SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – The City of Worcester and SMG-managed DCU Center marked the commencement of a 23 million dollar renovation and expansion project at the arena today with a ceremonial column-breaking. Worcester and DCU Center officials were joined by Lt. Governor Timothy P. Murray, representatives from the State Delegation, Worcester City Councilors, City of Worcester Civic Center Commissioners, and the Worcester Sharks to celebrate the first major refurbishment project at the City-owned Arena since it opened 30 years ago.
The Arena will see both exterior and interior renovations. Plans include a redesigned box office, four new event suites, retail spaces along an expanded concourse and revamped restrooms as well as upgrades to the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. The Arena will undergo a five-month period of complete shutdown from May to September 2013, and construction will be complete, and the Arena re-opened by October 2013.
Through the creation of a Special Finance District Zone, the City will be able to provide the revenue stream to finance the much needed capital investment for the project. The SFD allows for the financing through net new State hotel, meals, and sales tax revenues from certain establishments in the City. The DCU Center improvements are self-supporting, as revenues from the net new State hotel meals and sales tax from this
District are re-directed and re-invested to meet the annual payments on these loan authorizations for these capital improvements.
“For 30 years, our premier DCU Center has been an economic and cultural engine for our community and entire region. This tradition continues. Our multi-million dollar reinvestment this year enhances fan, patron and promoter experiences alike”, said Worcester City Manager Michael V. O’Brien. “We leverage and integrate all this with our other economic development progress Downtown and we top it off with a 3-year deal with our beloved Worcester Sharks. All this is a hat-trick for our community.”
The exterior redesign is aimed to complement the CitySquare project currently under construction. The exterior changes to the DCU Center, specifically the arena, will unite these major structures into a single aesthetic experience for the public.
“We’re experiencing great momentum for Worcester with significant development projects underway in the city’s downtown district,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “The DCU Center’s expansion plans mark another great development that will boost the local economy and attract more excitement in the city and region.”
As the second largest City in New England, the multi-million dollar investment is critical to keeping Worcester’s DCU Center’s status as one of the best venues of its size nationwide.
“Today marks an exciting day in the history and future of the DCU Center,” said Sandy Dunn, General Manager of the DCU Center/SMG Management. “After 30 years, SMG and the City of Worcester continue collaboration and progress to keep world class entertainment alive in our vibrant city.”
Also announced during today’s press conference, the Worcester Sharks have signed a 3 year contract extension to stay in Worcester. The new Agreement will keep the Sharks at the DCU Center through 2016. As a perennial American Hockey League contender for the Calder Cup championship the Sharks develop future players for the National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks and is continues to be one of the most popular sports attractions in the region.
“The Sharks are proud to call the DCU Center our home and very excited about the upcoming renovations to ensure our fans a first class experience while attending a Sharks game at our home arena,” said Worcester Sharks President Michael A. Mudd. “This is Sharks territory and we look forward on calling the DCU Center and the city of Worcester our home for the seasons to come.”
The DCU Center renovation and expansion project will be completed in time for the start of the Worcester Sharks 2013-1014 season.
For a link to the artist renderings of the renovations please visit: http://youtu.be/AzZaQGxAouU