The American Airlines Center has hosted 20 years of exciting events. The Dallas Stars and Dallas Mavericks call it home for 41 games per regular year.
2021 celebrates the turn of another decade at an arena that’s seen its fair share of history. Lots happened over the past two decades, like renovations, urbanization, and celebrations.

Photo: Patrick Smith

Now the area around Victory Plaza is a thriving community compared to the dirt patch it once was. For the Stars, this arena is as a focal point in the franchise as anything else. Home for the past 20 years deserves a trip down memory lane. The future of the Stars playing at the AAC also needs a look.

The American Airlines Center hosted lots of world-class events. From rock concerts to the NBA Finals, there is no lack of major events. The only thing that it hasn’t hosted yet is a Stanley Cup Final game, much to the chagrin of Stars fans. The Stars did make it to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, but all six games were in Edmonton. All three “home” games were losses.

Seeing the electrifying crowd for an SCF game at the AAC is a dream for Stars fans. It’s a shame that the one time they make it to the Fourth Round is when no fans could attend. Someday, Stars fans will get to see a packed house for another deep playoff run.

October 5, 2001, was an important date in arena history as the Stars took to the AAC ice for the first game in the new building. They beat the Nashville Predators on Opening Night to start the first of many wins in the building.

Despite some troubling years, Stars fans flocked to the AAC in droves for some exciting moments. Memories ranging from the 2007 NHL All-Star Game to playoff wins fill the memory banks of Stars fans. More are yet to arrive.

The building of the arena revolutionized the Victory Plaza area. Buildings rose in the neighborhood as construction became the arena’s sightseeing enemy. It created many new buildings, but now you can hardly see it from Interstate 35E Stemmons Freeway. Still, the area is thriving as Dallas continues to expand. There’s more to do in the area for activities before and after games.

The Stars will not leave the Arena anytime soon. This next part is tricky because the question is, “how long do the Stars have left at the AAC?”

This building is a “50-year arena,” which means it’s here to last. This is unlike the old barn in Reunion Arena, which got wrecking balled only 29 years after opening. The Stars’ future at the AAC is set for now, but the latter half of the decade could get interesting. The Mavericks’ lease ends in 2031, and Owner Mark Cuban might build a new arena. What happens then depends on negotiations between teams. There are at least 10 more years left at the AAC for both teams.

The American Airlines Center is still a state-of-the-art entertainment venue after 20 years of operation.

This architectural gem is a beautiful arena built to last several more decades. The Stars are comfortable in this 18,532 capacity building.

The Stars winning the Stanley Cup at the AAC is the final memory for Stars fans that hasn’t happened yet. Moving out is the last thing on their minds.
Here’s to 20 more years at the American Airlines Center.

Featured Image: Patrick Smith
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