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All posts tagged arena refurbishment

houston university basketball arena

The renovation of the Houston Basketball arena has had a budget up to $60 million approved by the University of Houston’s regents. Design work is scheduled to begin in March 2016 with construction starting one year later. 

Vice President for Athletics Hunter Yurachek said.

We look forward to starting the design process in the next few months and creating a facility that will provide the highest level of amenities to our fans and a significant home-court advantage for our Men’s and Women’s Basketball student-athletes.

The renovated facility, probably with reduced capacity to 7,420 (from 8,479) is expected to be ready for game competition for the beginning of the 2018-19 season.

There will be more than 2,000 premium seats – 1,750 club seats, 20 loge boxes with four seats in each, two open-air suites with 32 seats per unit and 90 courtside seats.

The arena’s concourse level will be expanded to improve circulation with significant upgrades to the sound system, video board and arena seating.

In 1995, Manchester Arena chose Audience Systems and Camira Fabrics to supply the seating for its new arena and some twenty years later this original duo were once again chosen to re-seat the venue.

James Allen, General Manager of Manchester Arena, enthused:

Thank you for backing this project with commitment, enthusiasm and teamwork. We are very pleased with the results and we couldn’t have done it without your help.

This busy venue has demanded two decades of hard work from its seating. The arena’s operators, SMG, realised the arena needed some ‘TLC’ to maintain its position as one of the country’s top venues, continuing to attract the largest audiences and the biggest performers.

Organising the refurbishment around events, SMG was keen that the new seating should enjoy the same longevity as the previous installation, specifying a seat with maximum durability. The retractable systems needed to be a perfect fit to the arena, with smooth operation ensuring they don’t suffer damage through use. It’s imperative the fabric continues to look immaculate even with the most demanding of audiences.

In an astonishing 44 days, the Arena was cleared, cleaned and refitted with 28 new retractable systems and 11,600 new Accolade chairs.  The chairs benefit from back and seat panels for upholstery protection. SMG worked in close collaboration with Camira Fabrics, selecting a performance-based product, Halcyon Linden, which offers stain resistance and anti-microbial properties, as well as being straightforward to clean, helping to create the very best user experience even with short turnaround times between shows.

Abdul Ali, Head of UK Sales at Camira Fabrics, commented:

Manchester Arena has been a great project for us and we are delighted SMG specified Camira as the fabric provider again after 20 years.

Within the short time frame, Camira provided 10,000 metres of our Halcyon Linden range, which we dyed to a bespoke dark grey, a more forgiving colour than black, to cover the new seats from Audience Systems. The Halcyon Collection is engineered for arena seating such as this, which requires extra protection and durability.

Audience Systems Sales Director, Gary Pillinger, has been thrilled with the result at the Arena, as he explained:

This has been a really complex job, but one with amazing results. Almost 12,000 seats on a mixture of fixed tiering and 28 retractable units, as well as the arena’s requirements for additional seating and the need for slick transitions between set ups to minimise site team’s time, have made it an exciting project.

The team at Manchester have been a pleasure to work with from start to finish and we are always thrilled to be given a challenge; it’s an opportunity to show the industry what we can do.

In a second phase of the overhaul, 5,551 original Espace 628 chairs, installed 20 years ago will be given a facelift. The chairs sit behind the stage, are used only when the arena is in the round, and are still in perfect working order. Due to their reduced usage, SMG decided to simply refurbish those seats in the same fabric as the rest of the new seats, and add back and seat panels so they will blend seamlessly with the new chairs.  Due for completion next month, this will be the final flourish, giving Manchester Arena another double decade as one of the UK’s premier venues.

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Margaret Court Arena’s time to shine

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The newly revamped Margaret Court Arena opened to critical acclaim during Week One of its first Australian Open since construction was completed at the end of last year.
Designed by NH Architecture + Populous, the $183m redevelopment means that the Margaret Court Arena now has a state-of-the-art retractable roof; the fastest closing in Australia. The refurbishment also delivers Melbourne and Olympic Parks its third all-weather venue – more than any other Grand Slam precinct – effectively weatherproofing the Australian Open.

For the specialist architecture firm Populous this is its second Grand Slam venue; having also designed the new roof over Wimbledon Centre Court in London, completed in 2009.

CEO of Tennis Australia, Craig Tiley, highlighted that the great thing about Margaret Court Arena is the speed at which the roof closes, as he explained:

The roof closes in less than five minutes. I don’t know of any arena in the world that can beat this and it is going to be a huge benefit, because now the weather will not disrupt play. You can start bringing the roof in a little closer while playing continues and then during the changeover completely close the roof.

As with all retractable roofs, the redevelopment enables Margaret Court Arena to evolve from a single-use tennis venue to a true multifunctional facility. The primary use of the arena will continue as host to major matches of the Grand Slam tournament, but it will also host netball, basketball, concerts and entertainment events, enabling Margaret Court to be a functional all-weather boutique venue for a busy all year round schedule.


Margaret Court Arena Redevelopment: Project Stats

Following on from the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Masterplan, Populous was commissioned by the Victorian Government, with joint venture architects NH Architecture, to design the latest phase within the precinct redevelopment.

The new multi-purpose arena includes 7,500 seats, an innovative cable-driven operable roof and concourse connectivity to the adjacent Rod Laver Arena. The construction took 3 years to complete and included staged handovers for each interim Australian Open. The project is also aiming to be the first LEED accredited sports venue in Australia with a brief requirement to attain LEED Gold.

The architectural form of Margaret Court Arena was derived from an understanding of key individual design elements; roof, bowl, concourse and the undercroft. The result is a cohesive architectural form conceived as a ‘container’– where the seating bowl becomes the key architectural expression allowing concourse areas to be developed independently. Large areas of glazing maximise views to the surrounding context and expose the internal architecture and internal spaces to passers-by.

The innovative pleated roof profile reduces the structural depth of the roof and importantly reduces the visual bulk of the building. The pleated roof also provides the flexibility to fold the roof down to pedestrian level to provide weather protection, particularly at venue entrances. Large roof overhangs on all sides of the building provide shade to the surrounding concourse and public realm.

LA Forum relaunch will be Californian celebration by the Eagles

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The Forum in Los Angeles will open on 15 January 2014 following a $100 million revitalisation. Just over one year after The Madison Square Garden Company acquired the Forum in Inglewood, California, the company announced its extensive plans for the venue including working with Chase as Presenting Partner. James L. Dolan, Executive Chairman, The Madison Square Garden Company, said:

Since we first explored the opportunity to acquire the Forum and expand The Madison Square Garden Company’s presence on the West Coast, our vision has been clear: return the venue to its celebrated position as one of the most beloved and well-known venues in the country for the benefit of the community, fans and performers for generations to come

Irving Azoff, the Eagles’ manager and founder of Azoff Music Management, stated:

The Forum is an iconic Southern California landmark and with the vision of The Madison Square Garden Company is sure to become the world’s quintessential music-focused venue. Since the 1970s, the Eagles have a long and rich history with the Forum. The building has played an important role in the growth and development of the band from their early Southern California roots to becoming a worldwide touring phenomenon. With its unsurpassed acoustics and warm intimate arena experience, it’s always been the band’s favorite building to perform in and we’re anxiously looking forward to kicking off the next era of the Forum this January.

The Forum expands MSG’s footprint to the West Coast, and adds a seventh venue to the company’s portfolio of venues. The Forum will book a broad scope of events with a focus on music and entertainment, including concerts, family productions, award shows, television/film productions, as well as a few select sporting events.

BBB Architects is directing the Forum revitalisation, which is inspired by the venue’s original 1967 design, and includes upgrades to the entire venue site. Architecturally, the interior of the bowl will be completely modernized and feature flexible seating, ranging from 17,500 seats to 8,000 seats, enabling the venue to attract a wide variety of events. The arena will be updated with state-of-the-art, technically advanced support systems featuring a unique ‘sky deck’ to accommodate the largest touring concerts, productions and events. Fans will enjoy one of the largest general admission floors in the country, with approximately 8,000 square feet of new event level hospitality offerings, including food and beverage, merchandise and bathrooms. A tinted glass wall will separate this concession area from the arena floor; ensuring fans do not miss a moment of the performance.

Forum VIP customers will have access to the historic Forum Club, which will be completely re-imagined with thematic music-inspired detailing, and the new Chase Lounge.

The Madison Square Garden Company claims that the new Forum, designed with artists in mind, will have seven star-calibre dressing rooms that feature upgraded amenities.There will be a dedicated area for production and touring crews, which will include an exclusive dining space.

Among the key features that will be resurrected in an effort to replicate the original design is the exterior colour of the venue, which will be repainted to the 1960’s California sunset red.

The 40,000 square foot outdoor terrace surrounding the perimeter of the building will offer upgraded food and beverage amenities to elevate the guest experience. A distinct and iconic Forum marquee that reflects the architecture of the venue will be located at Manchester and Prairie.

Renovation for Bridgestone Arena in Nashville

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The Metropolitan Sports Authority in Nashville has granted approval for the south side renovation of Bridgestone Arena. Updating arenas to meet new customer expectations is a growing trend. Nashville’s 18,500 arena, built in 1997 at a cost of $144 million typically requires a rethink.

The upgrade (architect Populous is advising) is about opening the arena, including restaurants and shops, up to its surroundings, with a plaza on the Demonbreun Street side, a modified south entrance creating open space at the corner of Fifth Avenue South and Demonbreun and a LED lighting feature along the building’s wall facing Fifth Avenue. Work should be complete by October 2013.

Ice hockey to benefit from upgrade at Motorpoint

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The Motorpoint Arena Sheffield, home of the Sheffield Steelers, is making a major investment in new facilities. Stage one, which is currently underway, will upgrade the Arena’s roof for the first time since it opened in May 1991.

The second stage of the investment, due to start in July, will see all 12,500 seats replaced with the same seating that is used in London’s O2 Arena. There will also be new energy efficient lighting and external concourse doors.

The management will use a quiet period in July and August to replace the glass around the ice with Plexiglas, a transparent, lightweight and shatter-resistant alternative to glass, ready for the 2013/14 season of the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team.

The investment plan will make a huge difference to the customer experience at the Motorpoint Arena. In particular, the scratch-resistant Plexiglas will vastly improve the view for Steelers fans who sit on the lower tier,

said Rob O’Shea, General Manager.

All of the Steelers believe that we have the best facility in the league, these improvements will just add to that. We want to be the best team playing in the best building. With the new video wall, the new glass, the seats it will be like playing in a brand new building. I can’t wait,

said Sheffield Steelers player Drew Fata.

Fans will get better views of the Sheffield Steelers following upgrade work at Motorpoint Arena. (Left to right) Steelers stars Drew Fata and Steven Goertzen.

Fans will get better views of the Sheffield Steelers following upgrade work at Motorpoint Arena. (Left to right) Steelers stars Drew Fata and Steven Goertzen.