10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Erwin Center

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Erwin Center - Erwin Center Exterior - Moon

If you grew up in Austin or have lived here at any point, you know that the Frank Erwin Center is recognized as a classic Austin venue that has hosted hundreds of awesome concerts and events. You also know it’s the massive, beige, drum-shaped building you pass when traveling on Interstate 35 in downtown Austin. But, even after 37 years of existence, we bet there are some interesting facts you didn’t know about our beloved Erwin Center.

1. If you ever need to squeeze in a quick workout during the intermission of an event, five laps around the concourse level is the equivalent of one mile.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Erwin Center - Concourse

Photo courtesy of Frank Erwin Center

2. Before Bass Concert Hall was built, several Broadway productions including Chicago and Show Boat were performed in the Erwin Center’s theatre set up, which for several years, was one of only two arenas in the country that were capable of that configuration.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Erwin Center - Theatre Set Up

Photo courtesy of Frank Erwin Center

3. The Harlem Globetrotters is the longest running show that has been held at the Erwin Center making its debut on February 10, 1978, just three months after the Erwin Center opened.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Erwin Center - Globetrotters - Feb 1979

Photo courtesy of Frank Erwin Center

4. If the Erwin Center’s cumulative attendance was a country, it would be about the size of Venezuela with a population of over 28 million.
Fans awaiting entry

Photo by Rick Kern

5. The distance from the arena floor to the light steel is 105 feet!

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Erwin Center - Davis Cup - photo by Roy Mata

Photo by Roy Mata

6. Before all of the new construction in the downtown Austin area, the shadow of the capital could be seen on the outside of the Erwin Center.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Erwin Center - Capital Shadow

Photo courtesy of Frank Erwin Center

7. Between 1983 and 1990, The University of Texas at Austin students came to the Frank Erwin Center to register for classes in person.
UT_StudentRegistration_700x450

Photo courtesy of Frank Erwin Center

8. The orange lights that shine on the exterior of the Erwin Center were personally requested by Frank C. Erwin Jr. himself.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Erwin Center - Erwin Center Exterior

Photo courtesy of Frank Erwin Center

9. Several world leaders including former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and the Dalai Lama have visited the Frank Erwin Center.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Erwin Center - Dalai Lama - 2005 - photo by Carlos San Miguel

Photo by Carlos San Miguel

10. This blog, Applause, started as a monthly print publication. It was first published in February, 1980 and the last issue was printed in August 2013.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Erwin Center - Applause Covers - 1980s

Photo courtesy of Frank Erwin Center
Visit the Frank Erwin Center website to see who's coming, and subscribe to Be the First to Know to get a jump on upcoming pre-sales and ticket giveaways.

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