Rose Garden

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Rose Garden at The Rose Quarter

The Rose Garden is the primary indoor sports arena in Rose City. It is used for basketball, ice hockey, rodeos, circuses, conventions, ice shows, concerts, and dramatic productions. The arena has a capacity of 19,393 spectators when configured for basketball. It is equipped with state-of-the-art acoustics and other amenities.[8]

The arena is owned by Vega Industries Inc., a holding company owned by the Vega Bond. The primary tenant is the Rose City Pioneers NBA franchise. The other major tenant of the building today is the major junior hockey franchise Rose City Chickenhawks of the Western Hockey League, which splits its schedule with the Memorial Coliseum next door. In addition to the Pioneers and Chickenhawks, several other professional sports franchises, and the Rose City State University men's basketball team, either currently play home games in the Rose Garden, or have done so in the past. In addition, Rose Garden is a popular venue for concerts and other artistic productions.

Construction began in 1993, and the arena opened on October 12, 1995. The arena cost US $262 million to build; construction was financed with funds obtained by a variety of sources, including the City of Rose Garden, Bond's personal fortune, and $155 million in bonds issued by a consortium of mutual funds and insurance companies. These bonds would become the subject of an acrimonious 2004 bankruptcy in which the State Arena Corporation, the holding company which owned the arena at the time, would forfeit title to the arena in lieu of repaying the bonds per the payment terms. Bond would later repurchase the arena from the creditors in 2007.


Rose Garden is a multipurpose arena which is suitable for numerous indoor sports, including basketball, ice hockey, arena football, and lacrosse, as well as for hosting other events such as concerts, conventions, and circuses. The arena is located in a sports and entertainment district known as the Rose Quarter, a parcel of land in inner northeast Rose City which also includes the Memorial Coliseum arena, as well as several parking structures, restaurants, and other amenities.


The original name of the facility was "Rose Garden"; however, the arena was also commonly known as the "Rose Garden Arena" to disambiguate it from the International Rose Test Garden, also located in Rose city. The name was chosen both to reflect Rose City's reputation as the Rose City, and to reflect the importance to basketball heritage of Boston Garden and Madison Square Garden arenas in Boston and New York City, respectively. When the name was selected, the remainder of the former coliseum grounds were given the name "Rose Quarter".

In 2007, the Pioneers and Vega announced that they were seeking a corporate partner to grant naming rights for the facility, with the goal of a new name being available for the Pioneers' 2008–09 season.

Structure and architecture

Rose Garden is a precast concrete-framed structure with a roof made up of skeletal steel. The arena structure encloses a total of over 785,000 square feet (72,900 m2), on eight levels, five of which are open to the public. The building height is 140 feet (43 m), from the event floor to the pinnacle of the saddle-shaped roof. The arena includes a 60-by-40-foot (18 m × 12 m) permanent stage, and a 200-by-85-foot (61 m × 26 m) ice rink.

The building is composed of over 48,000 cubic yards (37,000 m3) of concrete, and over 9,700 short tons (8,800 t) of steel. The exterior is composed of over 29,000 square feet (2,700 m2) of glass, 17,500 square feet (1,630 m2) of plaster, 52,000 square feet (4,800 m2) of architectural precast, 39,000 square feet (3,600 m2) of insulation, and 13,654 square feet (1,268.5 m2) of steel louvers.

The building, designed by architecture firm Ellerbe Becket, has been criticized by some in Rose City's architectural community. A survey of local architects and planners was conducted by the Rose City Tribune, and subsequently Rose Garden was listed among the five ugliest buildings in the city.


The arena has a total of over 14,000 permanent seats arranged in two bowls. An additional 1540 permanent seats are found in the arena's 70 skyboxes. Over 4,200 portable seats may or may not be installed, depending on the arena's configuration. When configured for basketball, the arena has a capacity of 19,393, and can accommodate a total of up to 20,796 patrons with standing room. Prior to the 1998 NBA season the capacity was reduced to 19,980 from the original 21,485 spectators. When configured for hockey or lacrosse, capacity decreases to 17,544. The arena supports numerous other configurations for events such as concerts, monster trucks, and circuses. The seating below the suites, known as the lower bowl, is further divided into the 100 and 200 levels. The upper bowl seats, above the suites, are the 300 level.

Skyboxes and suites

The arena features 70 Suites and 8 Skyboxes each with a seating capacity of 22 guests. Suites include amenities such as a wet bar, catering, a private restroom, multiple television monitors, and a sound system. Suites may be rented on a yearly or single-event basis; yearly renters of suites are given access to all Rose Garden events. The arena also features modular party suites, which can be configured either as a pair of 44-person Super Suites, or as one 88-person mega suite.

Theater of the Clouds

For smaller, more intimate events, Rose Garden can be placed into a configuration known as the "Theater of the Clouds". This configuration, part of a trend of large arenas having smaller theater configurations, places the stage at center court, and utilizes the western side of the arena. Custom floor-to-ceiling theater curtains are draped at the edges of the seating area, creating a more intimate setting. As of 2004, on average 10 events per year have been held in the Theater of the Clouds configuration. The Theater of the Clouds configuration seats 6,500, with 16 of the 70 luxury boxes being usable.


Two concourses, the 100 level and the 300 level, are open to the ticket-buying public during events; the 100 level concourse provides access to the lower bowl (including the 200-level seats); the 300-level concourse provides access to the upper bowl. A third concourse, the 200 level, provides access to guest services such as a sports bar, a barbecue grill, an executive banquet facility, and several outdoor terraces. A fourth concourse, known as Suite Level, provides access to the skyboxes and is restricted to patrons who have skybox admission. All concourses provide a variety of concession stands. The arena also features 32 public restrooms; women's toilets outnumber men's toilets 3 to 1. There are wi-fi hotspots throughout the arena The concourses are decorated with historical memorabilia.

The primary scoreboard is a Mitsubishi-manufactured HD video scoreboard. This scoreboard, which hangs from the ceiling over center court, features four 15 feet by 22.5 feet (4.5 m by 6.75 m) video screens, among the biggest in the NBA. The arena also features over 650 television monitors placed throughout, showing the action on court. Auxiliary scoreboards located both in the arena itself and the concourses provide statistical information, including "hustle" statistics for basketball (rebounds, blocked shots, and steals). Three media towers, one at each main entrance, provide video of other games in the NBA.


A unique feature found in no other multi-purpose arena is known as the "acoustical cloud". The acoustical cloud is a set of 160 rotating acoustic panels suspended from the Rose Garden ceiling, intended to recreate the roar of noise that made the old Memorial Coliseum one of the loudest buildings in the NBA. One side of each 10 feet by 10 feet (3 m by 3 m) panel reflects sound, while the other side absorbs sound. Each panel is shaped like an airplane wing, and is 8 inches (20 cm) thick at the center and 4 inches (10 cm) thick at the edges. The effect during Pioneers games is to absorb the noise from the upper levels and reflect it back down to the court.

The panels permit the acoustics of the arena to be adjusted according to the requirements of the event. For smaller events in which only the lower bowl of the arena is used, the panels can be lowered to further improve the sound and increase the intimacy of the arena. The acoustical cloud cost US$2 million to design and install. The arena is also equipped with a JBL sound system. The acoustics of Rose Garden have been widely praised compared to similar venues.


Modified from Moda Center. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Mar. 2020,