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HSVTiger

Von Braun Center

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Looks like the city is getting serious about doing work on this facility.

This is probably 2-4 years out, but soon 4 hotels will circle the facility.

Some have suggested that Coca Cola relocate their plant, and the VBC expand

across Clinton. This would tie in well with the Riverwalk project and the soon to be removed portion of the Searcy

housing project.

"Mayor Loretta Spencer said VBC officials planned to meet with her administration in a week or so to press their case for an additional $10 million.

"It needs $40 million. It's an old building," said Spencer, who was on the VBC board when the facility opened in March 1975. "We need to do a lot of refurbishment and expansion. I would hope a lot will be spent to add seating to the arena."

http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/ind....xml&coll=1

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At the very least they need to put some sort of signage on the building that can be seen from 565 and the Parkway for people coming in from out of town.

I also think some sort of Upcoming Events sign that is visable to those high traffic roads would be good too.

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Some things being discussed for the center

http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/ind....xml&coll=1

Evans said VBC improvements are timely with the recent rejuvenation of downtown Huntsville.

"Downtown Huntsville is on a big upswing," he said. "This complex needs to be updated in ways that are consistent with what is happening downtown."

agreed

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I think the arena needs more than 800 to 1000 additional seats. What the VBC needs is a new much larger arena.

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I think the arena needs more than 800 to 1000 additional seats. What the VBC needs is a new much larger arena.

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Some things being discussed for the center

http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/ind....xml&coll=1

Evans said VBC improvements are timely with the recent rejuvenation of downtown Huntsville.

"Downtown Huntsville is on a big upswing," he said. "This complex needs to be updated in ways that are consistent with what is happening downtown."

agreed

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http://www.al.com/business/huntsvilletimes....xml&coll=1

"As for moving forward, Steve Maples says there's a planned $12 million to $16 million expansion of the VBC in 2008 and also an increased demand with the BRAC personnel coming in.

"We're real close to an arena renovations project," Maples said. "It will happen; we'll make a decision in the next 60 days about what to do.

"We've got a lot of work and prioritizing to do. We're also getting ready to spend some of the $4 million (from a tax increment finance district) the city has given us. We're hiring a consultant in building maintenance to evaluate the facility and give us some feedback on how best to spend the money."

Maples said the VBC is awaiting City Council approval on the consultant and will then move forward with those plans. "

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A Birmingham News article about the continuing downtown redevelopment here outlines the Von Braun renovation plans:

"The civic center also plans to spend up to $20 million on renovation projects and expansion in the next few years. Highlights include doubling the size of the women's restrooms, adding 1,000 floor seats in the arena for concerts, renovating concession stands, adding a mini cafe, and replacing walls along the southeast side of the arena to give a view from the cafe and concourse of Big Spring Park.

About $4 million for those projects has come from a special tax district set up to fund projects in the downtown area. City officials are working to get the other $12 million to $16 million for the work, including a look at selling naming rights to parts of the civic center."

Birmingham News article: Rocket City reloads

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