2008: A Year of Firsts

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The Arena at Gwinnett Center has embraced its fifth anniversary with several new accomplishments for the year. The Arena has brought to Gwinnett several firsts for 2008. Accomplishments include bringing the first change-over with two sporting events in one day, the first two-night sold-out concert, with Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood co-headlining, and the first urban show featuring Kanye West, Rihanna, Lupe Fiasco and N.E.R.D.

Taking on the task of turning over two sporting events on the same day was unheard of for the Arena, until March 1 rolled around this year. At 1 p.m., the Georgia Force AFL team had their season opener against the Dallas Desperados. After the game, with only a few hours till the doors re-opened for the Gwinnett Gladiators, Arena staff quickly had to prepare for Gladiator fans to enter for the 7 p.m. hockey game against the Texas Wildcatters. Now, knowing how successful the first two-game turnover went, this will definitely not be the last time.

On April 24 and 25, the Arena at Gwinnett Center experienced the first ever two-night sell out, bringing country stars Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood to the stage. They drew fans from New York to Florida to see this two-night duo live.

On May 4, the first-ever urban show came to the Arena, introducing new artists to the venue like Rihanna and Kanye West. The sold-out crowd flooded the doors hours before doors opened, waiting to see their favorite artist from the line-up. The show started promptly at 7:30 p.m. with Lupe Fiasco and then carried through until about 10:30 p.m. when Kanye West went on stage solo. The first-ever urban show also brought R&B artists Usher, Mary J, Chris Brown and Bow Wow as spectators. This event has sparked the interests of more urban and hip hop shows for the future.

With history in the making for the Arena at Gwinnett Center during the fifth year anniversary, we plan to continue and embrace more new firsts for years to come.