Welcome to the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center opened its doors in July, 1987, and in the last 20 years has welcomed 10 million guests! The Straz Center is located downtown on a picturesque nine-acre site along the east bank of the Hillsborough River. As the largest performing arts complex south of the Kennedy Center, the 335,000 square-foot Straz Center provides an environment for a wide variety of world-class events. It boasts one of the nation's leading Broadway series and is nationally respected for producing grand opera, as well as presenting a wide variety of concerts, performances and events. More than 680,000 patrons attended 4,148 events in the Straz Center's 2007-2008 season. The Tampa Bay Business Journal says that "[the Straz Center's] Carol Morsani Hall ranks with the best theater venues in the world." The performing arts complex consists of five distinct theaters, a performing arts Conservatory, a rehearsal hall, boutiques, and three on-site restaurants and banquet facilities. The five individual theaters at the Straz Center are Carol Morsani Hall (2,610 seats), Ferguson Hall (1,042 seats), the Jaeb Theater (268 seats), the TECO Energy Foundation Theater (250 seats) and the Shimberg Playhouse (130 seats). With the addition of the Patel Conservatory, the Straz Center added 45,000-square-feet for its extensive education programs. In 2007-2008, the Conservatory served more than 52,000 students with more than 2,700 education on-site activites, including classes. The Conservatory features 20 studios, including two dance studios with sprung floors, a sound/lighting laboratory, technical theater workshop, rehearsal hall, costume shop, isolation/sound booth, state-of-the-art black box theater and media arts/TV studio. Here are some additional features of the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts: The performance spaces in the complex easily can accommodate major musical, dance, opera, theatrical and television productions, as well as awards programs, pageants, conventions and meetings. Each hall is equipped with audio, lighting and backstage equipment to serve general performance needs. All halls are fully accessible to patrons with disabilities. An infrared listening system for the hearing impaired is available in Carol Morsani Hall, Louise Lykes Ferguson Hall and the Jaeb Theater. The Straz Center provides a loading dock area that can accommodate four full-sized tractor trailers at one time.