Norfolk Scope
Location201 East Brambleton Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23510
Broke groundJune 1968
OpenedNovember 12, 1971
OwnerCity of Norfolk
OperatorCity of Norfolk
Construction cost$35 million
($190 million in 2020 dollars[1])
ArchitectPier Luigi Nervi
Williams and Tazewell
Structural engineerFraioli-Blum-Yesselman[2]
General ContractorDaniel Construction Co.[3]
CapacityIce hockey:8,704
Norfolk Admirals (AHL) (1989–present)
Norfolk SharX (MISL) (2011-2012)

Norfolk Scope is a cultural, entertainment, convention and sports complex at the northern perimeter of downtown Norfolk, Virginia, comprising an approximately 11,000 person arena, a 2500-person theater known as Chrysler Hall, a 10,000 square foot exhibition hall and a 600 car parking garage. The arena was designed by Italian architect/engineer Pier Luigi Nervi in conjunction with the (now defunct) local firm of Williams and Tazewell, which designed the entire complex. Nervi's design for the arena's reinforced concrete dome evolved from his much smaller Palazzetto dello Sport, which was built in the 1950s for the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.

Construction on Scope began in June 1968 and was completed in 1971 at a cost of $35 million. Federal funds covered $23 million of the cost, and when it opened formally on November 12, 1971, the structure was the second-largest public complex in Virginia, behind only the Pentagon.[4]

Featuring the world's largest concrete dome, Scope won the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects Test of Time award in 2003.[5] Wes Lewis, director of Old Dominion University's civil engineering technology program, called it "a beautiful marrying of art and engineering."[5] Noted architectural critic James Howard Kunstler described the design as looking like "yesterday's tomorrow."[5]

The name "Scope", a contraction of kaleidoscope,[6] emphasizes the venue's re-configurability and while initially the name chosen for the entire complex, has come to refer primarily to the arena component. The facility logo (right), which features a multi-colored, abstracted kaleidoscope image, was designed by Raymond Loewy's firm Loewy/Snaith of New York.[6][7]

History and designEdit

After watching the Rome Olympics on television, Brad Tazewell and Jim Williams, the Norfolk architects who were eventually to partner with Nervi, solicited U.S. Sen. A. Willis Robertson, father of Pat Robertson, to build a sports complex in Norfolk. Subsequently, President Lyndon B. Johnson asked Robertson to support federal funding for a multimillion-dollar cultural center in Colorado and Robertson said he would if Johnson would support one in Norfolk.[4] Williams and Tazewell was subsequently commissioned; they in turn commissioned Nervi.

The complex was an important part of the first phase of Norfolk's post World War II revitilzation. A large section of the city's downtown was razed, and the Scope complex was to "anchor" its northern corner, with the Vincent Kling designed Courthouse and Civic complex anchoring the Eastern edge of downtown.

With a concrete monolithic dome measuring 440 ft (134 m) in diameter and a height of 110 ft (33.5 m), the dome was, at the time of its construction, the largest of its kind in the world. After the demolition of the larger Kingdome in 2000, Scope reclaimed the title as having the world's largest concrete dome. Supported by 24 flying buttresses, the arena roof encloses 85,000 sq ft (7,900 m2). The arena's seating can be reconfigured to accommodate from 10,253 for sporting events up to 13,800 for concerts. The arena is located on its 14 acre site above a raised plinth, below which is located a parking garage for 640 cars. The facility includes a 65,000 sq ft (6,000 m2) exhibit hall as well as the adjacent Chrysler Hall, a music and theater venue, home to the Virginia Symphony Orchestra).

During preparations for the first hosting of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a bear escaped its cage and ran across the wet paint on the floor of the unfinished Exhibition Hall below. During the first presentation in the Exhibition Hall of the Hampton Roads Automobile Show, visitors could spot bear tracks in the painted floor, between the exhibitions. (Source: The Virginian-Pilot)



Norfolk Scope is currently home to the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League, seating 8,725 for hockey. It has hosted the Admirals since the team began in the East Coast Hockey League in 1989, and stayed as the home arena as the franchise moved up to the AHL in 2000. Also 2011 the Scope will be the home of the Norfolk SharX that will play in the MISL.

In previous years, Norfolk Scope was home to an arena football team, the Norfolk Nighthawks and the now-defunct American Basketball Association (ABA) professional basketball franchise Virginia Squires.

The Squires played at Scope, the Roanoke Civic Center, Richmond Coliseum and Hampton Roads Coliseum (now Hampton Coliseum) – all within the state of Virginia – from 1971 to 1976. Norfolk Scope also served as the venue of the 1974 ABA All-Star Game. The Virginia Squires played their first game at Scope on November 27, 1970 (versus the Dallas Chapparals, now known as the San Antonio Spurs) and their last game on April 7, 1976, versus the New York Nets.

The arena was home to Old Dominion University men's college basketball, until the campus' own 8,639-seat (basketball) arena, the Ted Constant Convocation Center, opened in Norfolk in October 2002.



Boxing Heavyweight

  • Larry Holmes against Eric "Butterbean" Esch (Holmes' last fight) – 2002 Promoted by Daryl DeCroix and Frank Azzalina along with Don DeBias Jr, in which designed the Slogan and Name of the Title Match as "Respect..One will give it, One will get it"



External linksEdit

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Norfolk Scope.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with American Football Database, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.