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By 1998, the Dallas Mavericks, then owned by H. Ross Perot, Jr., and the Dallas Stars were indicating their desire for a new arena to replace the aging and undersized Reunion Arena. Dallas taxpayers approved a new hotel tax and rental car tax to pay for a new arena to cover a portion of the funding, with the two benefiting teams, the Mavericks and the Stars, picking up the remaining costs, including cost overruns. The new arena was to be built just north of Woodall Rodgers Freeway near Interstate 35E on the site of an old power plant.
The AAC includes a practice court for the Mavericks, who used it for regular practices until 2017 when a separate facility was built in the Dallas Design District near the arena.
The Mavericks' lease on the AAC runs through to 2031, and once it runs out owner Mark Cuban has considered a new arena to replace the AAC.
Athena Tacha, ground-plan of AT&T Plaza with star fountains, in front of American Airlines Center (2,000 sq ft (190 m2), 40,000 sq ft (3,700 m2), in collaboration with SWA)
Principal design work was carried out by the Driehaus Prize winner and New Classical architect David M. Schwarz of Washington D.C. American Airlines Center was designed to be the heart of a new urban, commercial area designed to reinvigorate the city of Dallas called Victory Park. The facility itself features a conservative, traditional design with sweeping brick façades and smooth arches, and has been graced with a number of awards (below). The interior includes retractable seating, public art and a state-of-the-art technological arena. Because of the Quonset hut-like appearance of its roof and the fact that American Airlines holds the naming rights some fans have come to refer to it as "The Hangar".
On the south side of the arena AT&T Plaza (also called Victory Plaza) serves as the principal entrance into the facility, designed by artist Athena Tacha in 2000. The plaza provides an open space with fountains flanked by retail and office buildings. With several HD video displays from Daktronics mounted on the side of the arena and office buildings, the plaza is often used for outdoor events and movie showings.
American Airlines Center-Mavericks Victory Party for NBA Championship 2011.
Inside American Airlines Center prior to a Mavericks game.
Inside American Airlines Center during a Stars game.
Western entrance of the American Airlines Center before game 3 of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs between the Dallas Stars and the Nashville Predators
American Airlines Center during warmups before game 3 of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs between the Dallas Stars and the Nashville Predators
After the Dallas Desperados played their first season in the AAC, they moved to nearby Reunion Arena and played there for their second season. For their third season, they moved back to the AAC, where they played until the league folded.
Co-hosted the 2011 NBA Finals (Games 3, 4, and 5) with American Airlines Arena in Miami (the same venues as the 2006 NBA Finals), a rematch of the 2006 championship series against the Miami Heat. It was both teams' second appearance in the NBA Finals, and this time the Mavericks won in 6 games.
UFC 103 was held at the Center on September 19, 2009.UFC 171 was hosted at the Center on March 15, 2014.UFC 185 was held at the Center on March 14, 2015.UFC 211 was held at the center on May 13, 2017.UFC 228 was held at the American Airlines Center on the 8th of September 2018.
On September 24, 2016, the arena hosted the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions.
The arena also hosted the Junior Gold Championships Opening Ceremony. The Junior Gold championships is an annual bowling tournament every July, for the best youth bowlers in the country and in the world.
A rally for President Donald Trump was held Thursday, October 17, 2019 in the arena.
Built on and in the shadows of the former Dallas neighborhood of Little Mexico, the beginnings of the Mexican American population in the Dallas area.
A few weeks after the first event, it was found that the glass installed in the bathrooms was not the same as what was originally intended. Many who drove by the arena complained they had a clear view into the restrooms. The glass was quickly changed to the correct type the next week.
In September 2019, a suite leased at the American Airlines Center by Visitdallas for $250,000 a year led to an ethics against Dallas City Council Member Casey Thomas for failing to report tickets he received as gifts