The BB&T Arena in Sunrise
The BB&T Arena in Sunrise

Sunrise was first incorporated as "Sunrise Golf Village," a development begun by Norman Johnson in, what was then, a remote area of Broward County. To attract potential buyers to the area, he and FE Dykstra built an upside down house that was featured in local, regional and national magazine articles. That turned the place into a national attraction. In January, 1969, Sunrise Golf Village became a free city (under control of the voters) and elected a mayor who had been drawn to the area by the upside down house...

In 1971 a referendum was held to change the name to simply "Sunrise." It passed, just in time for the surge of growth pushing westward in Broward County that sold most of the residential lots in town. However, by the 1980's Sunrise was coming into hard times because of the dearth of industrial and commercial taxes in the mainly bedroom community. It took more than 10 years but Sunrise city government finally worked out a way to rebuild and grow. Today, the BB&T Center is the home of the NHL Florida Panthers and, as the second largest indoor arena in the southeastern states, gets a lot of business from music concerts, ice shows, circuses and other events.