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Checkers will return to Bojangles’ Coliseum

Charlotte CheckersThe Charlotte Checkers (AHL) will be returning to their original home, Bojangles’ Coliseum, after city officials committed to a $16 renovation of the venue.

Bojangles’ Coliseum opened in 1955 and the Checkers played there at various points between 1956 and 2005. However, Time Warner Cable Arena has served as home to the Checkers in recent years. Being a secondary tenant to the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets has not been easy: the team could not practice at the Uptown arena, and scheduling issues were secondary to the Checkers’ needs.

On the docket for Bojangles’ Coliseum improvements: new scoreboard, ribbon board, signage and locker rooms. The original cost of renovations was $12 million from the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), which was increased by $4 million to accommodate the Checkers and the infrastructure demands of an American Hockey League team.

Under a 10-year agreement with two five-year options previously made between the Checkers and the CRVA, the approved funding will go towards a new video board, external digital marquees, digital ribbon boards, new seats, new premium seating areas, internal branding specific to the Checkers, new hockey-related amenities and other upgrades. From the Checkers’ website:

“This is going to give us increased control over every aspect of our business, including scheduling, amenities, game presentation and sponsorship inventory,” said Checkers owner Michael Kahn. “It also is going to allow us to reconnect with our history and the birthplace of hockey in Charlotte.”…

“I think you’ll notice the seats the most because they take up the most square footage, but the scoreboard will be a fantastic, state-of-the-art scoreboard and there will also be new ribbon boards in the corners,” said CRVA CEO Tom Murray, referring to the planned upgrades. “Probably the next-most-important thing to the players is that we’re going to do a really great job creating a locker room, workout space and family room for them. We have to make sure we’re ready to go and do a first-class job for the Checkers.”

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