Charlotte leaders to vote on $30M upgrades for TWC Arena

by: Jenna Deery Updated:

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Next month, Charlotte city leaders are expected to vote on spending nearly $30 million on upgrades at Time Warner Cable Arena where the Charlotte Hornets play and countless other entertainment venues happen.

The funding package would be executed over the next five years and the city’s funding will come from rental car and hotel/motel tax revenues. The tax is designed to help fund sport and cultural facilities in Charlotte.

Upgrades include new seating and restaurants, renovated floors and restrooms along with upgraded scoreboards and TV screens.

The city of Charlotte is contractually obligated to pay for arena upgrades after the arena’s seventh year of operation. Time Warner Cable Arena is now 9 years old.

The City owns the arena and the Hornets operate it. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority runs “back of the house” operations like heating and air, but the Hornets reimburses the CRVA for those operations.

On top of the $30 million city will fund in upgrades, it has agreed to spend an additional $600,000 per year over the next 10 years for capital needs. The Hornets will match that contribution, but also spend an additional $2.4 million for upgrades to the Hornets' team locker room and suite improvements.

Assistant City Manager Ron Kimble said during a presentation Monday that city staff has reviewed debt models to ensure funding for the upgrades would be there over the next five years. He said he feels confident the money will be there when the projects happen.

Charlotte City Council is expected to vote on the arena upgrades on Sept. 8.

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