As Owensboro City Commissioners decide on the tower’s future, Spectra officials, starting a new future for the Owensboro Sportscenter.
Plans going in to full gear less than a week after Icemen owner Ron Geary backed out of his deal to turn the 67 year old building into a full fledged hockey arena.
As one plan for renovations collapse, another starts to take shape.
“The core elements are pretty well in tact. It’s a matter of what’s more revenue generating opportunities do we have there,” says Dean Dennis of Spectra, who is also General Manager of the Owensboro Convention Center. He says one of their first targets: re-doing concession stands. He says they’re looking in to upgrading the look, and expanding the menu.
“The technology is such now there is a lot of equipment now that’s called ventless, where they don’t have to have an outdoor vent. It’s got its own fire protection system, so we’re able to add maybe some fried items,” he says.
Another target: adding and expanding ticket windows, making them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Dennis says the city still plans to improve the roof. They’re also looking in to improving access to and inside the building, and improving its visibility. But there’s only so many upgrades they can do here. Dennis says they only have $160,000 budgeted for renovations so far.
“We don’t have the kind of money that we need to do for the many renovations that a 60-something year old building. But the majority of what we think make the most sense to us, and makes the most sense to the city, we’ve looked at we’re going to talk about we can get those things done,” he says.
Dennis adds one option to pay for future upgrades: a public-private partnership.
“There’s going to have to be some private support for the building, along with public support in order to make that work in order to find a lot of those dollars, and we’ll continue to look for those as we move forward as well,” Dennis says.
He adds they’ve met with the Sportscenter’s other tenants on improvements they would like done.