SMG, a Philadelphia based private facility Management Company, assumed leadership of 1st Mariner Arena in 1999. Since then the Arena has hosted some of the biggest names in entertainment such as 2009 Kennedy Center Honoree Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z, George Strait, Beyoncè, the Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson, Toby Keith, The Eagles, U2, Reba McEntire, Fleetwood Mac, Maxwell and many more. In April of 2006, 1st Mariner Arena hosted the 55th Annual Miss USA Competition. In the fall of 2009, the Arena served as the host of Maryland’s first ever Mixed Martial Arts event, Shogun Fights.
1st Mariner Arena has 11,000 permanent seats (3 levels in a horseshoe shape) facing a 58' deep x 117' wide x 42' high wooden permanent proscenium stage. Temporary seating is used on the floor and/or the stage for various event configurations. With floor seating, concert or meeting capacity is 13,500; other shows and sporting events capacities range from 11,000 to 14,000. The Arena can also be curtained down to a 5,000-person capacity with a portable stage house center. The ice system was completely replaced in 1997.
In 2009, 1st Mariner Arena was named the #1 Arena in the United States by Billboard Magazine and Venues Today! No other U.S. building in its category bested 1st Mariner Arena as the highest grossing Arena.