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Building and design Edit
The Ocean Center features 205,000 square feet (19,000 m2) of prime meeting space; 42,000 square feet (3,900 m2) of exhibit space at the main arena, 14,000 square feet (1,300 m2) of space in the Ballroom and 32,000 square feet (3,000 m2) of meeting rooms. The new addition of the Exhibit Hall features 94,695 square feet (8,797.5 m2), ceiling heights: 22 to 45 feet (14 m), a drive-in door: 20' x 16', and 6 loading docks with self-adjusting levelers. 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of parking lot/outdoor exhibit space was also added near the Exhibit Hall.
Thanks to a $3 million grant from the voter-approved ECHO program, the county's Ocean Center has a grand entrance. The grant from the ECHO grants-in-aid program was used to create a Cultural Information Center (CIC). The funds were used for site preparation and construction of the CIC, an enhancement of 51,635 square feet (4,797.0 m2) of lobby space with gathering areas, restrooms and concession facilities. It displays works from the "Arts in Public Places" program and has dedicated areas for permanent and visiting art works and cultural displays from all areas of Volusia County. The grand entrance also includes a new façade and entrance along N. Atlantic Avenue. Other features of the new entrance lobby and CIC is a marquee mural on the west wall above the ballrooms doors, seen from inside and outside the facility. The mural will change with the center's exhibits. The center and its displays are in the highest pedestrian traffic area for the venue. The main arena seats 6,176 for ice hockey and arena football, 8,362 for basketball, 7,184 for the circus, 7,380 for ice shows, 8,582 for wrestling and 9,440 for concerts. The Ocean Center is also used for banquets, trade shows, high school graduations, conventions and other events.
In 1985, the Ocean Center opened with 60,000 square feet (5,600 m2) of exhibit space and 18 breakout rooms. Christian pop singer Amy Grant performed the first concert at the Ocean Center on October 3, 1985, singing to 2,938 people. John Denver was the grand opening act two days later, performing to a crowd of 7,368.
The Ocean Center has presented The Harlem Globetrotters, Lipizzaner Stallions & Larry the Cable Guy, among others. Other entertainment events have included the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Miss Teen USA Pageant and WWE Live. The fun, furry characters of Sesame Street have been frequent performers at the Ocean Center. The family production had multiple shows in 1985-'86, and returned in the 1990s and 2000s. In October 1997, the Ocean Center hosted the Nice n' Easy U.S. Figure Skating Classic. Skaters included the Tara Lipinski, Michelle Kwan, Dorothy Hamill, Nicole Bobek, Rosalynn Summers, Kyoko Ina, Jason Dungjen, Todd Eldredge, Rudy Galindo, Michael Weiss, Elizabeth Punsalan and Jerod Swallow. The event was broadcast later on ABC. The Ocean Center also hosts The Passion Conferences starring Worship singer Chris Tomlin. As the Halifax area has become a separate market from Orlando in recent years, Ocean Center has hosted concerts by acts with ties to Florida, including Gloria Estefan, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and, most recently, Pitbull (touring with Enrique Iglesias), Maroon 5 and Ariana Grande.
World Championship Wrestling held their third annual Bash At The Beach Pay-per-view at the Ocean centre in 1996, in which Hulk Hogan, notable as one of the largest fan favourites of all time turned heel during the final moments of the show, this in turn created the NWO and was a catalyst for perhaps some of the most influential times in professional wrestling.
Hulk Hogan turned heel once again in this arena, in Impact Wrestling's sixth annual Bound for Glory. He interfered in the main event and forming alliances with Eric Bishoff to help Jeff Hardy to win the Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship, and forming the Immortal, with Jeff Jarrett and Abyss.
The Ocean Center hosted the 1988 Trans-America Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament. It is also home to a few of Bethune-Cookman University basketball games. The Harlem Globetrotters have frequented the Ocean Center arena and the Land of Magic Basketball Tournament is held there. The National Cheerleader Association and the State Cheer and Dance Competition has been hosted by the Ocean Center for more than 20 years. Many Volleyball Competitions are held at the Ocean Center including the Daytona 100 Volleyball Competition and the Florida Volleyball Festival. Gymnastic Tournaments are played at the Ocean Center including Ace Gymnastics and Pan American Gymnastics.
The Daytona Beach Sun Devils of the defunct Sunshine Hockey League played hockey games at the Ocean Center from 1992-1995. In 1995, the team and league changed names to the Daytona Beach Breakers, playing in the Southern Hockey League. After the 1995-96 season both the team and the league folded.
- Daytona Beach Garden Show  - Annual event, co-sponsored by the Council of Garden Clubs of the Halifax District and the Daytona Beach News-Journal; usually scheduled in March.
- Daytona Beach Home Show  - Annual event, co-sponsored by the Pilot Club of Daytona Beach and the Daytona Beach News-Journal; usually scheduled in October.
- National Reptile Breeders Expo - An annual event that is held every 3rd week of August for 3 days. This event allows consumers to view and purchase reptiles in the convention center.
- National High School Drill Team Championships (http://nhsdtc.thenationals.net) - An event held since the building opened historically held the first weekend in May annually. This event brings together many of the finest high school Junior ROTC units performing military drill & ceremony events including military inspection, regulation drill, color guard and armed & unarmed individual and team exhibition drill. The event maintains active duty military judges and hosts roughly 4,000 people during the 3-day competition. The NHSDTC event uses every square inch of the Ocean Center Arena and Conference Center, as well as all of the breakout rooms throughout.
- National Youth Football Championships (http://football.thenationals.net) - An event held since the building opened historically held on the American Thanksgiving weekend annually. This event brings together youth football and cheerleading programs from across the eastern North America and the occasional overseas team. The event maintains NFL cheerleaders, a youth cheer competition, as well as an elaborate awards ceremony hosting roughly 2,500 people during the 4-day competition weekend.
- Florida Federation of Colorguards Circuit (http://ffcc.org/) - An annual championship for the state affiliation of Winter Guard International. Winter guard teams and indoor percussion ensembles perform at the Ocean Center in various divisions to compete for placement. The FFCC state championship is scheduled to remain at the Ocean Center through 2023 while using the Daytona Beach Hilton as the headquarters hotel.
- ↑ "News-Journal EVENTS | Daytona Beach News-Journal" (in en-US). http://www.daytonabeachgardenshow.com/.
- ↑ "News-Journal EVENTS | Daytona Beach News-Journal" (in en-US). http://www.daytonahomeshow.com/.
- ↑ "FFCC Announces Ocean Center Partnership through 2023" (in en-US). http://ffcc.org/2018/05/ffcc-announces-ocean-center-partnership-through-2023/.
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