Charlotte Hornets eye summer start for $215M renovation of Spectrum Center

CHARLOTTE — Over the next five years, the Charlotte Hornets and city government plan to overhaul the NBA franchise’s arena, open a new training center as part of a larger transit project and transform the surrounding neighborhood.

The ambitious agenda emerged after a couple of years of discussions and negotiations, leading to Charlotte City Council’s approval in June of a $275 million package. That includes $215 million worth of upgrades at Spectrum Center and a separate, $60 million practice facility for the Hornets. In exchange, the team agreed to a 15-year lease extension, keeping the NBA here through at least 2045.

With a formal agreement in place, the real work begins.

Among the planned arena changes: adding more fan entrances; replacing all 19,000 seats; updating heating and cooling systems; and upgrading load-in areas to provide faster changeovers for staging concerts and other events. The practice center is envisioned as part of a new Charlotte Transportation Center.

Work will be done in phases during upcoming off-seasons beginning next summer.

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