Spectrum Center revamp plans unveiled



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Spectrum Center upgrade plans Image: Charlotte Hornets

The NBA’s Charlotte Hornets have unveiled plans and renderings for a major revamp of the team’s Spectrum Center arena.

Hornets Sports & Entertainment (HSE) said the Re!magine Spectrum Center arena improvement project includes a range of transformational upgrades throughout the building.

Spectrum Center is an indoor arena located in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina (US). It is owned by the City of Charlotte and operated by its main tenant, the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. The arena seats 19,077 for NBA games but can be expanded to 20,200 for college basketball games.

Renovations are expected to take place during the next two NBA offseasons – beginning in May 2024 – and be completed prior to the start of the 2025-26 NBA season.
 

Renovations will focus on:

Elevating the Overall Guest Experience – Throughout the arena there will be more gathering spaces for fans with increased visibility into the bowl. Renovations completed in 2024 will focus on modifications to better support traffic flow, including the addition of a fourth vomitory in the lower level, wider corridors and entrance alterations.

Spectrum Center upgrade plansImage: Charlotte Hornets

In 2025, the Main Concourse will be renovated, unveiling four themed “destinations” for fans, inspired by the unique communities across the Carolinas. New, enhanced fan engagement areas will be introduced and the retail experience will be improved.

Additional Seating – An additional 2,500 lower-level seats will be added in 2025, allowing many more fans to be closer to the action. All seats throughout the bowl will also be replaced at that time.

Uptown Concourse Enhancements – In addition to significant improvements to Uptown Concourse lighting, signage and concession locations on the Uptown Concourse, the Dr Pepper Pavilion and The Nest fan section will be redesigned in 2024, offering new amenities for some of the Hornets’ most passionate fans.

Club & Hospitality Experiences – All premium spaces, including clubs and suites, will be transformed over the course of the two summers. In 2024, the two existing Event Level clubs will be relocated and a new Courtside Club will be added, allowing for hundreds more seats to be inclusive of club amenities. In addition, the entire Suite Level will be renovated in 2024, followed by the Founders Level in 2025.

Spectrum Center upgrade plansImage: Charlotte Hornets

Diversified Premium Offerings – The reimagined Suite Level will offer five different suite options that can accommodate anywhere from two to 130 guests, providing increased access to premium spaces at a wider range of price points. In addition to 28 Standard Suites, Spectrum Center will have four Party Suites, 13 Mini Suites, one Super Suite and one Theater Box that will offer a completely new all-inclusive experience.

Food & Beverage Experiences – Throughout Spectrum Center, impactful technology will be utilized to create more frictionless interactions that will improve the overall concession experience, including additional grab-and-go markets. There will be expanded and enhanced menu options and additional bar offerings that will delight all patrons. In addition, more social gathering spaces will be near food and beverage areas, with increased visibility into the bowl, creating an unmatched experience for guests regardless of where they are in the arena.

Back-of-House Upgrades – In addition to public facing areas, the arena’s back-of-house spaces will see significant changes to better support team, promoter, crew and entertainer needs – helping set Spectrum Center up for long-term success.

Hornets Sports & Entertainment Executive Vice President & Spectrum Center General Manager Donna Julian said, “We are thrilled to share initial renovation plans with our guests, who have been top of mind at every stage throughout the reimagining process.

Spectrum Center upgrade plansImage: Charlotte Hornets

“We have always viewed Spectrum Center as an important community asset that brings people together and has tremendous economic impact for our city. Re!magine Spectrum Center touches nearly every aspect of the arena and allows us to remain the premier destination for sports and entertainment in the Carolinas, drawing more high-profile events and thus more patrons to Uptown Charlotte, positively benefitting nearby restaurants, bars, hotels and other local businesses.”

“This project is an extremely collaborative effort with the City of Charlotte and Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, as well as architect Perkins&Will, construction companies Turner and D.A. Everett, consultant CAA Icon and our concessions partner, Levy. We look forward to seeing our collective vision come to fruition over the next two years, and we’re confident the planned enhancements will set up Spectrum Center for success long into our future.”

HSE said Re!magine Spectrum Center meets the evolving needs of all arena stakeholders, starting with guests and including the building’s primary tenants – the Charlotte Hornets – as well as major music tours, family shows and other globally recognized events, such as the Democratic National Convention or the NBA All-Star Game, which the building hosted in 2012 and 2019, respectively.

Re!magine Spectrum Center is part of the larger renovation project approved by the city of Charlotte in June 2022, which also includes the construction of a training facility and the extension of the Hornets’ lease at Spectrum Center until 2045.

Owned by the City of Charlotte and operated by Hornets Sports & Entertainment, Spectrum Center has been the Queen City’s NBA arena since opening in October 2005.

In order to accommodate the renovations, Spectrum Center is expected to be closed from May through September in both 2024 and 2025.

Steve Bagwell, CEO of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, said: “This is a monumental project for the tourism industry and the region as a whole. Our focus has always been to deliver operational excellence at Spectrum Center in partnership with HSE, and to create a positive environment for success. We’re excited to collaborate with the entire team on this significant investment in one of the city’s most important assets.”

Joe Dyer, Senior Project Manager and Associate Principal at Perkins&Will, added, “We worked closely with the Hornets and Charlotte to ensure Spectrum Center remains the premier sports and entertainment venue in the Carolinas. Our goal was to enhance operations, service, sustainability – everything that impacts the fan experience.

“By focusing on these key areas, the arena can attract all kinds of high-profile events and visitors. These upgrades ensure the Spectrum Center stays competitive regionally while empowering the Hornets to compete at the highest level within the NBA. We wanted to capture the true spirit of Charlotte – its heritage, diversity – in the new design. By celebrating what makes this city unique, we’ve created a space that resonates with locals and reflects their values. The transformation will turn Spectrum Center into the heartbeat of Charlotte – a place that unites people, honors their history and makes them proud.”

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