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Expanding VAA South


wyoming_mi

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With the current discussion of Heartside development, expanding VAA has come up in a few posts. How would you guys expand the 'Van? My vision is that they use the space to 1) obviously finish the interior bowl of seating and 2) Create some kind of restaurant/entertainment hub at a new, second main entrance to the arena. Right now if you park south of the arena, you enter through some pretty unremarkable staircases unless you make the walk around the building. They should create the second main entrance to serve those coming from the south as well as add a nice restaurant or other complementing feature. If that is done well, it could do wonders for making the south side of downtown in to more of a lively place, especially to bridge the "dead zone" along Cherry and Oakes from Ionia to Grandville. Just my thoughts.....

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With the current discussion of Heartside development, expanding VAA has come up in a few posts. How would you guys expand the 'Van? My vision is that they use the space to 1) obviously finish the interior bowl of seating and 2) Create some kind of restaurant/entertainment hub at a new, second main entrance to the arena. Right now if you park south of the arena, you enter through some pretty unremarkable staircases unless you make the walk around the building. They should create the second main entrance to serve those coming from the south as well as add a nice restaurant or other complementing feature. If that is done well, it could do wonders for making the south side of downtown in to more of a lively place, especially to bridge the "dead zone" along Cherry and Oakes from Ionia to Grandville. Just my thoughts.....

I like the idea of making the ass of the building more appealing from the highway, cause right now it isn't all that attractive.. :lol:

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I like the idea of making the ass of the building more appealing from the highway, cause right now it isn't all that attractive.. :lol:

Eureka an inspiration!

vaass.jpg

(bad 5 minute MS Paint job) lol, I dont want to know where the recieving end is.

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Eureka an inspiration!

vaass.jpg

(bad 5 minute MS Paint job) lol, I dont want to know where the recieving end is.

Why does the VAA have boobies???? boobywiggle_tweetz.gif

(I was saving that for the next time someone mentioned a strip club but what the heck, here ya go)

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Why does the VAA have boobies???? boobywiggle_tweetz.gif

(I was saving that for the next time someone mentioned a strip club but what the heck, here ya go)

LOL..

Looking at the top of the building, wheres all the normal HVAC crap you usually see on a roof? :huh:

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I am rather more interested in Greedos explination of the VAA, anyone care to take that a little further, without the body parts?

Devos threatened to move the Orlando Magic to Grand Rapids 2 years after VAA was built, when Orlando gave Devos a new arena deal, he stayed in Orlando, killing any VAA expansion.

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And Orland didn't want to feel second rate to a 3 teir city, I see.. Makes me feel real good that we were used in that way.

So whats all the fuss then, screw caring if the VAA is going to expand when it obviously won't...

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The only real way the arena can be expanded would be if there were new teams involved at a higher level than what is there currently. Concerts won't benefit from expansion, because they close off that end anyway and don't need the seats. Unless a pro team comes in, it's not going to happen with the current users. Never say never though...

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I don't know about the Magic deal, but costs of expansion increased significantly than what was previously expected.

VAA originally cost $60 million to build. The Grand Action Committee originally intended to expand the arena shortly after completion, with the thought of courting a major sports franchise.

That didn't happen.

In 2001, a feasibility study estimated between $20 million to $30 million to fund the expansion.

Important to note, at that time, DeVos Place was being built, so $200 million was going towards funding that. As big as GR is, it's still pretty small, the same people asked to donate to DVPlace would've been asked to pony up some of the expansion costs.

Since the last study was five years ago, chances are the costs are even more. I would expect between $50-$60 million. Close to the initial construction costs.

Which means the number of sellout concerts, hockey and football games needs to substantially increase, or more hotel taxes, or someone to donate the entire costs before the expansion could even be considered.

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