HP Pavilion At San Jose
The HP Pavilion at San Jose, formerly known as Compaq Center at San Jose and San Jose Arena is an indoor arena located at 525 West Santa Clara Street in San Jose, California. The arena is also commonly called The Shark Tank or The Tank, both of which come from its primary tenant, the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League.
Plans for an arena in San Jose go back to the mid-1980s, when a group of local citizens formed Fund Arena Now (FAN), a group dedicated to getting an indoor arena built in the city. The group spent much of its time pushing city officials to build such a structure while at the same time selling the possibility of the building to interested groups, namely NHL and NBA franchises. In the late 1980s, then-San Jose mayor Tom McEnery met with FAN and helped to make their plans reality. Eventually, a measure was introduced that would allocate local taxes toward building an arena in San Jose’s growing downtown, which would be voted on June 7, 1988. The measure passed by a narrow margin: 73,409 to 64,140. The plans for the arena would eventually be one of the reasons that George and Gordon Gund would locate their new Bay Area NHL franchise in San Jose, which would eventually become the San Jose Sharks.
Construction of the arena began in 1991, and was originally slated to open in 1992. The construction ran into a rather sizable delay, however, when the management for the San Jose Sharks realized the arena had been designed for community use, and that it needed a drastic redesign to upgrade the arena to NHL standards. Most notably, the original arena design had no luxury suites or a press box, with the introduction of the former to the original plans would have reduced the arena’s seating capacity to 14,000. The time taken to redesign the arena delayed the opening of the building to 1993, forcing the Sharks to play an additional season at the Cow Palace.
The arena opened in 1993 as the San Jose Arena. In 2001, naming rights were sold to Compaq, and the facility became Compaq Center at San Jose; the geographic identifier was needed because at the time, there was a Compaq Center in Houston. After HP purchased Compaq in 2002, the company chose to name the arena the HP Pavilion (as opposed to HP Center or HP Arena), a clever moniker given to the venue after one of HP’s prevalent computer models.
It was announced in late April 2007 that the HP Pavilion at San Jose would be receiving several building improvements, including a new scoreboard similar to that of the TD Banknorth Garden, home of the Boston Bruins of the NHL.
With the addition of the new scoreboard and sound system, the existing control room was transformed into an additional luxury suite. A new video control room was constructed on the lower level of the arena. The sound console was moved to the broadcast pit, joining Sharks TV, Sharks radio, and visiting TV. Visiting radio was moved to an auxiliary location in the catwalk on the bench side of the arena.