In the coming years, the Charlotte Hornets and city officials are expected to begin discussing future upgrades to the Spectrum Center.
Originally opening for the then Charlotte Bobcats in 2005, the Spectrum Center has received some upgrades in recent years. The Charlotte City Council signed off on a variety of improvements in 2014, and a current phase of renovations is leading to the relocation of both the box office and the team store.
Down the road, however, it is likely that the Hornets and the city will engage in talks about additional upgrades. The team’s lease at the Spectrum Center calls for the venue to be kept to “NBA standard,” and to match improvements completed at half of the league’s arenas.
According to comments from one city official on Monday, Charlotte is planning to undertake negotiations with the Hornets in 2019, a process that could lead to more upgrades. More from The Charlotte Observer:
“We’ll be looking at a negotiation in 2019,” said Ron Kimble, who works for the city overseeing some economic development projects. “We both have an interest in making sure we both have a top-notch arena. We want it to be a successful arena from an operations stand point. We have a mutual interest in making sure our arena stays competitive.”
Kimble told City Council Monday that the city wouldn’t be able to spend the full $43.5 million requested by Marcus Smith of Speedway Motorsports on a new Major League Soccer stadium. The city could only afford $30 million, in part because the city’s hospitality taxes would be needed for other purposes, including the second phase of the Hornets’ arena upgrades.
There has certainly been a push around the NBA in recent years for new and renovated arenas. The Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Atlanta Hawks are all in the midst of renovations to their home facilities, while the Cleveland Cavaliers are pursuing upgrades to Quicken Loans Arena. When it comes to new arenas, the Sacramento Kings opened the Golden 1 Center last season, and the Detroit Pistons continue to work on moving to Little Caesars Arena this fall. The Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors are also expected to open new arenas in the coming years, with the Bucks’ new facility debuting in 2018 and the Warriors following in 2019.
In May, the Spectrum Center was named the host of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.