
    “The fans have really bought-in right now. They wouldn’t let us hang our heads, and they were ready to go every possession. And as soon as we showed a glimmer of a run to get back into it, several times we had communication problems on defense because our guys couldn’t hear one another. The crowd was that loud. If we can’t hear each other when we’re standing next to one another, there’s no way Xavier players can hear their coach from the bench. We won the game today because of the crowd. If this game’s played on a neutral court somewhere with 800 people in the building, we don’t win this game. We won today because of our home crowd. They were outstanding.” - Creighton coach Greg McDermott (January 12, 2014)

    “I told our team before the game that this is one of the greatest college venues in the country. The fans are very respectful of the opponent, which I appreciate because we’ve played in some places that get kind of nasty with the vulgarities that are used. Here, the fans are classy in the way they support their own program and still show respect for the opponent.”
- Former George Mason head coach Jim Larrañaga (Feb. 21, 2009)
CenturyLink Center Omaha Driving Directions

 

Click here to download a printable version of the driving directions. (447 KB PDF)

FROM EPPLEY AIRFIELD

 

· Turn left out of the airport terminal drive onto Abbott Drive heading southbound.
· Travel southbound on Abbott Drive to 10th Street.
· Turn left onto 10th Street.
· CenturyLink Center Omaha surface parking lots are located on both the east side and the west side of 10th Street, across from and north of the CenturyLink Center Omaha. Access is from 10th Street and Abbott Drive. (total travel distance is 3.3 miles)

FROM I-80 WESTBOUND (DES MOINES) AND I-29 NORTHBOUND (KANSAS CITY)

· I-29 northbound merges with I-80 westbound in Council Bluffs. Travel on I-80 westbound.
· Exit off of I-80 at Exit 1A and follow I-29 northbound.
· Exit off of I-29 onto I-480 westbound to Omaha.
· Just across the Missouri River Bridge, exit off of I-480 at Exit 4 – Dodge Street.
· Follow Dodge Street to 10th Street, and turn right on 10th Street.
· CenturyLink Center Omaha is on your right. Drop-off access is at the front of the building in the driveway on your right, which is the east side of 10th Street.
· CenturyLink Center Omaha surface parking lots are located on both the east side and the west side of 10th Street, across from and north of the CenturyLink Center Omaha. (total travel distance is 6.2 miles from the I-80/I-29 merge)

FROM I-29 SOUTHBOUND (SIOUX CITY)

· Travel southbound on I-29.
· Exit off of I-29 at Exit 53B to I-480 westbound.
· Exit off of I-480 at Exit 4 – Dodge Street.
· Follow Dodge Street to 10th Street, and turn right on 10th Street.
· CenturyLink Center Omaha is on your right. Drop-off access is at the front of the building in the driveway on your right, which is the east side of 10th Street.
· CenturyLink Center Omaha surface parking lots are located on both the east side and the west side of 10th Street, across from and north of the CenturyLink Center Omaha.

FROM COUNCIL BLUFFS (WEST BROADWAY)

· Travel westbound on West Broadway.
· West Broadway becomes I-480 as it crosses the Missouri River Bridge.
· Exit off of I-480 at Exit 4 – Dodge Street.
· Follow Dodge Street to 10th Street, and turn right on 10th Street.
· CenturyLink Center Omaha is on your right. Drop-off access is at the front of the building in the driveway on your right, which is the east side of 10th Street.
· CenturyLink Center Omaha surface parking lots are located on both the east side and the west side of 10th Street, across from and north of the CenturyLink Center Omaha.

FROM I-680 (EASTBOUND OR WESTBOUND)

· Exit 30th Street.
· Travel southbound on 30th Street 2.9 miles.
· Just past Fort Street, veer left toward the North Freeway. From there, you have two options:
 
Option 1
  Veer right, following the signs onto Highway 75 (to I-480).
· Veer left at the I-480 split, following I-480 eastbound.
· Exit I-480 at exit 3A – 14th Street.
· Travel southbound on 14th Street one half block to Capitol Avenue.
· Turn left onto Capitol Avenue, and travel eastbound on Capitol Avenue to 10th Street.
· Turn left on 10th Street and travel northbound on 10th Street.
· CenturyLink Center Omaha is on your right. Drop-off access is at the front of the building in the driveway on your right, which is the east side of 10th Street. (total travel distance is 7.3 miles from I680)

Option 2
· Turn left onto Storz Expressway toward Eppley Airfield.
· The Storz Expressway becomes Abbott Drive.
· Travel southbound on Abbott Drive to 10th Street.
· Turn left onto 10th Street. (total travel distance is 9.2 miles from I-680; longer distance, but offers a nice view and less traffic)
· CenturyLink Center Omaha surface parking lots are located on both the east side and the west side of 10th Street, across from and north of the CenturyLink Center Omaha.

FROM I-80 (EASTBOUND FROM LINCOLN AND NORTHBOUND FROM BELLEVUE)

· From the I-80/I-480/H-75 interchange, follow the signs to I-480/H-75 North – Downtown.
· Exit off of I-480 at Exit 3A – 14th Street.
· Travel southbound on 14th Street one half block to Capitol Avenue.
· Turn left onto Capitol Avenue, and travel eastbound on Capitol Avenue to 10th Street.
· Turn left on 10th Street and travel northbound on 10th Street.
· CenturyLink Center Omaha is on your right. Drop-off access is at the front of the building in the driveway on your right, which is the east side of 10th Street.
· CenturyLink Center Omaha surface parking lots are located on both the east side and the west side of 10th Street, across from and north of the CenturyLink Center Omaha. (total travel distance is 3.6 miles from the I-80/I-480/H-75 interchange)

OR

· From the I-80/I-480/H-75 interchange, follow I-480 to North H-75.
· Exit off of North H-75 at the Cuming Street Exit.
· Turn right on Cuming Street and travel eastbound on Cuming Street to 10th Street.
· Turn right on 10th Street and travel southbound on 10th Street.
· CenturyLink Center Omaha is on your left. Drop-off access is at the front of the building in the driveway, on the east side of 10th Street.
· CenturyLink Center Omaha surface parking lots are located on both the east side and the west side of 10th Street, across from and north of the CenturyLink Center Omaha.
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