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Royal Farms Arena

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Royal Farms Arena (formerly Baltimore Arena, 1st Mariner Arena and Baltimore Civic Center) is an arena located in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2003, it was renamed by 1st Mariner Bank, which purchased naming rights to the arena for 10 years. It was reported that 1st Mariner Bank will need to pay the city $75,000 for the next ten years to keep the naming rights to the complex. 1st Mariner Bank Arena is located about a block away from the Baltimore Convention Center on the corner of Baltimore Street and Hopkins Place; it is also only a short distance from the Inner Harbor. It seats up to approximately 14,000 people though this number varies depending on the type of event.

The arena officially opened in 1962 as the Baltimore Civic Center. It was built on the site of "Old Congress Hall," where the Continental Congress met in 1776. As a major cornerstone for the Inner Harbor redevelopment during the 1980s, it was reopened after renovations and was renamed the Baltimore Arena in 1986. It is owned by the city and is managed by SMG, a private management company. Annually, the 1st Mariner Bank Arena is host to 800,000 people.

A cornerstone to the arena was laid in the arena in 1961 with a vault that included messages from then-U.S. President John F. Kennedy, then-Maryland governor J. Millard Tawes, and then-Baltimore Mayor J. Harold Grady. The vault was opened in 2006.

The current site that was chosen for the Baltimore Civic Center was actually not one of the many sites proposed to the Greater Baltimore Committee in 1955. Among nine suggested locations there were two in Druid Hill Park, three at the end of the Inner Harbor basin (where the World Trade Center and Harborplace are now located), and one in Clifton Park.

The naming deal with 1st Mariner Bank ended on August 1, 2013. Since that time, the arena has simply been known as the Baltimore Arena.


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