Adelaide Entertainment Centre (AEC) is an indoor arena located in the South Australian capital of Adelaide, and is used for sporting and entertainment events. It is the principal venue for concerts, events and attractions for audiences between 2,000 and 12,000. It is located on Port Road in the suburb of Hindmarsh, just north of the Adelaide city centre. With modern architecture and acoustics, function rooms and award winning catering, the Adelaide Entertainment Centre provides a live entertainment venue for hundreds of thousands of people each year. In 2010 the Adelaide Entertainment Centre completed a $52m redevelopment with a new entry and Theatre complex.
The AEC was established by the Government of South Australia in response to demand from the people of South Australia for a suitable venue for international and local popular entertainment. The 3,500 capacity Apollo Stadium, which had been Adelaide's primary entertainment and indoor sports venue since 1969, was increasingly considered to be too small to meet this need. The AEC was built at a cost of $44 million, and was officially opened on 20 July 1991 by John Bannon, the then Premier of South Australia.
The South Australian Government assigned responsibility for the management of the AEC to the Grand Prix Board in 1989. In August 1998, the Government established the Adelaide Entertainments Corporation. The firstBoard of Directors for the AEC was formally appointed on 9 February 1999. The current Board consists of seven Directors.
In 2007, the Rann Government announced plans to renovate the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. The Government released the statement: "The State Government is committed to the vision of creating a vibrant entertainment and media precinct on the Adelaide Entertainment Centre Site". On 6 August 2007, the renovation plans were passed and construction began on the $52 million upgrade. Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith said: "the upgrade comes on the back of a record-breaking last 12 months, with more than 370,000 passing through the centre's doors, and record profits recorded."
The renovation included: major upgrades of the foyer, backstage area and corporate facilities; creation of additional car parking; new staging and curtains; renovation of administration areas; and restoration of the heritage-listed Revelations Chapel for use as a wedding and function venue. In the main arena itself 8,000 new seats were also installed.
The centre not only holds music and cultural events, but hosts the occasional sporting event such as netball, as well as Professional Wrestling with the World Wrestling Entertainment using the venue for the Adelaide leg of their Australian tours.
On 7 November 2010, the centre played host to the ANZ Championship grand final between local team the Adelaide Thunderbirds and the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic team from New Zealand. The Thunderbirds won the grand final 52-42 in front of 9,300 fans. The Entertainment Centre was chosen over the Thunderbirds usual alternate venue, the Adelaide Arena, due to its ability to hold more spectators and because ticket demand was more than the Adelaide Arena's 8,000 capacity.