Van Andel Arena® — the Must Play Destination of Michigan's second largest and fastest-growing market — has thrust Grand Rapids into the forefront of the entertainment industry.For travelers who use our custom trip planner, Grand Rapids holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Van Andel Arena and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
The 12,000 plus capacity Van Andel Arena is managed by SMG, the leading private management company for public assembly facilities worldwide. The Arena was named in recognition of the largest benefactor, Jay and Betty Van Andel.
Van Andel Arena and Grand Rapids offer the perfect combination of cosmopolitan flair and midwestern hospitality to make any event a success. Since marking its Grand Entrance on October 8, 1996, Van Andel Arena has attracted the biggest names in family shows, concerts and sporting events.
Acts such as Neil Diamond, Disney On Ice, NCAA Hockey Regional Championships, the AFL Arena Bowl XV game, Detroit Pistons exhibition games and Elton John have demonstrated the Arena’s versatility.
Other event highlights include Kenny Chesney, World Wrestling Entertainment, Eric Clapton, Barenaked Ladies, Blue Man Group, Michael Bublé, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Who, The Eagles, Bob Seger, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Harlem Globetrotters, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Kid Rock, Taylor Swift and Cirque du Soleil.
Below are some of the most memorable moments from the past few years:
Billboard Magazine ranked Van Andel Arena as the sixth highest grossing arena worldwide with a 10,001-15,000 seating capacity. The top five venues ranked are all overseas, making Van Andel Arena the No. 1 venue in North America. The rankings came from gross figures compiled between November 1, 2010 and May 31, 2011.
•Van Andel Arena placed number 55 worldwide on Pollstar Magazine’s Top 100 Arena Venues of all sizes in the July 18, 2011 issue. This ranking is based on an attendance as reported to Pollstar for shows played between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2011.
•Hosted several events in 2010, including 19 concerts, 32 family shows, 47 sporting events and 8 other types of events, such as college graduations.
•Ranked as a top venue in 2010 worldwide mid-year charts in popular industry publications Venues Today (#4 highest grossing mid-sized venue), Billboard (#9 highest grossing mid-sized venue) and Pollstar (#43 highest attendance for venues of all sizes).
•Named as a "Game Changer" in 2010 by the Grand Rapids Downtown Alliance in the inaugural year of the Downtown Awards. The Alliance created the awards to celebrate the individuals and businesses making investments downtown.
•Voted Top Live Performance Venue in 2010 and Best Event Facility in 2009 and 2008 by the Grand Rapids Press and MLive.com readers.
•In April 2007, the arena celebrated the grand opening of Huntington Club, the brand-new lounge located inside the arena. In the fall of 2010, the arena re-launched the lounge as the Fifth Third Bank Vault. Operated by SAVOR Grand Rapids, Catering by SMG, The Fifth Third Bank Vault offers a full menu and premium brand liquors, large TVs and specialized décor, including a 12-foot tall mural featuring the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Fifth Third Bank Vault is open to ticket holders on event nights only.
•The $1.2 million concourse expansion project provides an additional 3,500 square feet of concourse space starting in the fall of 2010. The new area has been named “Amway Section A” and features two new concession stands and a fun view of the downtown area from spacious windows on the west side of the arena.
•Debuted the state-of-the-art LED Ribbonboard encircling the bowl of the arena on the facade of the upper deck at the Griffins season opener on October 8, 2010 for fan enhancement.
•Named #2 top grossing mid-sized venue for the decade in 2009 by Billboard Magazine.
•Named Hall of Headliners Runner Up for Facility Concession Skills in 2009 by Venues Today.
•Received On-the-Town Magazine Silver Townie Award for Best Live Music Venue in 2008.
•Named Best Concert Venue by Grand Rapids Magazine in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
•Played host to an amazing 5 million patrons before its fifth year of operation, consistently boosting the local economy.
•Home of the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.
•Broke the attendance record for NCAA Hockey Regionals with the 2001 NCAA Men's Hockey West Regional Tournament. The facility successfully hosted the 1997, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2009 NCAA Men’s Hockey Regional Tournaments.
•The arena celebrated its 10th Anniversary in the fall of 2006 with “10 Big Events” – Eric Clapton, Professional Bull Riders, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Community Open House, Celebration on Ice Hosted by Kristi Yamaguchi, Detroit Pistons vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Exhibition Game, Def Leppard & Journey, Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Rochester Americans, Michigan State University vs. Grand Valley State University Men’s Basketball Exhibition Game and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Van Andel Arena was opened in 1996 with great anticipation from the West Michigan community. We strive to bring diverse entertainment to our community so that everyone will be able to enjoy this wonderful venue for many years to come!
Van Andel Arena Reviews
Easy drive and the arena is basically right off the expressway. A little construction downtown but we found a place to park across from the arena. Fifteen dollars not bad. Arena is very big, easy to f... more »
What an awesome arena. All the staff was friendly and helpful. The downtown is full of little restaurants and shops. Everyone we ran into was polite and friendly. more »
The Van Andel is such a great Arena for many events! I generally go there for concerts, which is always an awesome experience. You'll definitely want to have about $10-$15 for parking. Drinks are pricey, depending on what you're drinking. There are a lot of concessions available, but typically a line at each one. Staff is friendly. I definitely recommend checking it out.
Great venue, have been here many times. I've taken my kids to the circus here. I've taken in concerts, auto shows, etc. Good parking, fast in and out, and right off a major highway. Follow the signs and be aware Grand Rapids has one-way streets. Bring cash for parking ($10-$20).
Plan your trip to Grand Rapids
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
View all >
Side trips from Grand Rapids
Hidden gems in Grand Rapids
Nearby attractions in Grand Rapids
Kid-friendly things to do in Grand Rapids
Plans in Grand Rapids by other users
7 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 1 day in Grand Rapids BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 3 days in Chicago & Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Grand Rapids BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 5 days in Grand Rapids, Boston & Buffalo BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 10 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium