Tour of the Renovated New Orleans Arena

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Published: October 21, 2013
ArenaMuralBalconySmall

The New Orleans Pelicans will open the preseason on Wednesday in a renovated New Orleans Arena.

Many of the backstory has been covered extensively (overview, blueprints, in-work photos).

Here are the highlights of the renovations, followed by the main points of the backstory and notes.

For the complete set of pictures, check out the media section of the site’s twitter account or our facebook page. The twitter timeline has the photos with annotations.

Party Perch

The Party Perch is a new area with a large bar and an area to socialize that is open to the concourse and the bowl. If the Perch is successful with fans an sponsors, it could be expanded or a second one could be built.

Here is a view from outside the Party Perch looking up at the bandstand:

Here is a view through the Party Perch looking up into the Bowl:


Loge

The VIP areas now have a unified entrance by the Capital One Club. Suite, Loge, and Club patrons can all enter by the Capital One Club (the North Club entrance is still in place, but without an escalator). Also, the suites are completely renovated with more space, new seats, updated kitchen, and more amenities. Also, the concourse for the suite level is now open 360-degrees. I was not before, and that proved inconvenient for the fans using that level.

The Loge seats are a new feature for the VIP’s. They are sold out on 3-year deals. These are like mini-suites that have their own seating area, TV’, electrical power, and private counter space.

Note that the upper LED ring is now active. The Party Perch is also visible across the Arena in the balcony.

Capital One Club

All of the various club areas have been expanded and renovated.

The bar will extend from inside the bar out onto the patio, where there will be a “fire element”. No, Ryan, not an elemental. This is an aesthetic contrivance, not a beast from the outer planes or Monstrous Compendium.

Fancy open kitchen:

North and South Clubs

As noted, the clubs have been expanded. All the food features chef service and food prepared to order. The bars are huge with more seating and more space to mingle. They also have these nice booths:

Locker Room

The locker room has been completely renovated, as well.

This TV is huge, and that clock is one of many countdown clocks throughout the area:

A new training area (with another clock):

There are new tubs, steam rooms, and more, plus these oversized showers with super-high soap dispensers:

Chairman’s Club

The “V-VIP” area that was described earlier has been named the Chairman’s Club. It’s a super-fancy green room type area for artists before concerts, guests to games, or patrons with the most significant financial relationships with the team. It’s a massive area with its own entryway. The wall that faces the hallway between the locker room is glass, so the guests can see the preparations and bustle. The glass panels have small spaces that also allow the patrons to hear the coaches, players, etc. It has it’s own food service, bar, and wine room, along with access tot he Capital One Club without getting into the basketball operations traffic.

Merchandise Store

The merchandise store is stocked with merchandise, and the store is going to be run by adidas (see press release below). According to the Pelicans, the shop will be opening Wednesday night during the game. adidas will release their newest gear in their stores before releasing them to the general market. The shop will be expanded as part of the final phase of Arena renovations. Here are some photos of some of the merchandise.

Miscellaneous

A mural upstairs in the balcony:

New concession stand looks:

Backstory

As part of the deal to keep the NBA franchise in the city, the State of Louisiana agreed to $50m in upgrades to the New Orleans Arena, a state-owned facility under the charge of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District (LSED) and managed by SMG. The upgrades were in three major groups. Initially, the large video boards on the chamfered corners of the Arena were installed. This set of renovations are the second phase. The third phase is highlighted by the construction of a large entry lobby, and that is scheduled to be started in the coming offseason and completed before the start of the 2014-2015 NBA season.

Notes

  • The court was not installed today since the Arena was being prepared for a concert tomorrow.
  • Chef John Besh has entered into deal to help develop some menu items throughout the Arena. Additionally, the menus are expanded at some Arena shops.
  • Though the Hornets stuff has all been taken down, the new branding is not all installed. Some of the permanent signs are, but the wraps and things like that are not up yet.
  • TV’s are everywhere in the renovated areas. Those fans will find it very easy to get up, walk around, spend money, and still be able to follow the game if they choose.
  • The Arena experience will be improved for most fans, but the fans who spend the most money will be getting a ton more value for their dollars.
  • There is still a flurry of activity around the Arena taking care of little things.
  • Ticket sales are still going well, still breaking records, per the team.
  • We should see a mascot opening night, not against the Heat.
  • Again, for the complete set of pictures, check out the media section of the site’s twitter account or our facebook page. The twitter timeline has the photos with annotations. This is just a selection of the full set of photos.

adidas Partnership Press Release

adidas and the New Orleans Pelicans today announced a new retail partnership which includes an exclusive team store – Pelicans Shop by adidas – at the New Orleans Arena. adidas, the official outfitter of the National Basketball Association, will operate the 3,000-square-foot Pelicans Shop by adidas, the brand’s first store in New Orleans.

“When we changed the team’s name to the Pelicans, we knew that the fans would like the logo and the colors and would be excited about the future of our team. Through our multi-year partnership, adidas has demonstrated its commitment to New Orleans and its confidence in the Pelicans for long-term success,” said Owner/Chairman of the Board Tom Benson. “We are committed to building a championship team on and off the court and that mission is supported by continuing to work with partners like adidas, who are at the top of their industry. We look forward to seeing all of our fans in their Pelicans gear as we get closer and closer to Opening Night on Oct. 30.”

“As excitement continues to build for the start of our first season as the Pelicans, we are thrilled to be partnering with adidas on the Pelicans Shop at the New Orleans Arena,” said Owner/Vice Chairman of the Board Rita Benson LeBlanc. “We have received such positive feedback about the Pelicans’ new logos and look and we are excited that our fans will have the opportunity to purchase all of the new Pelicans gear at our own team store at the Arena.”

Featuring a full range of Pelicans official merchandise, the Pelicans Shop by adidas will include jerseys, men’s and women’s tee shirts, jackets and other extensive apparel and accessory offerings. The shop will be located on the main concourse level of the 18,000-seat New Orleans Arena. While accessible from inside the arena during events, the Pelicans Shop by adidas is open to fans Tuesday-Saturday when the arena is not hosting an event. In addition, six additional adidas Pelicans merchandise stands will be located throughout the New Orleans Arena.

“New Orleans is an incredible basketball city with amazing fans and an up-and-coming young team,” said Nic Vu, vice president of retail adidas North America. “It’s an exciting time for the team and city with the new Pelicans identity and preparation to host the 2014 All-Star Game. We’re bringing the best of adidas to Pelicans fans with the Pelicans Shop by adidas.”

The partnership will also include integrated signage and digital and traditional media activation for Pelicans games and New Orleans Arena events.

About New Orleans Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans are a New Orleans business that happens to be an NBA franchise. Led by Owner Tom Benson, the team is committed to making a difference in the Gulf Coast region through numerous community initiatives with a special emphasis on coastal restoration and childhood obesity. The Pelicans provide world-class entertainment on and off the court and are global ambassadors for the city of New Orleans. With action-packed games at the New Orleans Arena, the Pelicans are passionate about delivering exciting and memorable experiences for fans of all ages. For more information about the New Orleans Pelicans, please visit www.Pelicans.com.

About adidas Basketball

adidas has been providing innovative products to help the world’s best athletes perform at elite levels for more than 60 years, from past legends to today’s superstars, such as Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Candace Parker, Tim Duncan, Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday. On April 11, 2006 adidas and the National Basketball Association signed an 11-year global merchandising partnership making the adidas brand the official uniform and apparel provider for the NBA, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the NBA Development League (D-League) beginning with the 2006-07 NBA season.

7 comments
Caffeinedisaster
Caffeinedisaster

Those Gold jerseys are tight.  I wonder if they will be the alternates for next season.

I want one.

LaNative
LaNative

I like the improvements.  Of course, there are varying opinions to what should and shouldn't be done but hopefully these renovations and the third phase will entice naming rights which will more than likely bring additional upgrades.  However, we're onto something special and I'm looking forward to it.  At the moment, I really see no reason to complain.

Ddiamondd
Ddiamondd

Everything looks great. However, I was a bit surprised to see the shower amenities in the locker room as a room full of showerheads; that seems a bit old-school to me for a modern NBA level locker room. I would expect individual stalls or something like that. Granted, I haven't seen any other pro team locker rooms to compare.

Anyway, I digress. As a NVIP (not very important person), I really don't benefit directly from most of these improvements. Yet, these improvements are likely huge for the business side of the franchise. Pressure to keep the team in NOLA is largely an afterthought nowadays, as it should be, but renovations toward improving the bottom line make me more optimistic beyond the current lease and current management makeup. Fortunately, these thoughts are in the back of my mind with the already excellent Benson era ownership; the lone thing to truly worry about as a fan is how the product on the court performs. Judging by the preseason thus far, we have great reason to be cautiously optimistic.

ArdenSantiago
ArdenSantiago

I wish they'd remove those stationary ads on the upper half portion of the panels on the scoreboard. AND PLEASE REPAINT THE EXTERIOR. How stupid is that not to include a new paint color in the plans. 


Clef504
Clef504

And the blue ones can be the holiday unis

josephplum
josephplum

@Ddiamondd 
I had the same thought about the showers. UNO has more privacy in the showers. I also wonder if I benefit from the changes... But I haven't earned it and can't work hard enough to. I'm looking forward to seeing if the music and non-basketball entertainment is upgraded along with the facility.