The Pensacola Bay Center has provided a variety of entertainment to the Gulf Coast since opening in 1985. Owned by Escambia County and managed by SMG, the world's largest private management company for publicly owned facilities, the Pensacola Bay Center is a 10,000 seat arena, with over 20,000 square feet of exhibition space and more than 13,000 square feet of meeting space. Since 1985, the Bay Center has hosted top name entertainment and earned a famed reputation as a popular rehearsal place for major talent. The facility also hosts local fund-raisers, community events, and regional sporting events. In the summer of 1996, the addition of a $2.1 million ice plant made hockey, public skating and other ice events a regular part of the entertainment mix.