Honda Center, still in contention to bring an NBA team to Anaheim, will undergo improvements to the 19-year-old arena valued in the “tens of millions” of dollars, arena officials said Thursday.
Tim Ryan, president and CEO of Honda Center’s operator, Anaheim Arena Management, said in a statement that the upgrades represent “the most significant improvement project ever seen at Honda Center … [and] will have a dramatic impact on the overall fan experience and assure Honda Center stands up favorably next to any arena in the country, including those that house multiple sports franchises.”
The projects are to break ground in the fall, and “an expedited [construction] timeline is in place,” arena officials said. The arena, home to the NHL’s Ducks, was previously set to undergo upgrades thanks to a $25-million bond measure approved by the city in April.
Use of those funds was contingent on an announced move to Anaheim by the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, however, and that was delayed at least until next year as Sacramento attempts to raise funds to construct a new arena.
Ducks owner Henry Samueli is funding the Honda Center improvements, which are to include a 12,000-square-foot grand terrace indoor/outdoor entertainment space on the arena’s premium level. An 80-foot-long bar and wide city views will be part of the upgrade. A 250-seat full-service restaurant also will be added.
The arena’s team store will more than double in size from 1,800 square feet to 4,200 square feet, to allow for space for a second pro team’s merchandise.
“The planned improvements will ensure it continues to be recognized as one of the finest sports and entertainment facilities in this country and abroad,” Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said in prepared remarks about the arena. “Not only will the improvements enhance the guest experience, but more than ever, Honda Center itself will be NBA-ready.”