Second Phase Of Pelicans' $54M Smoothie King Center Renovation Underway
The second phase of the Pelicans' $54M renovation to Smoothie King Center "began shortly after the final horn sounded" on the team's season, and the work, which "will transform the exterior of the 14 1/2-year-old building, is expected to be completed in time for the Oct. 8 Katy Perry concert and well before the start" of the '14-15 season, according to Nakia Hogan of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. The renovations "will include a new front entrance and lobby, along with a new box office, a new 2,000-square foot sports lounge, an expanded team store and a new LED lighting system similar to the one used on the exterior of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome." Louisiana's state legislature "approved a capital bond issue to fund improvements to the arena." This phase of renovations "won't have much of an impact of the day-to-day operations at the building." Smoothie King Center "will remain open until early August after Justin Timberlake's scheduled concert, then remain closed until its planned October opening." Phase II plans call for the lobby to "be expanded by about 20,000 square feet, taking the existing wall of the building out to the curb line." The new exterior box office "will be covered and have more service lanes." The first phase of the project, which was completed in October in time for the start of this past season, "included upgrades to the interior of the building" (NOLA.com, 4/30).