The 11 most important American sports-entertainment venues

#10 Manhattan Center — New York City

In the heart of midtown Manhattan sits a building that has become a true beacon for historic moments in the world of sports-entertainment. Nope, it’s not Madison Square Garden, but it is directly across the street.

In 1993, WWE needed an intimate arena that could capture a rowdy New York energy for the first episodes of a new show called Raw. The 90-year-old Manhattan Center’s Grand Ballroom packed in only 1,000 fans, but it was a perfect fit for the show that would become WWE’s flagship.

In 2000, ECW took over the Manhattan Center for two straight nights of tapings for their weekly television shows at The Hammerstein Ballroom. Once an opera house, the beautiful venue was a surprisingly perfect host for the final two ECW pay-per-views as well as the One Night Stand event that brought the company back to life in 2005. A sequel was held there the next year, and was followed up by an infamous TV taping two months later that featured the debut of CM Punk.

WWE has not hosted an event at either Manhattan Center venue since then, but it has remained a destination for wrestling fans of other organizations. — ZACH LINDER