05/13/10 03:02 PM Filed in: Clients
New Evansville Arena Takes Shape With First Structural Steel
EVANSVILLE, IN – “We’re seeing the exciting design of our new Arena start to unfold,” Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel said today as crews began erecting the structural steel framework of what will be the region’s center for sports and entertainment when it opens in late 2011.
“We’ve made great progress in a short time,” Mayor Weinzapfel said. “As the steel work rises, we’ll begin to see the signature profile of a new downtown Evansville take shape.”
The new 290,000 square-foot Evansville Arena is designed for basketball and hockey as well as center-stage and end-stage events. Spectator areas will include club seats, loge seats and suites as part of a maximum capacity of 11,000. The Arena will be the new venue for hockey, concerts, exhibitions, shows, community events as well as the University of Evansville basketball teams.
The Arena will feature sweeping curved forms that evoke the City’s horseshoe bend in the Ohio River while providing a modern aesthetic expressed in Indiana limestone and glass. Along with a renewed hotel, the new Evansville Arena will work in conjunction with The Centre and other downtown attractions to create a vibrant atmosphere for sports fans, music lovers and conventioneers. The Arena site is located at the corner of Main Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard on a parcel that extends to Walnut and Sixth streets.
The project is expected to create 670 construction jobs. When the Arena opens, economic studies predict its operations and supporting activities will result in 530 permanent jobs.
Demolition work on the site began on October 23, 2009. Since that time, contractors have cleared the land of old construction, relocated and installed utility lines, put the foundation in place and built much of the main concourse that will surround the seating “bowl.” Steel erection will continue through November and the building should be fully enclosed by the end of 2010.
Bonds to finance the $127.5 million project were sold to investors in April. Funds to support the project will come from the food and beverage tax as well as gaming revenues from Casino Aztar and the downtown Tax Increment Financing district. No general property taxes are being used for the project.
The new Arena will replace Roberts Stadium, located east of downtown off the Lloyd Expressway. The new facility will feature a variety of premium seating options as well as full accessibility, six permanent concession stands and far more restrooms. Planners used sustainable design standards with the goal of achieving Silver Certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
Progress on the new Arena can be viewed on the project’s web site at www.evansvillearenaproject.com