Rabobank Arena is a 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena with luxury suites in Bakersfield, California, USA. Located downtown at the corner of Truxtun Avenue and N Street, it was built in 1998, and was formerly known as Bakersfield Centennial Garden, that was named by a local resident, Brian Landis. It is home to the Bakersfield Condors ECHL ice hockey team, California State University, Bakersfield Roadrunners Men's NCAA Division I basketball, and the Bakersfield Jam NBA Development League team. The city-owned arena sold naming rights to the local branch of the Dutch cooperative bank Rabobank in 2005, which also sponsors cycling and field hockey teams. Under the terms of the lease, Rabobank has exclusive naming rights for seven years with an option to extend it to ten years at a rate of $1 million per year . The arena will revert back to the name Centennial Garden unless a new sponsor is found or Rabobank signs a new deal at the end of the agreement.
Rabobank Arena was the former home of the af2 affiliated Bakersfield Blitz Arena Football team which disbanded due to financial difficulties after the 2007 season. CSU Bakersfield now plays in Division I as an independent hoping to gain entrance into the Big West Conference and currently plays all of its men's basketball games at Rabobank Arena. The women's team, which used to play their games at Rabobank Arena, have opted to have all of their games played at the more intimate on-campus Icardo Center. Rabobank Arena is also the current home to the California Interscholastic Federation High School State Wrestling Championship Tournament held the first weekend in March. As a concert venue, the arena seats 6,400 for half-house shows and up to 10,225 for center stage and end-stage shows. The arena floor measures of total space.
There are 26 luxury suites, 5 concessions stands, one dining area, a private club room, and three restrooms for both men and women. Beneath the arena on the western side there are two large primary locker rooms for the Condors hockey team which includes a weight room and training room, and a room for the CSUB basketball team. There are two other large dressing rooms and a smaller room used for concerts. The eastern side has a dining area for workers and restrooms.
The concourse of Rabobank arena serves as the exhibit home of the Bob Elias Kern County Hall of Fame. The Bob Elias Hall of Fame honors athletes and people involved with athletics from Bakersfield and Kern County. They include nationally prominent athletes, local coaches, and others who have made a significant contribution to athletics. A separate display honors the founders of Bakersfield and Kern County, as well as country music legend Buck Owens and current athletes and dignitaries from Bakersfield and Kern County.
Attached to Rabobank Arena is a exhibit hall, which combines with a 3,000-seat theater, which measures and features a stagehouse to create a second arena and is presently known as the Rabobank Theatre and Convention Center. This was originally known as the Bakersfield Civic Auditorium (opened in 1962) and was later re-named the Bakersfield Convention Center in the 1980s following remodeling and the construction of the adjacent Holiday Inn Select Hotel in the 1990s. The convention center's stage (one of the largest stages in the world) was the Condors' previous home (when they were known as the Fog) until Centennial Garden was built in 1998 and, combined or separately, is also used for concerts (seating up to 5,800), sporting events, trade shows and, in the theater and stagehouse only, Broadway and family shows. There is also a lobby and 14 meeting rooms measuring of total space. Next to the Theatre and Convention Center is the Holiday Inn Select Hotel on the corner of Truxtun Avenue and Q Street.
The front of Rabobank Arena is the Rabobank Plaza (formerly known as the Centennial Plaza). The Plaza has a large fountain that drains into the concrete of the plaza, a stage, a sculpture fountain, art work, bricks commemorating the City of Bakersfield's Centennial as an incorporated city in 1998, the ticket office is located here, and numerous trees and plants. This serves as the main entrance to the arena and arena offices.
Parking for the Rabobank Arena, Theatre, and Convention Center is in a large lot three blocks long on the southern side of the arena and convention center across the Sante Fe Railroad Tracks between N Street on the west, Q Street on the east, and 13th Street on the south. The lot is adjacent to the city owned Bakersfield Ice Sports Center, the Condors practice facility and public ice rink; and the McMurtrey Aquatic Center, an Olympic size swimming pool with diving boards and platforms for diving with a play pool and waterslide for kids. The lot is connected to the Rabobank Arena side of the tracks along N Street by a pedestrian overpass with elevators and stairs that allow for people to cross over the tracks should a train be stopped there for a long length of time. For night and weekend events the County of Kern opens its parking garage on N Street across from the Rabobank Arena and next to the railroad tracks for public parking but during working days the garage is closed to the public.