NBA arena upgrades: Nets building green roof, Celtics undergoing makeover and more
A new concourse here, a completely oversized and rebuilt team store there and fresh hospitality spaces everywhere. That serves as the main mix for NBA arena upgrades, which we’ll see begin to see come to fruition this offseason. Minnesota and Boston have already announced changes coming to their respective venues, Charlotte and Brooklyn have plans for grand renovations of their own and Sacramento and Golden State are close behind. And of course, if you're a big dreamer, there's still a potential arena to be built in Seattle.
Here's a capsule look at some of the biggest arena upgrades around the league:
Brooklyn: Barclays Center
Once part of the original plans, the owners of Barclays Center are now designing a 130,000-square-foot green roof to top the arena that opened in 2012. Construction could start this summer. Greening the roof has benefits to the neighboring development, including making the actual building more attractive to planned apartment buildings that will look down on the structure. An added benefit to placing small plants on a thin bed of soil atop the home of the Nets includes dampening noise from the popular venue.
The new roof will rise above above the existing one on a steel structure, with an air gap that goes from four feet at the edge of the roof to 10 feet at the highest point. Sedum trays will be arranged to create a “flocking” pattern complementary to the weathering steel exterior, says building owner Forest City Ratner Companies. The arena foundation was built to support this type of load, so minimal reinforcement is required.
Boston: TD Garden
A $70 million upgrade to the Delaware North Companies-owned arena that houses both the NBA’s Celtics and the NHL’s Bruins starts this summer, focusing on concourses, hospitality and a gargantuan upgrade to the team store.
The owners of the 19,600-seat arena say the renovations will “touch every aspect of the TD Garden fan experience.”
The pro shop will move from the west side of the North Station concourse to the arena’s eastside second floor as part of a complete overhaul of the arena’s new entryway. Along with banging out plenty more space -- from 2,800 square feet to more than 6,000 -- for patrons to buy jerseys and trinkets, the pro shop will line up with the location fans enter the venue.
TD Garden’s loge and balcony concourses will get a floor-to-ceiling redesign, the Legends Club restaurant will look completely new and other hospitality areas -- think: the places the fancy-ticket folks get to go --will get a refresh.
New technology will flow through the entire renovation and all fans can enjoy the installation of high density Wi-Fi, ready for the 2014-15 season.
“With the TD Garden being nearly 20 years old, we recognize that these renovations are necessary and we are confident they will transform the fan experience from the moment a patron enters the building,” says Charlie Jacobs, principal of Delaware North and the Bruins.
Minnesota: Target Center
Even the exterior of the Target Center, one of the oldest venues in the NBA having opened in 1990, will completely change as part of a $97 million renovation. The plan in Minneapolis focuses on moving fans through the venue and giving them new club and amenity spaces to watch the Timberwolves, among a desire to attract more events to the center.
With construction likely starting this summer -- the team has requested bids from designers and contractors, meaning a finalized plan isn’t yet in hand -- the Target Center updates should be done in no more than 24 months. Some of the less publicly noticeable upgrades include new loading docks, fresh lighting and updated sound, all aimed at attracting concerts and shows. The seating for concerts will also get a slight bump in capacity.
Timberwolves fans should expect to first see a fresh exterior that will better match neighboring developments, changed pedestrian flow both in and out of the arena and on the concourses and a variety of other small updates inside the building.
To help team revenue, Target Center’s renovations include additional club spaces. And the players get a little something out of this too, with plans for expanded locker rooms.
Charlotte: Time Warner Cable Arena
Don’t expect any movement on updates to the home of the Bobcats this off-season, but with the team recently asking the city for financial backing for upgrades to the building -- which you can read about here -- changes to Time Warner Cable Arena will be coming. It will simply take some negotiating to get them funded.
Sacramento: Sleep Train Arena
Plans for a brand-new arena in Sacramento, set to open October 2016, are in the final stages. Here’s what we know so far.
San Francisco: Oracle Arena
Golden State’s bid to move from Oakland to a new arena on the waterfront in San Francisco is still on track, but not coming together as easily as the team had originally hoped. The latest—which you can find here—has the team moving in before the 2018 season.
Seattle: Seattle Arena
Chris Hansen still owns land in Seattle’s downtown stadium district next to Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field, which he says is ideal for a new NBA arena. And he still has venue designs and financial framework agreements from government officials and all kinds of early approvals you need to get an arena built. Of course, we all know he also has the cash. He just needs a team.
Speaking of teams complaining about their arena, have you heard the Milwaukee Bucks' lease is up in 2017? Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.