The American Airlines Center is one of the first weekend sites in this year’s NCAA Tournament. After playing their Round of 64 and Round of 32 games at the Amway Center in Orlando last year, the Gators were shipped out to Texas for their first weekend contest(s) this season. While the AAC will see plenty of action this weekend, it’s no stranger to big events. The arena is home to the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and the NHL’s Dallas Stars. It’s also the former home of the AFL’s Dallas Desperados and Dallas Vigilantes. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 5 sporting events in the history of the AAC.
5. 2007 NHL All-Star Game
- The 2007 NHL All-Star game marked just the second time in franchise history that the Stars hosted an all-star game. The last time the team hosted the event was 1972, when they were still known as the Minnesota North Stars. Two Dallas players were selected to the game in defenseman Philippe Boucher and goalie Marty Turco. The West won the game, 12-9. Over 18,000 fans attended the event.
4. 2008 NHL Western Conference Semifinals Game 6
- Game 6 of the 2008 NHL Western Conference semifinals between the Stars and the Sharks is one of the greatest playoff games in NHL history. The Stars won the game in 4OT, 2-1, on a Brenden Morrow power-play goal, his 7th of that post-season. The tilt in total took 5 hours and 14 minutes. At the time, it was the 8th-longest game in NHL history. The victory took the Stars to their first Western Conference final since 2000.
3. 2017 Women’s Final Four
- Just a season ago, Mississippi State made history at the American Airlines Center. The MSU Bulldogs took down the UCONN Huskies in the Final Four, 66-64, ending the Huskies’ shot at five straight national championships. Morgan William hit the game-winning shot as time expired. South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player as the Gamecocks went on to beat Mississippi State in the NCAA Title game, 67-55.
2. 2006 NBA Finals
- The 2006 NBA Finals marked the Dallas Mavericks’ first-ever appearance in the NBA Finals. Despite losing the series, the American Airlines Center was the site of Game 6, where the Miami Heat would win their first ever NBA title. In Game 6, Heat guard Dwyane Wade went for 36 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists en route to being named NBA Finals MVP.
1. 2011 NBA Finals
- This story ends a little sweeter for the Mavericks. While Game 6, the tilt in which Dallas clinched the title was in Miami, the Mavericks won two of their four games in the series at the AAC. In Game 4, Dirk Nowitzki went for 17 points en route to a three-point victory. In Game 5, Nowitzki one-upped himself going for 29 points. Nowitzki was named NBA Finals MVP, winning his first NBA title in his 13th NBA season.