The Adelaide Entertainment Centre was established by the South Australian Government in response to the call from South Australians for a suitable venue to host and stage international touring artists and entertainment. The Centre was built at a cost of $44m. Building commenced in early 1990, with the Honourable John Bannon, Premier of South Australia, officially opening the Centre on 20 July 1991.
Over 750,000 hours were spent on construction of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. More than 75,200 tonnes of earth was excavated from the site, and 36,480 tonnes of concrete was used in construction making it the biggest concrete slab pour in South Australia at that time.
The Arena floor area is 65.4 metres by 42.1 metres. The clear span of the Arena is 85 metres, and the 8 roof trusses weighed a total of 216 tonnes. The roof height is approximately 20 metres from the Arena floor. This is equivalent to a 5 storey building. 980 tonnes of structural steel was used in the construction of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
The Arena is a multi-purpose facility with a capacity of nearly 12,000 people. Renowned as a concert stage to the world’s biggest stars, the Adelaide Entertainment Centre’s arena can also be adapted into many configurations for banquets, conventions, conferences, exhibitions, trade fairs, sporting events and entertainment spectaculars.
In February 2009, the Adelaide Entertainment Centre embarked on a $52M redevelopment of the facility, which included the construction of a new 2,500 person Theatre. The redeveloped facility was launched in March 2010 and coincided with the extension of tram services from the City to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. The Adelaide Entertainment Centre is now considered one of the most contemporary, flexible, marketable and accessible live entertainment venues in Australia. Its spectacular entry statements, which include a large dome structure (The Orb) can be illuminated in more than 16.4 million colours and patterns, and a 67m x 2.4m LED Screen runs across the Theatre frontage.
The Adelaide Entertainment Centre is a community facility which makes an invaluable contribution to the social and economic fabric of South Australia. Since opening it has staged hundreds of events and entertained millions of concertgoers. In addition, it has hosted many conferences, exhibitions, meetings and special events. Apart from being renowned as a concert stage to the world’s biggest stars, the Adelaide Entertainment Centre has built an enviable reputation for hosting Adelaide’s best functions; being the first and only ‘function centre’ to be inducted into the South Australian Restaurant & Catering Association’s Hall of Fame. It is achieving its vision of making Adelaide a more attractive, liveable city.