City council asked for $30 million in arena improvements - | WBTV Charlotte

City council asked for $30 million in arena improvements


Time Warner Cable Arena may be getting a pricey facelift, but it's one that the Charlotte Hornets and certain city officials believe is necessary.

Monday evening, Charlotte City Council members were presented with a renovation and upgrade plan that will cost taxpayers nearly $30 million.  

The City of Charlotte will be funding most of this, because they own this building. The Hornets only operate it, but they are also contributing to the renovations that the organization says are needed to stay competitive and relevant.

It pumps hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy every year.

According to the presentation, the arena pumped more than $250 million into the local economy in 2013, $38 million in tax revenue alone. The report also states the arena provided more than 2,500 jobs. But the proposal suggests the arena needs a little sprucing up if that's going to continue.

The Hornets organization and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority are asking the city for $29.9 million for the upgrades, but the city has a plan to pay for it.

The proposal suggests using the money generated from car rental taxes and the hotel/motel occupancy tax to fuel the renovations. 

The nearly $30 million price tag, is down from the original $47 million estimate that was asked for back in March. 

So, where will we see that cash put to use? The plan calls for new seating, restrooms, flooring, restaurant access, a new scoreboard and television upgrades.

The city and taxpayers are picking up most of the tab, because of a contractual agreement signed when the arena was built, but the Hornets organization will contribute $6 million over the next ten years to attract events that appeal to everyone. 

City council members just listened to the proposal Monday evening. They will discuss and possibly vote on the issue during their September 8 meeting. 

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