Unsung Moments in Van Andel Arena History


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, October 9, 2006

Alas, I don’t have time to write much this week. But then this week’s comic isn’t terribly controversial, so I’ll make it short: This month is the tenth anniversary of Grand Rapids’ very own downtown sports/events venue, the Van Andel arena. It’s quite a gem, really. Seats about 12,000, and is just a terrific place to see sports, concerts, and those “Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! BE THERE!” radio ad events.

It’s nestled on the south side of downtown GR, and it has been a catalyst for growth and re-development all around it. At first there was some question whether Grand Rapidians with their conservative, Dutch heritage would support such a building. But before long, Cher was stopping by every other week having sold-out farewell concerts, and even those who warned that large public works projects are a communist threat and those who (for whatever reason) resented the hell out of hyper-wealthy entrepreneurs giving money back to their community, they all had to admit to the Van Andel’s success. Cheers!


  1. ryan said,

    October 17, 2006 @ 10:10 am

    Has it really been 10 years? Wow.

    Must be about time for a renovation project.

  2. John said,

    October 17, 2006 @ 10:15 am

    Renovations? Hell, this is America! Knock it down and build a bigger one!

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