Built on land that was once home to the Jefferson Hotel just a few blocks from the Riverfront District, Peoria Civic Center has become a hub attracting visitors from around the world to central Illinois for concerts, theater, exhibits and other events. Former Peoria mayor Jim Maloof credits the center with being a significant contributor to the evolution of the city’s downtown.
The venue was designed by world-renowned architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee and opened in February 1982. Country superstar Kenny Rogers played the first concert there later that year. The facility has gone through several expansion projects since opening, including a $55 million project in 2007 that included the construction of a new exhibit hall, the Grand Ballroom, the Lexus Club, the Great Hall area and the indoor box office.
Peoria Civic Center is a large, versatile facility that includes an 11,330-seat arena, a theater, professional meeting space and an exhibit space. It is home to Peoria Rivermen professional hockey and Bradley University men’s basketball. It has hosted concerts by the likes of country star Luke Bryan and Americana group the Avett Brothers, and Broadway productions frequently visit as part of the Ameren Illinois Broadway Series.
Accommodations are plentiful in the area, and there are more than 1,000 rooms within walking distance of the Civic Center and more than 4,000 rooms nearby. There are a wide range of restaurants in the downtown neighborhood where guests can find tasty eats before or after a show, and those visiting on an adults-only trip can try their luck in one of the nearby casinos.