A Rockford history lesson featuring the IceHogs, Lightning, and concerts at the BMO Harris Bank Center for the 40th anniversary.

It is unfortunate at this time, the city can not have a celebration for this big year. Hopefully, sometime down the road. I thought it would be a good time to take a look back at the history of the building. Special thanks to LawnCare by Walter.

If you missed my first story about the BMO Turning 40, check it out now, HERE.

On January 31st, 1981 the Rockford MetroCentre in downtown Rockford threw its grand opening party featuring a concert from Dionne Warwick. For the next forty years, the BMO Harris Bank Center has hosted literally thousands of events.

In that time, they have been home to several sports teams including the IceHogs hockey, Lightning basketball, Raptors football, Rampage soccer, and many different tournaments. The concerts were performed by some of the biggest names in entertainment featuring Rock, Country, Pop, and Comedy.

Don't forget about other events like pro wrestling, monster trucks, rodeos, ice shows, circuses, and so much more. There were craft shows, beer fests, and conventions. That is just touching the surface. The list goes on and on. The arena has had something for everyone through the years.

During this process, I have learned some new things about the history of the BMO Harris Bank Center. For example...

The reason why the BMO Harris Bank Center Orange. HERE.

What really happened to Ozzy the night he collapsed on stage. HERE.

Howie Mandel ordered pizza for 4,000 fans during his show. HERE.

I asked 96.7 The Eagle listeners about their favorite memories. CONCERTS. EVENTS.

A big part of the history of the BMO Harris Bank Center is the Rockford IceHogs. I had the opportunity to chat with the very first General Manager of the team, Kevin Cummings, about what it was like in the beginning and during those early years. Check out that interview now.

Video: Interview with Kevin Cummings, the first GM of the IceHogs

Rockford IceHogs photo album...

Rockford IceHogs

Many people, including myself, have some great memories of the Rockford Lightning. Those basketball games were so much fun. Former Head Coach, Chris Daleo, joined me to share some of his experiences with the team. Listen to our conversation now.

Video: Interview with former Rockford Lightning Head Coach, Chris Daleo

Rockford Lightning photo album...

Rockford Lightning Pictures

I think everyone in Rockford has a favorite concert moment at the BMO Harris Bank Center. I had a chance to speak with Don Kronberg. He is the owner of Nitelite Promotions which is a concert promoter company that has put on hundreds of shows in town. He shares some fun stories along with what it takes to do concerts, his experiences in Rockford, and the current state of the industry.

Video: Nitelite Promotions Owner Tells Rockford MetroCentre Stories For 40th

Check out these tickets, passes, and more from events at the BMO Harris Bank Center

BMO Harris Bank Center Photos

I hope you enjoyed this flashback of the BMO Harris Bank Center for its 40th anniversary. Stat tuned, there will be more to come.

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