The Spokane Arena has undergone a much needed facelift this summer, primarily focusing on the expansion of the north concourse.
Arena general manager Matt Gibson said the remodel, which began in the spring, is intended to give fans a better overall experience even when they’re taking a break from their seats and grabbing a bite to eat.
“The event scope is changing. People aren’t just coming to see a show or a game, they want to hang out. They want to be here,” Gibson said.
The Arena’s area on the north side, called the Market, has been expanded 20 feet to create more space for fans and to accommodate more concession stands.
Gibson said the Arena will have several more food options besides the usual popcorn and pretzels that clutter the menu boards. Fans will now have options ranging from craft burgers, fired pizzas, Asian dishes and a variety of sandwiches.
Some other concession stands throughout the building have also been remodeled, including the stand in the Southwest corner that will now serve as a street-style taco stand.
Another part of the Arena that needed some attention was the front plaza and the entrance near the ticket windows. Often, fans would find themselves shoulder-to-shoulder near the front entrance in disorganized lines that would eventually lead them inside.
“Lines would just spiral all over the place,” Gibson said. “It was cramped.”
Now the front area has been expanded about 15 feet, making the lobby much more spacious and comfortable for fans when they enter the building. The Arena also enhanced the main entrance with new video boards to communicate with fans on a much larger scale.
Gibson said the Arena has added more suites, including a new suite that has replaced the old concession stands to the right of the entrance.
Unfortunately, renovations won’t be completed in time for the Chiefs’ home opener against the Kootenay Ice on Saturday at 7 p.m. The entire north side of the building will be walled off with plywood and the Arena will house portable concession stands in that area until the Market is finished.
Gibson said he expects the construction,which has been funded by the capital expenditures budget of the Spokane facilities district, to be completed by the end of October. He said the projects do not affect seating capacity.
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