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It's Official: BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky University

Over the weekend, every Bank of Kentucky branch was re-branded in the image of its new owner, BB&T.

Now the largest building in the region that featured the local bank's name has changed, too. The Bank of Kentucky Center, the Highland Heights arena that seats 9,400 people and is home to Northern Kentucky University's basketball teams, is now BB&T Arena.

“On behalf of our campus community, I am pleased to welcome BB&T to Northern Kentucky University,” said NKU President Geoffrey S. Mearns, in a statement. “BB&T Arena will continue to be an excellent home for our Division I athletics programs, and also a convening spot for our entire region.”

The 9,400-seat venue opened in 2008 as The Bank of Kentucky Center, named for the Crestview Hills-based firm that helped construct the arena. BB&T finished its acquisition of the regional bank on Monday, the North Carolina-based financial services firm announced.

“We are pleased that BB&T shares the same strong commitment to the communities it serves and we look forward to continuing our long partnership with Northern Kentucky University,” said Andy Hawking, president of the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati region for BB&T.

Owned by NKU, BB&T Arena is home to the NKU Norse men’s and women’s basketball teams. The programs have a new home, and also a new conference: on July 1, NKU will join the Horizon League, whose nine other members are all located within 300 miles of the university.

BB&T Arena also hosts the KHSAA Region 9 high school boys’ and girls’ basketball tournaments every spring. Beginning in 2016, it will host the KHSAA girls’ basketball Sweet Sixteen tournament as well.

The arena has also hosted more than 100 sports events, concerts, circuses, expos, high school graduations, and other community events since 2008.

BB&T Arena will continue to be managed by SMG, the Philadelphia-based worldwide leader in venue management.

-Staff report

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