The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC), originally called the Duluth Arena Auditorium, is multi-purpose facility located in Duluth, Minnesota. It has been home to the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldog hockey team since 1966.
The DECC is located on the waterfront of Lake Superior near Duluth's famous Aerial Lift Bridge. Built at a cost of $6.5 million, the Arena portion of the complex houses a 190-by-85 foot hockey rink with 5,333 seats and six locker rooms.
The rink can be converted to host concerts, dinners, conventions and shows. The DECC was the site of the NCAA I Men's hockey championships in both 1968 and 1981, hosted the 2003, 2008 and 2012 Women's NCAA Division I Frozen Four. A spacious lobby, where ticket sales originate, separates the Arena from Symphony Hall. Symphony Hall seats 2,221 and is home to both the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and Minnesota Ballet. Symphony Hall also plays host to concerts, Broadway plays, operas, dance recitals, high school graduations and a variety of other activities.
Pioneer Hall was added in 1976, and contains a hockey rink with smaller seating capability utilizing fold-out bleacher seating. Pioneer Hall is also the home of the Duluth Curling Club with eight curling rinks (can be expanded to provide up to 13 curling sheets for major events) and a lounge area. It is the largest curling venue in the United States, and has hosted two World Championships, the US Olympic Trials, and numerous National events. The Duluth Curling Club is the second largest curling club in the United States.
For more than 40 years the S.S. William A. Irvin carried iron ore and coal to Great Lakes ports, often crashing through ferocious storms to reach her destinations. In 1986 the S.S. William A. Irvin took on a new role as a tourist attraction at the DECC. The Irvin is berthed at a former WWII shipbuilding slip where she is visited by thousands each year. The Irvin has become the proud figurehead of Duluth's waterfront and offers a glimpse into the world of the merchant mariner. As a flagship of U.S. Steel's Great Lakes Fleet, she provided comfort and elegance to dignitaries and guests who traveled the Lakes with her from 1938 to 1978.
In 1990, the City Side Convention Center was added, which is the site of numerous social, business and entertainment events, and features the 26,000 sq ft Lake Superior Ballroom and additional meeting rooms. The OMNIMAX Theatre opened in the spring of 1996 and a 10-screen movie theatre complex was added in 2005. In 2011, the OMNIMAX theatre closed and was renovated by Marcus Theatres. In 2012, it reopened with a 65 foot wide, 3 story tall UltraScreen theatre and Take Five Cocktail Lounge.
The beautiful Harbor Side Convention Center was added in 2001 and boasts a 12,000 sq ft ballroom that overlooks Lake Superior. Overall, the DECC includes two ballrooms, 30 meeting rooms and over 100,000 sq ft of exhibit space to host conventions, trade shows and community events.
The 2008 Minnesota bonding bill included $38 million for the "DECC expansion project". The state of Minnesota funded nearly 50% of the $80 million cost; the voter-approved increase in the city food and beverage tax funded 27%; UMD funded 12% and the DECC funded 11%. The DECC expansion includes a new hockey arena for the UMD men's and women's teams, which increases seating capacity by 2,100 and enhances spectator comfort and improves the college's ability to recruit top athletes. The project also included a 475-car expansion to the DECC's parking ramp. Construction of the ramp began in October 2008 and was completed in September 2009. Construction of the arena began in September 2008 and was completed in December 2010. The new arena is officially named AMSOIL Arena.