Jan 12, 2024 - Development

Spectrum Center is getting a massive makeover

Spectrum Center's renovated bowl. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment

Spectrum Center's renovated bowl. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment

Major fan-facing upgrades are coming to Spectrum Center starting this summer.

Driving the news: Hornets Sports & Entertainment unveiled “RE!magine,” a two-year renovation plan for the Uptown arena, on Friday morning. Spectrum Center will close May through September of 2024 and 2025. Renovations should be complete before the Hornets’ 2025-2026 season.

  • “Shutting down is what we needed to do,” Donna Julian, HSE executive vice president & Spectrum Center general manager, told reporters.

Why it matters: Spectrum Center opened in 2005, making it a “little outdated,” as Gabe Plotkin, new HSE co-chairman, told reporters in August.

  • The planned renovations will improve ingress and egress, which has proved problematic at times.

Catch up quick: Charlotte city council approved $215 million for arena renovations in June 2022. The Hornets’ deal with the city also included extending their lease to 2045. In exchange, the city’s putting forth an additional $60 million for a standalone practice facility.

  • The city and team are still discussing plans for the practice facility, Julian says.

By the numbers: An exact figure for the cost of the upgrades has not been set, but it will include funding from the new owners, Julian says.

  • Of note: Fans can expect an increase in ticket prices. While the price will vary based on the seat, it will be roughly a 10-20% jump on average, says HSE chief revenue officer Jacob Gallagher. The Hornets have always been one of the most affordable tickets in the NBA, he adds.

Details: Smaller back-of-house changes were already underway. Now it’s time for fan-facing upgrades, which will occur in two phases.

2024 renovations will focus on improving traffic flow. Expect redesigned entrances and wider corridors on the concourse. There will also be a fourth vomitory (small tunnel between the concourse and the arena) in the lower-level, allowing fans to get into and out of the bowl faster.

  • The Uptown concourse (upper-level) will include a redesigned Dr. Pepper Pavilion and The Nest fan section. There will be new concession locations, signage and lighting.
  • Clubs and suites will be transformed. The two existing event-level clubs (Hardwood Club and Inner Circle Club, which are on the same level as the court) will be relocated and upgraded. A new Courtside Club will be added to the event-level.
  • Suites renovations will result in five different options. The 28 standard suites will accommodate up to 24 people. The four-party suites will hold up to 72 people, and mini-suites can accommodate up to 12 people. There will be one super suite, which will accommodate up to 76 people. There will also be a theater box, which will hold up to 130 people.

2025 renovations will include 2,500 additional seats in the lower-level, plus brand-new seats for the entire bowl.

  • The founders level will also be renovated and will include 16 suites.
  • The main concourse will also be updated.

Some changes will occur both in 2024 in 2025, like more grab-and-go markets, camera-driven technology for concessions, additional bar and menu options and more social gathering spaces with better bowl visibility.

Of note: Perkins&Will and Neighboring Concepts are the project architects. Turner and D.A. Everett are the construction companies, CAA Icon and The Wonder Group consulted on the project. Levy is HSE’s concessions partner. The city of Charlotte and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority are also part of the project. 

Here’s what Spectrum Center is expected to look like by 2025. 

Concessions at Spectrum Center. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Concessions. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Courtside club. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Courtside Club. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Dr. Pepper Pavilion and The Nest 700. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Dr. Pepper Pavilion and The Nest. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Gathering space. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Gathering space. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Inner Circle Club: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Inner Circle Club. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Mini-suites. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Mini-suites. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Standard suite. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Standard suite. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Theater Box. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Theater Box. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Uptown concourse. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Uptown concourse. Rendering: Courtesy of Hornets Sports & Entertainment
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