Anaheim Convention Center is a major convention center in Anaheim, California. It is located across from the Disneyland Resort on Katella Avenue. The original components, designed by Adrian Wilson & Associates, opened in July 1967—including a basketball arena followed shortly by the convention hall. It holds many events, like VidCon, BlizzCon, Anime Expo, competitions, etc.
The center has subsequently undergone five major expansions (1974, 1982, 1990, 1993, 1999–2000). It is the largest exhibit facility on the West Coast.
Originally, the arena was home to the Anaheim Amigos of the American Basketball Association during the first ABA season, 1967–68. The franchise relocated to the Los Angeles Sports Arena and became the Los Angeles Stars immediately thereafter; the team eventually moved to Salt Lake City and became the Utah Stars, capturing the 1970–71 ABA Championship. The Stars' subsequent fan support in Utah set the foundation for the NBA's Utah Jazz. The San Diego Friars of WTT played some of their home matches in the arena between 1975 and 1977. In 1978, the Anaheim Oranges of WTT used the arena as their primary home venue. The arena was also home to the California Surf of the NASL for one indoor season (1979–80).
According to frequent news reports, the largest exposition held at the Convention Center in recent years has been the Winter NAMM Show. This music-equipment convention (trade only, not open to the general public) had 1,560 exhibitors and a record-breaking 88,100 attendees during the 2008 show. The NAMM Show has been running at the Anaheim Center since 1977, except for a 3-year break in 1998–2000 while the Convention Center underwent major renovations. Recent news reports indicate that NAMM's long-term lease with the Anaheim Convention Center authority ends in 2010, and NAMM is applying pressure to the City of Anaheim to further expand and improve the convention center.
The Anime Expo was hosted at the Anaheim Convention Center in 1996 and again from 2003 through 2006 and was one of the convention center's biggest public events.
Blizzard Entertainment holds BlizzCon at the venue. In 2005, BlizzCon used the northern two conference halls, (and the arena for a concert one evening). In 2007 and 2008, it used three conference halls. In 2009, it used four conference halls. While tickets to the 2007 event sold out in 3 days, tickets to the October 2008 event sold out "within minutes," and tickets to the August 2009 event sold out in "56 seconds". Tickets to the 2010 Blizzcon reportedly sold out within 30 seconds.
Another large convention held at the Center is the Medical Design and Manufacturing Show, held shortly after Winter NAMM.
The venue served as the site for wrestling at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
The venue hosted the Big West Conference's men's and women's college basketball tournaments from 2001 to 2010 and hosts the 76 Classic basketball tournament.
It was briefly home to the Anaheim Arsenal of the NBA Development League, who relocated to Springfield, Massachusetts for the 2009–10 season.
During the 1992 Los Angeles riots, the Los Angeles Clippers were forced to move Game 4 of their NBA playoff series versus the Utah Jazz to the Convention Center.
VidCon has been held at the Anaheim Convention Center since its third annual event in 2012. The new venue offered a much larger capacity than the previously used Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel in Los Angeles. WonderCon was hosted annually at the convention center from 2012 to 2015. In 2016, it moved to the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The 2012 VEX Robotics World Championship was also held in the convention center. Almost 600 teams were present at the competition which utilized two of the convention center's exhibit halls, as well as the convention centers Arena. In 2013 the VEX Robotics World Championship returned to the Anaheim Convention Center, occupying 3 exhibit halls as well as the arena. There were over 700 teams present, representing 24 nations. Each competed to be crowned the World Championship within their respective divisions.
Disney's inaugural D23 Expo, a biennial convention for Disney fans, was held at the Anaheim Convention Center in 2009. The convention center has hosted all subsequent D23 Expos.
Lucasfilm's Star Wars Celebration fan gathering was held at the convention center in 2015.
MineCon was held at the venue in September 2016.