Officials with State Farm Hidalgo Arena announced Thursday that the venue’s name has changed to Payne Arena, the third time its rebranded in its 16-year history.

The announcement came at an invitation-only event held at the venue, which was originally called the Dodge Arena before being changed to State Farm Arena, and then State Farm Hidalgo Arena last year.

“… We came to a deal with the partnership that we have with local dealership Payne Auto Group,” said Payne Arena General Manager Eric Trevino. “The State Farm deal was pretty much done and over with, and we chose a great partner with Payne. There was a lot of different people up in the running, but at the end of the day we chose a brand that showcases the city and the quality of life that we bring into this venue.”

Among the changes that people can expect to see at the arena are new seats, a facelift to the inside and outside of the arena, as well as entertainment which will be announced in the near future.

“Just expect a lot of good things coming,” said Trevino. “We’re a 16-year-old building, but we’re still competing. We’re continuing to be the legendary building that we’ve always been.

According to Payne Arena Marketing Consultant Aleck Rios, the venue is among the top 100 for tickets sold worldwide, as voted by Pollstar, “beating our neighbor and the AT&T Center in San Antonio.”

“We’re inches away from actually beating the Staple Center for most tickets sold,” Trevino added. “For being a tertiary market and a 6,000 seater, to be able to compete with buildings that are 18,000 and 22,000 seaters. The Valley natives are very hungry for entertainment, and we’re seeing it.”

Among the upcoming events scheduled at the Payne Arena include Alejandro Sanz on Sept. 20, Pedro Fernandez on Oct. 12, a Queen cover band called Killer Queen on Oct. 26, and Snoop Dogg on Nov. 2.

Representatives of the Payne Dealer Group, the arena and Hidalgo Mayor Sergio Coronado speak during the naming announcement Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, in Hidalgo. (Roman Madrigal | Special to The Monitor)

“A couple of new events that the arena will be announcing with this new name change, and that just got solidified yesterday, Sept. 11th, is that we will be announcing on Oct. 3rd and 4th, for the first time ever, a (mixed martial arts) title fight being held right here at Payne Arena,” Rios said. “It’s going to be the first pay per view fight ever held in South Texas and here in the building.”

The fight, which is scheduled for Dec. 7, will be promoted by Combate Americas and presented by Live and Loud Entertainment. The fight card will be announced on Oct. 3 and 4 in New York City.

“Combate Americas was here with us last June, and it was a tremendous success,” Rios said. “They have chosen our site over Caesar’s Palace, over going out to Saudi Arabia and one of the events centers there in (Los Angeles). So we’re very honored to be able to host this type of event here at Payne Arena.”

The arena also announced some entertainers for 2020, including Maldita Vecindad on Feb. 1, and Camila on Feb. 14.

The 16-year-old arena has played host to George Strait, Janet Jackson, Aerosmith, Elton John, Cher, Rihanna and Selena Gomez among others.

The State Farm naming rights came to an end at the end of 2018, which led to the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, changing its name to State Farm Arena.

The State Farm Arena in Atlanta is home to the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.

Smoke and blasts highlighted the naming announcement Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, at the Payne Arena in Hidalgo. (Roman Madrigal | Special to The Monitor)