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American Airlines Center

Dallas, TX

Home of the Dallas Stars

4.1

4.0

American Airlines Center (map it)
2500 Victory Ave
Dallas, TX 75219


Dallas Stars website

American Airlines Center website

Year Opened: 2001

Capacity: 18,532

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Stars of the AAC

The American Airlines Center is a multi-use arena located in the Victory Park area, which is just north of the historic West End in downtown Dallas. The venue is home to the Dallas Stars of the NHL and the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA. The AAC, as it is commonly referred to by local sports fans, opened in 2001, replacing the outdated Reunion Arena. The venue is made of brick, limestone, and granite with signature arches, and cost $420 million to build.

The American Airlines Center is the primary venue in the Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW) area hosting year round sporting events and live entertainment. The seating capacity for hockey is 18,532, or up to 19,323 including standing room. The American Airlines Center hosted the 55th NHL All Star game in 2007.

4.1

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    5

There is no shortage of food or beverages when attending an event at the American Airlines Center. It doesn't matter if your tickets are on the lower, platinum, or upper level; you'll find something to satisfy your appetite. However, the prices are the typically inflated stadium/arena prices. Nevertheless, there are a few game day specials that could save you a couple of dollars if you just have to use the concessions here; the best choice is the small soda for $3, or the $6 bottomless popcorn if you just want a snack (a regular popcorn costs almost as much, and doesn't come with refills).

There is an abundance of concessions stands throughout the arena, including Big Dawgs, Pizza Patron, Fast Break, Taco Bueno, Grilled Zone, High Steaks, Hot Popped and Twisted, Bubba Burger, BBQ Stampede, and Motley's Pub. In addition, if none of the above satisfies your appetite there is also Market to Go, which offers fresh deli sandwiches, vegetarian options, tossed salads, and bottled beer. To see the incredible variety that the American Airlines Center offers when it comes to food service, please visit their concessions website.

There are numerous alcohol selections inside the American Airlines Center, and not just at the concessions stands, but also at specialty beer bars such as the Texas Beer Bar, which serves Ziegenbock, St Arnold's, Fireman's 4, and Franconia. In addition there is the Blue Moon Bar, which offers all of the Blue Moon products, as well as Import and Craft bars with beers from around the world, such as Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale (OR), Goose Island (Chicago), Brooklyn Lager (NY), Alaskan Amber (AK), Kirin Iciban (Japan), and Stone Arrogant Bastard (CA). The prices all range from $7 to $14 dollars depending on size. Woodbridge wine is also sold for $8.75 a glass.

Besides alcohol, Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper products are also offered, with prices of $4.50 for the regular size and $8.50 for the bottomless souvenir cup.

In addition to the concessions stands and specialty bars, the American Airlines Center also features several full service restaurants. Pira Latin Fire is located on the southwest corner of the arena, and stays open until 2 am on event days, but can only be accessed by patrons with an event ticket. This restaurant is a Latin-themed eatery/ultra-lounge that provides a wide variety of beer, wine, and spirits, supplemented by outdoor seating, a DJ booth, state of the art lighting, and TV screens to keep a festive atmosphere well after the event is over.

Another restaurant inside the arena is The Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Club, which is also full service with outdoor seating, and is located on the southeast corner; however, you'll need an event ticket to enter this restaurant. The Jack Daniels Club is a sports bar with food such as brisket, wings, nachos, and other sports bar favorites, but there is a separate area inside the Old No. 7 Club on the lower level that provides a more global dining experience.

In addition to the above, if you want an interesting place on the upper level of the arena away from the alcohol, check out the Dr Pepper Fan Zone, which provides food such as brisket, chicken, and the Dr Pepper float. Alternatively, platinum level seating will grant you access to the rest of the unique bars here at the American Airlines Center, such as Remy Martin V Bar, Red Bull Lounge, and El Jimador Tequila Bar.

Despite all the great options at the American Airlines Center, just like any arena the best option is to eat before or after the event, as there are plenty of great restaurant options in and around Dallas.

Atmosphere    3

The atmosphere begins before the American Airlines Center doors even open, on the south side of the arena in AT&T Plaza @ Victory Park. On the plaza there are games, music, and just a festive atmosphere overall. There are also several video displays mounted on the side of the arena and on nearby office buildings, which allows the plaza to be used for outdoor events such as Dallas' New Year's Eve party.

Once inside the American Airlines Center, there are free programs and other giveaways for fans as they pass through the facility's metal detectors. Many fans arrive early to watch the players warm up, especially opposing team fans, who gather around the visiting team's entrance onto the ice. The Stars fans are also loyal, vocal, and knowledgeable, and thus are always into the game.

The introduction for the Dallas Stars includes a smoking neon green star, through which the players come onto the ice. Once the lights come on, the national anthems are sung by local favorite Celena Rae. Just like Baltimore Oriole and other fans, Stars fans emphasize a word in the national anthem relating to their team, so here the word 'stars' is yelled by the fans when it is sung during the anthem. There are ceremonial puck drops as well, just like at other NHL games, and the Dallas Stars also do promotional events in-between periods, such as human bowling, where a fan on a sled gets pushed toward a bunch of pins. In addition, you can find Stars gear at the Stars pro shop, which is named "The Hangar."

See the Stars come onto the ice here:

When the Stars are in the playoffs and the American Airlines Center is packed with Stars fans, the atmosphere can be electrifying, especially with the "Let's Go Stars" chants. While those nights have been few and far between since their 1999 Stanley Cup season, there are always those special occasions or teams that bring the Stars faithful out in full force. When the Stars become competitive again and are regularly in the post season, that type of atmosphere will surely return on a more regular basis.

Neighborhood    4

The American Airlines Center is located on the northwest edge of downtown Dallas, just a short walk from the historic West End section. The West End section consists of restaurants such as Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse, Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse, Gator's, TGI Friday's, Spaghetti Warehouse, Hard Rock Café, Dick's Last Resort, and House of Blues, as well as key tourist attractions such as the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Sixth Floor Museum, and the Holocaust Museum.

Victory Park outside the south entrance of the arena consists of The Victory Tavern, Shooters, Kenichi, Pira, and Cook Hall (located inside the W Dallas Victory); these are good options if you want to stay close to the arena. The Dallas / Fort Worth area provides one of the largest urban centers in the United States; within a short drive there are plenty of amazing restaurants and attractions to explore while visiting the Metroplex.

Dallas has numerous lodging options around the American Airlines Center, including the Holiday Inn Dallas Market Center, W Dallas Victory, and the Hilton Anatole.

Fans    4

The Dallas Stars operate in an area where football and the Dallas Cowboys are the leading topic of conversation in the local sports scene. With that being said, no fans are more loyal to their team than Dallas Stars fans. While the average attendance here falls in the middle of the league, considering that the team is located in a warm climate, in a football-crazed state, that level of attendance is actually a very good testament to the solid fan base.

Dallas Stars fans are knowledgeable, fun, and love their Stars, because true hockey fans seem to have a true loyalty to the sport. Although the team has had some down years since their last championship in 1999, their fans still show support at the box office, and a consistently playoff-bound team on the ice will bring the rest of the DFW fans onboard with hockey, bringing sellout games to the American Airlines Center on a more regular basis.

Access    5

The American Airlines Center is one of the better downtown venues when it comes to parking, with about 5,000 parking spaces available for guests. Parking lots open two hours prior to the start of the game, and cash and credit cards are accepted at American Airlines Center managed lots; the parking cost in these lots ranges between $15 and $30. While the Lexus garage across from the box office is primarily reserved for season ticket holders, there may be limited availability for $25. There is also parking south of the arena throughout the popular West End area, where you can enjoy a pregame meal before a short walk to the arena. The best way to save money and time getting to a Stars game is to plan ahead; if you plan on parking visit the American Airlines Center's parking website before you go.

The best way to get to the American Airlines Center is really public transportation. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and Trinity Rail Express (TRE) both provide regular service to Victory Station, which is located on the west side of the American Airlines Center. These two transportation services can get you to the arena from anywhere in the Dallas area, including DFW airport and Fort Worth. In addition to their regular schedule, the TRE runs a special event train that leaves Victory Station 20 minutes after the end of the game, so you won't have to miss the ending to catch the train. There is a location for Uber pick-up on the west side of the American Airlines Center, while taxis can best be found towards the W Hotel, at the corner of Olive Street and N. Houston.

The venue doors open 1 ˝ hours before the puck drops. Once you arrive at the American Airlines Center, there are four main entrances which provide quick entry into the building. The south side entrance is accessible from Victory Plaza, which is where pre-event activities take place before games. The west side entrance caters to public transportation, including Uber, taxis, and drop-offs. The north and east side entrances are primarily used by patrons from the parking garage, or those who need the box office; the American Airlines Center box office is located on the northeast corner of the arena.

The concourse inside the arena is well marked and spacious, and you'll easily notice elevators providing access to the Platinum Club, suites, and upper level seating. The stairs inside the American Airlines Center are in the corners of the building, and provide access between the levels, as do the elevators.

Return on Investment    3

The American Airlines Center has wonderful sightlines, so anywhere in the arena will have a good view of the rink. However, Stars tickets aren't exactly as affordable as going to a Texas Rangers game would be.

Single game tickets to Dallas Stars games run from $20 to $75 in the Upper Terrace. The best way to avoid a price hike for the same seat is to become a season ticket holder of some type. This is because the Stars use a flex ticket scale, so depending on the day of the week or the opponent, ticket prices will vary.

Lower bowl tickets run from $77 for plaza seating up to $540 on the glass, but it is possible that buying from a third party for non-premium games could save you money. As with the rest of the NHL, ticket prices for playoff games will be higher than during the regular season.

Depending on your financial situation, a night out to a Stars game may seem over the top, but compared to the rest of the NHL the Stars seem to be near the average.

Extras    5

It's been 17 years since the Stars moved here from Reunion Arena, yet the American Airlines Center still looks brand new. The venue's event operations, game day staff, and overall maintenance of the facility really help to enhance the experience.

The experience begins with the newly added trophy case in the concourse, showing the different trophies awarded by the NHL to Dallas Stars players, including a replica of the Lord Stanley Cup. Every Stars pregame honors the military, with a military member being recognized on the ice before the national anthem.

During the game, the Stars mascot, a furry green alien with hockey sticks for antennas named Victor E. Green, walks around the American Airlines Center greeting fans. In addition, during breaks in the action the in-game host and national anthem singer, Celena Rae, oversees fan contests, and the Dallas Stars Ice Girls are either clearing the ice during timeouts or dancing on a platform in the lower bowl.

The end zones also have scoreboards that show other statistics on a continuous basis, such as the number of faceoffs, hits, and giveaways, which enhances the game day atmosphere.

Final Thoughts

The American Airlines Center is one of the finest sports venues in America, located in a great city and home to a hockey organization that seems committed to being in Dallas for a long time. The only thing the American Airlines Center needs to be rated in the upper tier of NHL venues is for the Stars to become more competitive on a regular basis. However, a visit to the American Airlines Center to watch the Stars play is a wonderful way to spend an evening in Dallas.

The AAC but The Hangar?

The overall rating for the Stars is on the mark, both the Dallas Stars and Dallas Mavericks have a wonderful arena to call home. I was a Stars season ticket holder for 2 years and I worked for the company that built the arena, and I have been living in the DFW for last 15 years, however, Interestingly I never have heard locals refer to the AAC as "The Hangar" although there is now a gift shop inside the AAC called The Hangar.

by Tejasduck | Feb 05, 2015 03:11 PM

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Crowd Reviews

Starry Night

Total Score: 4.00

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 3

Completed in 2001, The American Airlines Center is the second home of the Dallas Stars, after Reunion Arena. It is located just north of Dallas' Historic West End District, and is also home to the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA.

Colloquially referred to as the "A-A-C", it was built as a joint effort by the Dallas Mavericks and the Dallas Stars, supplemented by the Dallas city tax payers. The design, like so many modern sports facilities, is geared toward the luxury suite and corporate dollars while at the same time offering an excellent viewing experience in the less expensive "300 level".

Although approaching its 10th year, the building remains a premium facility that is cared for meticulously. Recent upgrades to the arena's ribbon display board, end displays, and central scoreboard provide Stars fans with one of the finest game presentations in the league. At the time of their installation, July 2009, the new scoreboards were the world's largest full high definition 1080p video boards in a basketball/hockey stadium.

Top notch facilities and a winning tradition make the American Airlines Center a great place to come see a Stars game.

Starry Night

Total Score: 3.86

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

Located on the edge of downtown Dallas in Victory Park, the American Airlines Center (AAC) is home to the Dallas Stars as well as the defending 2011 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. It opened in 2001 and still looks brand new, making it one of the better venues to watch a top-notch sporting event.

From the outside, the stadium is very impressive. As you drive north on I-35E, the AAC majestically appears on your right. It could be an old train station or airport terminal, and with the naming rights purchased by American, the locals often refer to it as "The Hangar" because of its unique design.

Arena of Stars

Total Score: 4.00

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 4

American Airlines Center (AAC) opened in 2001 and is home to the Dallas Stars and the Dallas Mavericks. Located on the edge of downtown Dallas, this arena is located in a good location for transportation, nearby restaurants, and other fun activities. The AAC is nicknamed by locals as the hangar due to its unique design inside and out.

The Dallas Stars franchise originally started in Minnesota as the North Stars. They relocated to Dallas for the 1993-94 season. The Stars were in franchise building mode in the mid to late 90’s. The Stars won their first and only Stanley Cup in 1999 and followed that up with a Stanley Cup loss the following year.

Another fun trip to a stars game

Total Score: 3.86

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 2

The Stars are doing better than the last time I was in AAC and it looks like the fan base is responding. The atmosphere is great and the game was exciting.

The arena did a good job of keeping fans into the action. The jumbotron hit another homerun with a justin Bieber joke geared towards opposing fans.


Heading into the playoffs it's going to be an electric place to attend a game

Stars are Big and Bright in Dallas

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 5

The American Airlines Center is the prime venue in the Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW) area hosting year round sporting events and live entertainment. The venue is home to the Dallas Stars of the NHL and the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA. The AAC, as commonly referred to by the local sports fans, opened in 2001 replacing the outdated Reunion Arena. The building is made of brick, limestone, and granite with signature arches located just north of the historic West End in downtown Dallas.

The Dallas Stars franchise originally started in Minnesota as the North Stars. They relocated to Dallas for the 1993-94 seasons and five years later won their only Stanley Cup Championship in 1999 and followed that up with a Stanley Cup loss in 2000.

The American Airlines Center has hosted both of the Dallas Mavericks NBA Finals appearances in 2006 and 2011. In 2017, the American Airlines Center will host the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four.

Share your thoughts about American Airlines Center

Local Food & Drink

Victory Tavern  (map it!)

2501 North Houston Street

Dallas, TX 75219

(214) 432-1900

http://www.victorytavern.com/

Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse  (map it!)

302 N Market St

Dallas, TX 75202

(214) 744-1610

http://www.sonnybryans.com/Locations/The-West-End

Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse  (map it!)

702 Ross Ave

Dallas, TX 75202

(214) 744-3287

http://www.yoranchsteakhouse.com/

Local Entertainment

Perot Museum of Nature and Science  (map it!)

2201 N Field St

Dallas, TX 75201

(214) 428-5555

http://www.perotmuseum.org/

Sixth Floor Museum  (map it!)

411 Elm St

Dallas, TX 75202

(214) 747-6660

http://www.jfk.org/

Dallas Holocaust Museum  (map it!)

211 N Record St #100

Dallas, TX 75202

(214) 741-7500

http://www.dallasholocaustmuseum.org/

Dallas Museum of Art  (map it!)

1717 N Harwood St

Dallas, TX 75201

(214) 922-1200

http://dallasmuseumofart.org/

Lodging

Holiday Inn Dallas Market Center  (map it!)

4500 Harry Hines Blvd

Dallas, TX 75219

(214) 219-3333

http://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/dallas/dalhh/hoteldetail

W Dallas Victory  (map it!)

2440 Victory Park Ln

Dallas, TX 75219

(214) 397-4100

http://www.wdallasvictory.com/

Sheraton Dallas Hotel  (map it!)

400 N Olive St

Dallas, TX 75201

(214) 922-8000

http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=3207

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