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Charlotte City Council to consider Time Warner Cable Arena suite upgrades

A woman watches the court from a suite before the start of an NBA game at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Charlotte City Council will vote Monday on a contract to spend nearly $900,000 on suite improvements to Time Warner Cable Arena, which is getting a nearly $30 million renovation.
A woman watches the court from a suite before the start of an NBA game at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Charlotte City Council will vote Monday on a contract to spend nearly $900,000 on suite improvements to Time Warner Cable Arena, which is getting a nearly $30 million renovation. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

The Charlotte City Council will vote Monday on a contract to spend nearly $900,000 on suite improvements to Time Warner Cable Arena, which is getting a nearly $30 million renovation.

If council members approve the contract, Encompass Building Group Inc. will renovate the Backcourt Club lounge area, two restrooms on the Event Level and 21 private suites on the suite level.

Though the city is contributing almost all of the money for the arena upgrades – $27.5 million – the Charlotte Hornets basketball team is paying for the suite upgrades. The team will spend $1.8 million over the next three years.

The city will handle the contract work for the arena, which it owns. The Hornets will reimburse the city for the suite renovations, including those in Monday’s contract.

When Charlotte was negotiating the arena improvements with the Hornets, the city said it was uncomfortable with the political implications of using tax dollars for luxury suite upgrades.

The city is not using property taxes for the improvements. The money is coming from a hotel/motel occupancy tax levied inside Mecklenburg County.

The arena, built in 2005, is one of the newest in the NBA. But the team’s contract with the city requires that it be among the league’s most modern, and the city said it is contractually obligated to perform the renovations.

When the work is finished in 2019, the arena will have new lighting, a new scoreboard, spruced-up restrooms, suites and better audio and video technology.

Earlier this month, council members approved a $1.98 million upgrade to the arena’s in-house TVs and video feed. The contractor, Comprehensive Technology Group, will remove about 550 TVs from the arena and replace them with HD TVs. It will also install the equipment needed to display all in-house video in HD.

Harrison: 704-358-5160

If you go

The City Council meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Government Center, 600 E. Fourth St.

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