The Santander Arena, formerly known as the Sovereign Center, is managed by SMG and first opened its doors in September of 2001. Since then, it has hosted over 2200 shows in a wide range of genres. The arena, which seats up to 8800 for concerts and 7200 for hockey, is home to the Reading Royals of the ECHL.
Besides sporting events, the Santander Arena has hosted hundreds of concerts and other forms of entertainment targeted to all age ranges. A few of the previous performers have included Neil Diamond, Carrie Underwood, Slipknot, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Godsmack, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Matchbox Twenty, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, WWE, Winter Jam, Elton John, Mötley Crüe, Rod Stewart, Sting, Kid Rock, multiple Disney on Ice shows, Wu-Tang Clan, Shinedown, Professional Bull Riding, and many others.
Santander performing arts center
The Santander Performing Arts Center was built in the 1870s as a market, with a Masonic Temple on its upper floors. It became the Academy of Music in 1886. The Rajah Shriners purchased it in 1917 to use the building for various activities including vaudeville, motion pictures, and live appearances. The auditorium was rebuilt in 1921 after a fire destroyed most of the facility. At the turn of the 21st Century, the Rajah Theater was the only downtown movie palace of its kind to survive. Its sister palaces, the Astor, Embassy and Lowe’s Colonial, had all been demolished.
Today, the Santander Performing Arts Center is home to the Reading Symphony Orchestra and the Broadway on 6th Street series. It has also hosted numerous different events. Willie Nelson, Alice in Chains Jerry Seinfeld, David Copperfield, Melissa Etheridge, Daughtry and Mannheim Steamroller are just a few of the shows that have been seen at the theater.