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Volume 26 No. 181
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Cavs' Fans Celebrate Opening Of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

Around 2,500 people came out for a "celebration and official opening" of the $185M renovated Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, according to Hannah Drown of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. The event on Saturday was followed by a "free public open house" where people had the "chance to explore the space and try new dining options." Updates include a 77,110-square-foot "illuminated aluminum curtain, more than 42,000 square feet of new space in the atrium, a power portal entryway featuring LED panels and Soundscape technology." Cavaliers President of Business Operations Nic Barlage said, "Today was perfect" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 9/28). In Cleveland, Marc Bona noted the first event in the renovated arena "won’t be a sporting event but a concert," when the Black Keys perform tonight (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 9/28).

GO WITH THE FLOW: The PLAIN DEALER's Bona noted the renovations "directly affect crowd flow." The ultimate goal is to "get people to the action for the ticket they paid for through improved signage, effective amenities and more elbow room." Cavaliers Exec VP/Venue Operations Antony Bonavita said, "The arena is broken into neighborhoods and social-gathering places. ... We looked for opportunities throughout the concourse to create pockets whether it's tables or drink rails." Previously, people had to maneuver their way through "lines of fans waiting to order food." Now, those lines will be "streamlined, thanks in part to a partnership with Aramark to use technology for mobile kiosks and self-service areas." The main concourse "feels wider even though it isn't." That is "because the ceiling was raised three feet, making the concourse feel less closed in." Loudville, a marketing moniker applied years ago to upper-level seats at the facility, was a "critical factor when it came to opening flow in the arena." Previously, fans in the upper reaches "would head down to the main concourse for food and drink options, adding to the human traffic jam." Now, they have "two new dedicated vantages." In addition, there are now "62 redesigned suites" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 9/27). Bona wrote the improvements to Loudville are bridging the "socioeconomic divide that exists between upper- and lower-level sections" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 9/28).

WHAT'S NEW? The PLAIN DEALER's Bona noted one of the "biggest changes for fans will be a new wayfinding system, which has turned Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse into a giant, interactive map" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 9/27). Meanwhile, the Cavs' locker room is now "three times bigger." Inside, an LED board "runs across the lockers," allowing coach John Beilein to "control the mood through colors and logos" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 9/28). In Cleveland, Joey Morona wrote under the header, "Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse's Clubs And Suites Offer Luxury With A Cleveland Flair" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 9/28). Morona in a separate piece wrote under the header, "Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse’s Tech Improvements Up The Wow Factor While Keeping An Eye On The Future" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 9/28).