The first basketball game was played in the arena on November 19, 1999. Texas Tech lost 68-60 to Indiana, whose legendary coach Bob Knight would later become the head coach of Texas Tech's men's basketball team.
Elton John's performance on February 8, 2000 was the first concert to be held at United Spirit Arena.
In the summer of 2002, Britney Spears brought her Dream Within a Dream Tour to the arena. After the second song, " Crazy", a power outage occurred and the rest of the concert had to be canceled. Spears, along with her tour manager, came onstage to explain the situation to the sold out crowd. Due to Spears being overbooked for the entire tour, there was no time to reschedule the concert.
United Spirit Arena hosted WWE RAW (the first RAW ever to be hosted in Lubbock) in May 2006.
On January 1, 2007, a 70-68 defeat of New Mexico by Texas Tech marked the 880th total win for Bob Knight, making him the winningest coach in men's college basketball history.