Anaheim Convention Center
The Anaheim Convention Center is a major convention center in Anaheim, California and is the largest exhibition facility on the west coast. It is located across from the Disneyland Resort on Katella Avenue. The original components, designed by Adrian Wilson & Associates and built by Del E. Webb Corporation, opened in July 1967—including a basketball arena followed shortly by the convention hall. It holds many events, like VidCon, BlizzCon, Anime Expo, D23 Expo, WonderCon, NAMM Show, competitions, and more. In addition to hosting various types of conventions, the Anaheim Convention Center was used to host the wrestling during the 1984 Summer Olympics.
The center has subsequently undergone six major expansions (1974, 1982, 1990, 1993, 1999–2000, 2016–2017). It is the largest exhibit facility on the West Coast.
Originally, the arena was home to the Anaheim Amigos of the American Basketball Association during the first ABA season, 1967–68. The franchise relocated to the Los Angeles Sports Arena and became the Los Angeles Stars immediately thereafter; the team eventually moved to Salt Lake City and became the Utah Stars, capturing the 1970–71 ABA Championship. The Stars' subsequent fan support in Utah set the foundation for the NBA's Utah Jazz. The San Diego Friars of WTT played some of their home matches in the arena between 1975 and 1977. In 1978, the Anaheim Oranges of WTT used the arena as their primary home venue. The arena was also home to the California Surf of the NASL for one indoor season (1979–80).
According to frequent news reports, the largest exposition held at the Convention Center in recent years has been the Winter NAMM Show. This music-equipment convention (trade only, not open to the general public) had 1,560 exhibitors and a record-breaking 88,100 attendees during the 2008 show. The NAMM Show has been running at the Anaheim Center since 1977, except for a three-year break in 1998–2000 while the Convention Center underwent major renovations. In 2008, news reports indicated that NAMM's long-term lease with the Anaheim Convention Center authority would end in 2010, and NAMM was applying pressure to the City of Anaheim to further expand and improve the convention center.
Blizzard Entertainment holds BlizzCon at the venue. In 2005, BlizzCon used the northern two conference halls, (and the arena for a concert one evening). In 2007 and 2008, it used three conference halls. In 2009, it used four conference halls. While tickets to the 2007 event sold out in 3 days, tickets to the October 2008 event sold out "within minutes," and tickets to the August 2009 event sold out in "56 seconds". Tickets to the 2010 Blizzcon reportedly sold out within 30 seconds.
Another large convention held at the center is the Medical Design and Manufacturing Show, held shortly after Winter NAMM.
VidCon has been held at the Anaheim Convention Center since its third annual event in 2012. The new venue offered a much larger capacity than the previously used Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel in Los Angeles. WonderCon is hosted annually at the convention center since 2012, with the exception of 2016 when it was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The 2012 VEX Robotics World Championship was also held in the convention center. Almost 600 teams were present at the competition which utilized two of the convention center's exhibit halls, as well as the convention centers Arena. In 2013 the VEX Robotics World Championship returned to the Anaheim Convention Center, occupying 3 exhibit halls as well as the arena. There were over 700 teams present, representing 24 nations. Each competed to be crowned the World Championship within their respective divisions.
The Collegiate Challenge gymnastics meet was held in the arena in 2019.
The convention center and arena is currently hosting the California State Future Farmers of America leadership conference, which started in 2018, the largest youth convention in the State of California. As of 2019, 9,000 students from across the state of California have attended the event, with more expecting to show up in the future.