Charlotte paying hundreds of thousands to consultants advising on the the Spectrum Center’s future

CHARLOTTE — For more than two years, the city of Charlotte has been quietly paying two consultants to design the next round of Spectrum Center improvements. Some city leaders say not only are they contractually obligated to provide them, but it is in their competitive best interest to do so.

Through a public records request, Channel 9′s Joe Bruno has learned the city has been paying two groups to design the next round of improvements.

The city said they’ve paid Pro Sports Consulting $248,000 so far of a $331,000 contract. Inner Circle Sports has received $130,000 of a $260,000 contract. Pro Sports Consulting’s work is for “professional services.” Inner Circle Sports’ work is for “design.”

These payments weren’t previously made public.

If a contract is less than $500,000 City Council doesn’t have to vote on it, so the city manager can simply authorize it.

The city says it is too early to say what improvements will be made or what funding sources will be used.

Charlotte owns the Spectrum Center and is contractually obligated to maintain the building.

“The arena, from its outward appearance looks great,” Councilman Malcolm Graham said. “But just like any house that’s old, the roof needs to be replaced, electrical issues, things that the public probably can’t see.”

Graham is currently in Baltimore with a group from the city taking in the CIAA tournament. He hopes the renovations will play a role in luring the tourney back to the Queen City.

“We can upgrade it and make an on par with some of the other newer facilities coming online,” Graham said.

Since 2014, the city has provided tens of millions of dollars for stadium improvements, including a new scoreboard.

The Charlotte City Council is expected to be briefed on the renovations in the next month or two.

(WATCH BELOW: Charlotte City Council to discuss Charlotte Pipe land some have eyed for new stadium)