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blueradon

Van Andel Arena Expansion?

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This isn't really HUGE news...but I found this in an milive.com article about Van Andel Arena's 10 year celebration.

To keep stars and fans coming back, MacKeigan said plans are afoot to "upgrade the entire experience" at Van Andel by improving concessions and even exploring development of an in-house bar or restaurant, something common at other arenas.

Doesn't look like the arena itself is looking for an expansion...at least anytime soon...

Or could an announcement take place at the anniversary?

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It costs to much. The Van won't attract more then it's already. Straight from their own mouths. Expansion of services, but not the building itself.

Edited by Rizzo

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Yeah I just realized about the title after the fact I typed it in...I'm tired, leave me alone :lol:

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they should at least expand the south end so that it's a complete arena. don'tcha think?

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Maybe that's where they'll add on for the restaurant or bar or whatever it becomes??

I'm excited for whatever will go there

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Maybe that's where they'll add on for the restaurant or bar or whatever it becomes??

I'm excited for whatever will go there

I can imagine a nice exotic applebee's or chili's in there! :whistling:

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I can imagine a nice exotic applebee's or chili's in there! :whistling:

Ooooh, now wouldn't that be different. How about a **$$ while we're at it?

[typing from Four Friends]

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they should at least expand the south end so that it's a complete arena. don'tcha think?

The south end of the Arena was purposfully left blank for future expansion. When constructed, the Van Andel Arena was built to house its current capacity of up to 12,000. However the infrastructure is in place to easily expand it 16,000 when the need arises. But at this point I'd rather have the Arena focus on quality than quantity atleast until GR takes a serious shot at pulling in a huge draw like the NBA or NHL which would require an expansion.

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Perhaps you missed this quote from the article:

The facility was designed with expansion in mind. Its south wall could be removed to allow for about 3,500 additional seats, completing the arena's interior seating bowl. MacKeigan and most people close to the facility say that expansion, which would cost $20 million to $50 million, probably will never happen, since the extra seats would very rarely get filled.

Should the community ever grow large enough to support a major-league hockey or basketball franchise -- prospects MacKeigan said might take 15 to 20 years -- "the economic realities of such a franchise would mandate a brand-new venue."

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Perhaps you missed this quote from the article:

The facility was designed with expansion in mind. Its south wall could be removed to allow for about 3,500 additional seats, completing the arena's interior seating bowl. MacKeigan and most people close to the facility say that expansion, which would cost $20 million to $50 million, probably will never happen, since the extra seats would very rarely get filled.

Should the community ever grow large enough to support a major-league hockey or basketball franchise -- prospects MacKeigan said might take 15 to 20 years -- "the economic realities of such a franchise would mandate a brand-new venue."

I know that this bit has been debated about eleventy-seven gillion times before. But what's holding GR back? There are other MSA's with little over 1 million people that have teams from at least one of the big sports leagues under their belts. The GR MSA has 1.1 million people and growing the last time I checked those numbers. Is it Detroit or Chicago that's holding GR back or has city officials yet to work up the nerve to take a leap of faith? I'm no expert about the inner workings of marketing a major sports team. But the tid bit you quoted sound very pessimistic--almost like GR is doom to being a two-bit Smallville for the rest of eternity with the "maybe 15 to 20 years from now" added as a sugar coating to keep optimists like yours truly from ranting 'till they turn blue in the face. Maybe I'm being overly rash. But I'm flat out fed up of hearing GR can't do this or GR can't do that. This city is brimming with untapped potential to really become something on the national level. The nay saying like in the quote is the only thing that's keeping this city from going critical mass.

Okay. Time for me to step off the soap box now.

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I know that this bit has been debated about eleventy-seven gillion times before. But what's holding GR back? There are other MSA's with little over 1 million people that have teams from at least one of the big sports leagues under their belts. The GR MSA has 1.1 million people and growing the last time I checked those numbers. Is it Detroit or Chicago that's holding GR back or has city officials yet to work up the nerve to take a leap of faith? I'm no expert about the inner workings of marketing a major sports team. But the tid bit you quoted sound very pessimistic--almost like GR is doom to being a two-bit Smallville for the rest of eternity with the "maybe 15 to 20 years from now" added as a sugar coating to keep optimists like yours truly from ranting 'till they turn blue in the face. Maybe I'm being overly rash. But I'm flat out fed up of hearing GR can't do this or GR can't do that. This city is brimming with untapped potential to really become something on the national level. The nay saying like in the quote is the only thing that's keeping this city from going critical mass.

Okay. Time for me to step off the soap box now.

its not just the size of the city that dictates what sports they get..... reason #1 were a small tv market... 2# we aren't the biggest city without a major sports team... 3# we are very close to Chicago and D town

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Its dissapointing that the arena was not built full scale originally because like mentioned above, it would be too costly to add new seats that won't be filled on a regular basis and there are other cities out there the same size or smaller (Dayton, Des Moines ect.) with larger arenas that attract bigger events like an NCAA tournament

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I think they expand for the sake of not being over crowded. I was recently at the Eric Claptoon concert and it was insane just to walk 30ft to the restroom. It took about 10 minutes just because the concorse was poorly thoughtout with a line for the concessions right next to the restrooms...

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Actually GR rates very high when it comes to the possiblity of a sports team. The last list that the Sporting News put together had us in the top three for the most likely and most viable markets. We are the most prosperous market without a team, and within the all important 60 minute travel time circle, there are around 2.5 million people - way more than enough.

It could happen, the problem is, no one around here believes that...

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If Salt Lake City, Orlando, and Green Bay can have major league sports teams... I don't see any reason why it's impossible for GR. Especially if it's NHL.

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I hope that if they don't plan on expanding, they give the back of the Arena a more finished look. Does anyone know if that has ever been talked about.

Joe

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I don't think GR would be able to sustain a Professional level sports team. Like others have mentioned, we're crazy close to both Detroit and Chicago. Other places like Green Bay & Salt Lake City work because there are no other sports teams anywhere near there for people to cheer for. They have the whole state-wide pride thing instead of just regional. Here in GR we have teams on either side of us.

I mean, yes the Griffins are a popular team, but I don't know too many people outside of GR that have even HEARD of them

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I don't think GR would be able to sustain a Professional level sports team. Like others have mentioned, we're crazy close to both Detroit and Chicago. Other places like Green Bay & Salt Lake City work because there are no other sports teams anywhere near there for people to cheer for. They have the whole state-wide pride thing instead of just regional. Here in GR we have teams on either side of us.

I mean, yes the Griffins are a popular team, but I don't know too many people outside of GR that have even HEARD of them

I would note that people outside of GR probobly have never heard of any other AHL team either, or the AHL period.

If they had the exposure that NHL NBA MLB NFL had then it would be a totally different story. Hence getting a team on that level might make a difference. Im not saying that we could support one or anything, I would not be the one to know. I would like to think we could simply because I love Grand Rapids and I hope to see great things for the city.

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It was mentioned that it was far too costly to expand the VanAndel Arena. Exactly how much would it cost to expand the Arena? 20 million? 40 million? A new facility would cost well over 100 million dollars in today's market. What is the manager of the VA thinking? Was the infrastructure to build out to 16,000 seats put there just for show and tell? That to me is like using a top fuel dragster as a golf cart. All that needs to be done is to rip out the blank metal wall on the south end, build out the bowl, wire and plumb it and *presto* GR has a 16,000 seat arena that could house the NBA and or the NHL. As expensive as ticket prices for major sporting events are combined with the shear draw of such an event, I'm pretty sure that the revenue would pay construction costs off in one heck of a hurry. Again I'm pointing my finger to naysayers holding this city back. This is not a small one-horse town anymore and the folks of political power and/ or influence have got to start thinking with a big city thinking cap if GR is to continue to advance and grow. GR is now in the same aquarium that contains very competitive fish like Nashville, Salt Lake City, Buffalo, etc.If this city does not work up the nerve to go head to head with these other cities, then the naysayer gloom and doom will be vindicated.

Edited by tamias6

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I know that this bit has been debated about eleventy-seven gillion times before. But what's holding GR back? There are other MSA's with little over 1 million people that have teams from at least one of the big sports leagues under their belts. The GR MSA has 1.1 million people and growing the last time I checked those numbers. Is it Detroit or Chicago that's holding GR back or has city officials yet to work up the nerve to take a leap of faith? I'm no expert about the inner workings of marketing a major sports team. But the tid bit you quoted sound very pessimistic--almost like GR is doom to being a two-bit Smallville for the rest of eternity with the "maybe 15 to 20 years from now" added as a sugar coating to keep optimists like yours truly from ranting 'till they turn blue in the face. Maybe I'm being overly rash. But I'm flat out fed up of hearing GR can't do this or GR can't do that. This city is brimming with untapped potential to really become something on the national level. The nay saying like in the quote is the only thing that's keeping this city from going critical mass.

Okay. Time for me to step off the soap box now.

I don't think he's being a naysayer. He's being realistic. Why expand the arena for $20 - $40 Million when the seats won't get filled, and when the arena is PROFITABLE now. Who's going to pay for this expansion, the taxpayers of Grand Rapids??? And who's going to pick up the tab when the arena starts losing money? They need the arena profits now to offset the convention center losses until it becomes profitable (as shows are forecasted to increase in a few years).

The arena manager does not make any decisions as to whether a pro-sports franchise would expand here. I'm sure if one of the Amway families was working on a new franchise, they would look at several different options: add on to the arena, or build a new venue. You don't build the addition first. :rolleyes: That's the quickest way to financial disaster.

I have faith that with how well the arena is run, that they know a lot more about the cost/benefits than anyone here does. And based on the weeklong media coverage of the arena's 10 year anniversary, I would say it's anything but doom and gloom when it comes to the arena.

What I think might be a cool alternative though, is to switch out the black metal panels on the back side of the arena and replace them with a full glass wall. It would give a cool view of the Heartside area from inside, and would give people on the outside a "peak" into the building at night, especially from the S-curve.

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I don't think he's being a naysayer. He's being realistic. Why expand the arena for $20 - $40 Million when the seats won't get filled, and when the arena is PROFITABLE now. Who's going to pay for this expansion, the taxpayers of Grand Rapids??? And who's going to pick up the tab when the arena starts losing money? They need the arena profits now to offset the convention center losses until it becomes profitable (as shows are forecasted to increase in a few years).

The arena manager does not make any decisions as to whether a pro-sports franchise would expand here. I'm sure if one of the Amway families was working on a new franchise, they would look at several different options: add on to the arena, or build a new venue. You don't build the addition first. :rolleyes: That's the quickest way to financial disaster.

I have faith that with how well the arena is run, that they know a lot more about the cost/benefits than anyone here does. And based on the weeklong media coverage of the arena's 10 year anniversary, I would say it's anything but doom and gloom when it comes to the arena.

What I think might be a cool alternative though, is to switch out the black metal panels on the back side of the arena and replace them with a full glass wall. It would give a cool view of the Heartside area from inside, and would give people on the outside a "peak" into the building at night, especially from the S-curve.

Point taken. I guess managing a venue like VA is a risky thing to do. One would tend to look before leaping be that the case.

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can anyone post a pic of this blank back wall, i have no idea what it looks like.

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There is actually an advantage to having a venue that is perceived as potentially too small. It forces people to buy tickets in advance and plan their calendar around the event. If there is plenty of seating then people just casually purchase at the door if they are in the mood that day. This is particularly true of sports teams where there is always another game coming up. If you

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can anyone post a pic of this blank back wall, i have no idea what it looks like.

Right here dtown:

141717513_c805ed9c90_b.jpg

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